Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Officially An Honor Roll Student

You know you're the big kid in school when you start receiving letter grades and make the Honor Roll.

And that's just what we have to look forward with Neeley's schooling this year. They start receiving letter grades in 4th grade and.....so far so good. :)

We're so proud of our Straight A student!!!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Snow, Anyone?

Oh my word, do we have the snow! This is much worse than last year ever was I think. The streets are TERRIBLE with a CAPITAL T! There have already been numerous wrecks and it is taking many several hours to get here to RB and safely home. Yuck! I am so thankful that I have not really had to get out in it. The schools are still in session for now, but with a 2 hour delay tomorrow. We're sort of doing a lil snow dance that we get a day off tomorrow. We did spend some time this evening sledding with friends. Neeley had a blast!

Holiday Gift Wrapping

Our Girl Scout Troop participated in a holiday gift wrapping fundraiser yesterday at the PX. We earned a bit of money and had a GREAT time doing so!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

It's Snow Fun

We got our first sprinkling of snow the past couple of days. While it isn't much, it's still enough to allow a little outdoor fun. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Magnets, Magnets Everywhere!

Neeley and I share a love for magnets of all kinds. We have some silly ones, and some beautiful ones from our travels here in Europe, and I even have some with a practical purpose like one with a calendar on it and so forth.

So, of course, I was ecstatic when I found there was a website like
Magnets.com! I mean, who wouldn't love this site! Go check it out now!

I received a sample pack of the work done on magnets by
Magnets.com for various businesses and other personal requests, and I must say these are quite creative!

These magnets are very sturdy and of GREAT quality. And look at the different varieties. LOVE these! See the little cow? Yep, it's advertising a butcher shop. And there was a Save The Date card for an upcoming wedding and all kinds of great resources. I know where to order my magnets the next time I need to replenish for my own business.

Do you have a need for these magnets? I'm sure if you think really hard, you can find a use. What about a gift idea? Teachers can always use magnets. Do you have a personal business? Even if it's a business for handmade items or dog walking, these make great advertisements. Do you have an event coming up? Maybe
Magnets.com can help you out too!

So go on over to the
Magnets.com website! These are CUSTOM magnets, folks, so you can't beat it!! Let them know I sent ya. They have a ton of great deals going on at any given time. For instance, in honor of our season of Thanksgiving, they are providing 500 free magnets with every order of 2,000 magnets. These are fine folks, I tell ya.

Who knows? You may even see a giveaway for magnets coming soon.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Girl Scout Sing-A-Long/Bonfire

Have I told you how much I ♥ my Girl Scout Troop!?! Really, these are great 4th and 5th grade girls! Recently we had a Sing-A-Long/Bonfire with all Girl Scouts to help celebrate the birthday of Juliette Gordon Low, who established Girl Scouts. This event was for all local Girl Scouts and families. What a great turnout!! We had a blast!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Some Call Her Chef, I Call Her Daughter

Look at this lil cutie!

Yep, she cooks AND she does the dishes. She's a keeper all right! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Remember to Breathe!

You know I love a good daily inspirational reminder. And you know I love a good organizational tool. And you know I have notepads everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE as in every room of the house, in my purse, in my car, at the school. :) Love 'em!

And I found a great one for you to check out!!!

Ta-da!! Introducing the Remember to Breathe Notepad made of recycled paper. This is It! Creations knows a good product, that's for sure! And they certainly got it right with this one. This great little notepad is the most awesome reminder that when life gets hectic, to JUST BREATHE! This couldn't have come to me at a better time! Wow!

This notepad is 50 sheets and while this one is white, it also comes in various other colors. Be sure to check it out in the OpenSky Boutique HERE. I know you will want one too!

Want to know more about This Is It! Creations? The company is comprised of a husband and wife team who started the company in 2005. They are environment lovers like many of us, and they make ecofriendly products like journals, notepads, cards, and jewelry. They donate 5% of their profits to animal-welfare groups which I think is FANTASTIC!

Wanna see more of what they have to offer? Head on over to their website. You can also check out their Etsy shop. Aren't those the best products!?!

Are you on Twitter? So are they! Check them out here. And, last but not least, please visit them on Facebook.

So go on over and show your support for these products. They are great to have around the house, to give as gifts, and who knows.....you may even see a giveaway or two soon! :)

Thanks to you all!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Love A Good Organizational Tool....

....even if I got it because it's just plain cute.

This is the Homart Zinc Memo Board in the Fleurish color......

Once again, this cutie is featured in my boutique HERE. This is a great lil decorative chalkboard that you can put anywhere. I put a tiny piece of greenery on mine for now because I hung it on a cabinet and we cannot put holes in it since we are in housing. So I hung mine with tiny 3M hooks but you can see them. Hence the need for a piece of something or other to cover it up. I'll fix it up when I have a spare minute. But for now, this is what it looks like.

