Monday, December 29, 2008

I just have to share this...

This is a bit embarrassing, but I am really excited about it and have to share! For the past few weeks, I have not been able to get our toilet clean. When we returned from Austin, there were rust streaks in the toilet, and I was able to scrub most of them off, but there were a few stubborn ones that no matter what I tried or how hard I scrubbed, they would not come off. Every time I walked in to the bathroom and saw the toilet I would cringe. Those streaks were taunting me, challenging me to just try and get rid of them. Over the past few weeks, I have tried all sorts of cleaning products and techniques, but nothing worked. Today I as I was cleaning the bathroom I was overcome with this intense determination to clean that darn toilet! After trying everything I tried before, I was about to give up, but determination is a strong motivator. So I grabbed my handy dandy housekeeping book, Home Comforts, the art and science of keeping house by Cheryl Mendelson (this was a Christmas present from Ryan, one that I asked for. It is the best book on keeping house!). I flipped through the pages trying to find some idea that would work. I came across a paragraph talking about the cleaning power of baking soda. I remembered hearing somewhere before that baking soda was great for cleaning. Now, here it was again. I decided to give it a try. I figured it couldn't hurt. I had tried everything else. So, I made a paste, and applied it to the streaks. After a couple of minutes and a bit of elbow grease the streaks were gone and the bowl was clean! I am surprised it actually worked. Who knew? Apparently someone did and shared it with the world, and now I am sharing it with you. No more expensive toilet bowl cleaners for me. I'll use my 49 cent box of baking soda!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The difficult life of a Military wife, part three

The army has thrown up in my livingroom!

That's a lot of gear!

Can anyone guess what movie is playing on the TV?

Take your sippy cup already!

Today in Relief Society we were discussing how we have to ask Heavenly Father for help even though He already knows what we want and need. One of the women compared it to how she makes her children ask for things. She used the example of one of her kids coming to her with an empty sippy cup and wanting it filled. She makes the child ask for more, even though she knows exactly what the child wants. Another woman built on that comment by saying that sometimes, even if she is standing there, with the sippy cup full of milk, the child is so wrapped in his own crying and screaming that he is too busy to notice that the cup is right there. Then she went on to say that sometimes God tries to hand us the sippy cup. He is saying 'Dude, I have a world to run. Here's your sippy cup. Take it already!' That comment really got me thinking: How many times do I pray for blessings and then become too wrapped up in my own self-pity that I fail to recognize the blessing is right in front of me? I am crying and screaming for the full sippy cup, but don't take it when it is offered, because I don't and won't see it! If I ask for something, I need to be looking for the blessing. It may not come in the way I want, but I will get what I need. I may want a sippy cup full of pop, but instead get a cup full of milk, because it is better for me. Maybe I need to stop crying and screaming and take my sippy cup already.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our first Christmas together

Our first Christmas together! Husband and I were dating last Christmas, but he was in Iraq, so compared to that, this Christmas was 100000000000 times better. Our friend Ian, who couldn't fly home because of all the crazy snow storms, joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. He was a pleasant addition to our celebration. We started our own tradition of making pizzas on Christmas Eve. I used the pizza dough recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, which was simple and very delicious. Husband practiced his domestic skills by kneading the dough. After pizzas, we incorporated my family's tradition of playing a board game. Trivial Pursuit was the game of the night, with Ian proving to be full of random, useless information.

Christmas Day brought presents, food and more games. I was a bit concerned about cooking a turkey because I had never done it before. But it turns out it's not so hard. Husband once again showed his skills in the kitchen by mashing the potatoes. He had better stop doing things or I will know that he is good at them and make him do them all the time! Much to my surprise, all the food was done about the same time! I have no idea how that happened, but I call it my Christmas miracle.

Perhaps the highlight of the day, and the moment that will be talked about for years to come came when Husband opened up this present...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day?

Yesterday, I went into Michael's in search of some Christmas decorations. I am still looking for something to top my tree. I fear that another epic search has begun, but more on that in another post. As I walked through the store, I noticed that a lot of the shelves had been stripped of the Christmas products and were bare. I wondered what the deal was, and so, as I was at the check-out I mentioned the bare shelves and lack of Christmas decorations to the cashier. Her response? "We are getting ready to put our our Valentine's stuff. It should be out by the middle of the week." Sorry? What? Christmas isn't even here yet! Is it too much to ask to let us finish one holiday before we start preparing for the next one? Just a thought.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

8 Things!

I stole this from Natalie's blog. I am a bit bored right now and thought it would be fun to see if I can list 8 things for all the categories:

Rules:Post rules on your blog. Answer the six "8" items.

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Bought a Christmas tree (for $10!!!)
2. Went to the mall
3. Went grocery shopping
4. Went to the library
5. Watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
6. Attended a wicked awesome Christmas party!!
7. Made room in the living room for the Christmas tree
8. Did dishes

8 things I look forward to:
1. The Turduken (I hope that is how you spell it!) at the Willards on Saturday
2. Christmas
3. My birthday
4. Finally going to the glass museum
5. Our cruise!
6. moving somewhere warmer
7. Seeing my new nephew after he is born
8. Ryan getting out of the Army!

8 restaurants I like:
(this will be hard because I don't eat out a lot)
1. Cracker Barrel
2. Boston Pizza (even though we don't have one here)
3. Cosi (even though we don't have one here)
4. Olive Garden (even though we don't have one here)
5. Chili's (even though we don't have one here)
6. Acapulco's (even though we don't have one here)
7. Subway (is that a resturant?)
8. Pita Pit (even though we don't have one here)

8 things on my wishlist:
1. To move to a place that has more of my favourite resturants!
2. A king sized bed
3. A new car
4. To go to the glass museum
5. A bigger crockpot
6. A waffle iron maker thing
7. World peace
8. A million dollars

8 Favorite TV shows:
1. Regis and Kelly
2. Martha Stewart
3. Two and a half men
4. How I met your mother
5. Getting fresh with Sarah Snow
6. Jay Leno (if I can stay up late enough)
7. Whatever Ryan is watching
8. Whatever Ryan is still watching

8 People I tag:
I don't think I know 8 people who would want to do this, so I guess whoever wants to do this should. By the way, it's harder than it looks!

Monday, December 1, 2008


Ryan and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Toronto. We loved it! I have never been to a city that was so clean or so quiet! The city is beautiful. Driving in it wasn't a problem. The subway system was easy to navigate and very clean. We had a great hotel, with an amazing view. And we were within walking distance of downtown and all the places we wanted to visit. But most importantly, we were right by a Tim Hortons! For my American readers, Tim Hortons is like a Dunkin' Doughnuts, only better. It is a Canada icon. I must have had at least a dozen maple dipped doughnuts (they are my favourite) over a 3 day span! Good thing we did a LOT of walking! (Side note: When did the small hot chocolate at Tim Hortons get so small? Seriously!)

The view from our hotel room!

The Hockey Hall of Fame was number one on our list (Ok, it was number one on my list, not Ryan's!). We spent a couple hours learning about the history of hockey and all the hockey greats. It was amazing to see memorabilia of events my dad talked about. Legends came to life before my eyes. It was a bit unnerving to see displays of events I remember in the Hall. Am I really that old, that things that happened when I was younger are now in a museum? Granted some of them were not that long ago (the winning hockey teams from the 2002 Winter Olympics). But others happened back when I was a teenager: I can remember when Wayne Gretzky scored the goal to set the record for most goals and that was a long time ago! And of course, we stopped to worship, oops! I mean view the Stanley Cup. There, on a stand, without any barriers, was the holy grail of Hockey. The Stanley Cup! We got to touch it, hug it, lick it (just kidding...kind of).

"My precious!"

We also visited the CN Tower. After paying an insane amount of money, we were able to go to the observation deck and get an amazing view of the city. Part of the floor is covered in glass, so you can see all the way to the ground. If you want to experience what it would be like to walk in the middle of air 112 stories up, this is the place for you. It took me a number of tries before I actually ventured out onto the floor. And even after I was on, if I looked down, I stumbled! Ryan said that walking on the glass floor was the most terrifying thing he has ever encountered (remember this guy has been to war...twice!).

Look down...waaaaaaaaaaaaay down!

Tree branches with the CN Tower in the background (I love this picture!)

In preparation for this trip, I did a lot of research. One thing that looked interesting was Habourfront Centre. It was supposed to have art exhibits, crafters, and quaint shops. Apparently, this is true only in the summer. When we got there nothing was open. So much for research! However, there was a skating pond and we decided to make the best of our trip down there. We rented skates and spent an hour skating alongside Lake Ontario, with a great view of the CN Tower.

We spent time at Kensington Market, wandering in and out of shops full of vintage clothes. We tried to go into a couple of the cheese shops there, but barely got in the door because the smell was so bad! We did find a great pastry shop and consumed way too many calories! Kensington Market is in Chinatown, and I tried to find a traditional Chinese dress. However, since the Chinese are small and I am not (I blame the doughnuts!), I did not succeed!

Our last night was spent at the Royal Ontario Museum, wandering through their natural history exhibits. Later that night, after eating dinner and returning to our hotel I got up close and personal with our toilet, spending some quality time sharing my dinner with it. (I no longer recommend the garlic potatoes at Jack Asters!) But the throwing up wasn't the worst part! The worst part was knowing that Ryan was eating the apple pie I had brought back from the restaurant to eat later on! But, being the ever thoughtful husband he is, he ate it out of my sight.

As with almost all vacations, this one ended way too quickly and we found ourselves on our way back home. As we drove out of Toronto, we had an amazing view of the skyline with the CN Tower right up front. Visiting Toronto made me realize how much I miss city life. The pulse of the city is contagious. There is so much to see and do. All you have to do in a city is walk out your front door and BAM! There it is: the city! It is so glamorous! If things go according to our plan, we should be in a city setting within 60 days. I can't wait! Only, I hope our new city doesn't have glass floors 112 stories above the ground. That is one feature I can do without!