This is hanging right in my entry area and this is a perfect spot for it here in our place. I tried to take a pic of the entry area so you could get a sense of the space it is in but the angle of the pic was kind of funky because of the size of the space.

You can hang this fun lil piece anywhere. I considered putting it in my kitchen but I already have a white board in there and a refrigerator with a front side filled to the brim with pictures and recipes and lunch menus and such. And I am now getting ready to pick up some of those stick-on chalkboard pieces for two kitchen cabinets. So I put this one in my entry way and couldn't be more pleased.

So, tell me....would you paint this thing or leave it the way it is? I paint things all the time. I have repurposed things so many times I hardly ever remember it's original state. I am seriously considering painting this a dark chocolate brown to match many of our other things, but I know I have a problem with having my things too matchy so I may just leave it this way.

Anyway, go check it out HERE. It's fun, it's cute, it's decorative, and can be so useful and handy to have. Go on and get ya one!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Nothin' To Do 'Cept Cook

Ah, these cold days make me want to cook, y'all! Except sometimes I don't like it since there's just two of us home right now.

Comfort foods are what we crave........

There's nothin' better on a cold yucky night than creamy tomato soup with homemade croutons and a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Yum yum!

Soup recipe - per person:

1 can tomato soup
A splash of milk to make it creamy
Salt & pepper to taste
A pinch...or two...or seven...of fat free cheddar cheese or a cheese blend if you like
Homemade toasted bread, cut in to squared & seasoned with s & p, garlic salt, minced onion, & parsley
A lil parsley to sprinkle on the top

Feed to one hungry person...................
And we followed that up with chocolate cake mix cookies with butterscotch chips. Oh my word!

This is the recipe I used, but there are several out there.....

Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

1 box Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup quick oats
2 eggs, slightly beaten....or Egg Beaters is what we use
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butterscotch chips

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Now That's One Stylin' Chic...Or Is It Chick??

What would a girl do without wonderful grandparents to supply such cute clothes from the States?

Thanks to Nana for these new designer duds. And what I want to know is how in the world did Neeley even know what "jeggings" were in the first place? We don't have those here. :)

She paired this with some of her fave jewelry and sparkly things and all that's a-glitter and off to school she went.

You're growing up way too fast, baby girl!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mercedes And The Chocolate Pilot

Neeley got to take part in the most amazing opportunity involving this book a couple of weeks ago, and I have asked her to blog about it here in her own lil 9 year old words, so here she goes.....

{"Mercedes came to our school and she read this story to us. This story was about a little girl in Berlin when the Berlin Wall was up. And she lived in East Berlin. And there was a pilot who dropped chocolate every day 3 times a day. And she never got any, so she wrote him a letter and told him to look for her white chicken in the court yard and drop some candy there. But he couldn't find it, and so he mailed it to her. And um....um...and now he comes to visit her sometimes."}

Isn't she a great writer? Yes, Neeley got most of the story right above. And our local kids got the awesome opportunity to meet Mercedes and some other local kids as Mercedes came to our school to read this story. There was not a dry eye in the place by the time the story was read all the way through.

I did not know a lot about the history of this book before this event, so this was an education to me as well. I went to the event with our German neighbor so it helped to have someone sitting next to me to help through the translation of some of it. The book was read half by Mercedes herself, who read her parts in German, and the other half by Gen. Ward, in English. And Mercedes brought along a whole gaggle of German kiddos with her to the event.

All of the kiddos then got to make some crafts and learn some other lessons involving the story. It was a very interesting event. Neeley LOVED it to say the least.

If you do not know about this story, here is a lil synopsis....

{This book is based on a true life event about a pilot who flew missions across Berlin, Germany, after the end of WWII. These missions were different from those flown by most pilots. After the defeat of Germany, the country was divided among the Allies who had defeated Hitler. On June 24, 1948, however, Russia’s leader, Joseph Stalin, moved to take all of Germany, and he cut off food and supplies to the West Berlin Allied sector. To avoid another world war, British and American forces flew more than 277,000 missions to deliver millions of tons of food and supplies to the 2.2 million people, deep within Russian territory. One most compassionate pilot, Capt. Halvorsen, dropped chocolates and candies to the children of West Berlin, knowing how difficult wartime was for children who could not fully comprehend what was happening around them. This story tells how this act of kindness changed the life of one young girl and connected her life to Capt. Halvorsen’s.}

Go ahead...order your own copy of the book HERE. You will not be disappointed. What a lesson to learn!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Gifts From Afar

~ I must declare that Mr. Bowden Brigade is so thoughtful!! ~

Look what I received in the mail the other day............

Sent all the way from Never Never Land and I LOVE it! It is so unique, which really speaks to me. Thanks, hon!!

Neeley also received a special gift in that same box but she wants to tell you about it so I'll save that pic for another post to come very soon.

Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry? I think this necklace is one of my new faves.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

These Tragic Times....

I know that some of you are my "friend" on Facebook and Twitter, and such so you may have already seen this story posted, but I just also felt the need to post this here. My heart is very heavy. I am in such a deep funk. A family whom we dearly love here had everything burnt to the ground. See, this is {was} a storage warehouse that held the personal belongings of our local military and government civilians who are in transition - either moving to Stuttgart or away from Stuttgart. Yep, it burned to the ground this weekend. 106 families have now received the calls that all of their belongings perished in this fire. I was the first responder for my neighbor when she first received the call. I had to sub today but it was all I could do to get through the day. I, myself, am exhausted - mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually - so I can only imagine what these families are feeling. Our Stuttgart community is a very giving community, no matter the situation, but many of our families' lives have been rocked to the core and now we must all pick up and try to help. How do we do that? Where do we turn? We are in the process of organizing a community BBQ, along with bake sales, clothing drives, etc. to help raise money for these families. At least 3 new teachers at our school had their belongings destroyed in this devastation.

If you are the praying kind, would you please send up a quick lil prayer for these folks? They so desperately need comforting arms around them at this time.

I pasted the article in to this post for you all to see, and feel free to go HERE to see the rest of the articles regarding this fire and to see our other local news.

November 3, 2010
Fire fighters put out the blaze in Schwieberdingen on October 30. Photo: DPA

US military families lose everything in huge fire

Published: 2 Nov 10 17:01 CET Online: http://www.thelocal.de/national/20101102-30901.html

Almost 100 US military and civilian families have lost most of their possessions in a warehouse fire outside Stuttgart, American officials told The Local on Tuesday.

The warehouse was the main storage facility for personal belongings being shipped to and from the area for Stuttgart-based families by a US-contracted moving company, the US military said.

“We’re going to do everything we can to help the families recuperate what they lost, but we fully understand folks will have lost sentimental and irreplaceable items,” said US Army Garrison Stuttgart commander Col. Carl D. Bird in a statement.

“This is not an easy situation to deal with, however, military families are resilient, and we have a great community to support them.”

The fire began on Saturday evening at the warehouse in Schwieberdingen and lasted almost three days, police spokesman Peter Widenhorn told The Local.

“They finally managed to get the coals put out today. It was huge,” he said, adding that more than 350 fire fighters, 55 rescue workers and 20 police officers were on the scene to get the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire in the Baden-W√ľrttemberg community some 10 kilometres from Stuttgart has yet to be determined, he said.

The military notified the affected families on Tuesday.

Lorie Warchol, the Family Readiness Coordinator for the Stuttgart Garrison, told The Local she was fielding calls from these people about what to do next.

“They are devastated. They’ve lost everything,” she said.

The fire destroyed 106 shipments for 97 Stuttgart families, according to transport company Andreas Christ Spedition and Möbeltransport GmbH.

The US military has set up an assistance centre and will hold two meetings in Stuttgart on Wednesday to help the victims file insurance claims and find temporary furnishings for their homes. Counsellors and religious guidance will also be available.

Kristen Allen (kristen.allen@thelocal.de)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I'm Letting My Plates Fall. How 'Bout You??

You know I can't go without sharing a great site with you all. I have ranted and raved about the {in}courage site a few times but I just can't help myself. I LOVE it! So heartwarming...so touching...so inspiring...and music to my ears.

Check out this post. How are you "letting your plates fall"? Are you able to let things go? I am feeling all swirly in my brain too these days and I just can't seem to "let it go and let God." I have always struggled with stress and worry and constantly in fear of the worst. I think that is why I this site so much. Each story is down to earth, true to heart, good for you kind of stories that are true and really hit home.

I would love to hear some of your techniques used to just let things fall as they may. I still haven't mastered that skill.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Gimme All Yo Candy.........Wrappers

Hi friends & family!

I have a favor to ask of each of you. Our Girl Scout Troop is participating in a fundraiser through
TerraCycle. We ship (free of charge, I must add) our recyclables in bulk to this company in exchange for money to go towards our Troop activities.

If any of you are of the recycling kind like I am and would like to help us out, we could really use your candy wrappers. So, after you stuff yourself full of all that Halloween candy, please do not throw away your wrappers. Instead, you can simply put them in a big ziplock or plastic bag and email me at ashley.bowden@yahoo.com to let me know you are interested in our project. I will give you our Troop address to mail them to us.

We thank you in advance for your assistance with this fundraiser. Our girls are very excited and are really working hard to fund a camping trip to the Pax Lodge, or Swiss Chalet, or somewhere equally awesome.

Who could say no to these precious girls!?! :)