Saturday, July 25, 2009


Okay so I noticed yesterday that my next post was gonna be my 100th. You may ask yourself what the big deal is? But according to blog etiquette everyone has a giveaway for the 100th post, a blogaversary, and of course, any other time you feel like it. So I am having a giveaway!!! The way to win is by doing a couple of things:

1. Leave a comment - that gives you one entry
2. Follow my blog - that gives you one entry
3. List 10 of your favorite things on your own blog - that gives you five entries

All of this must be done on or before the 1st of August, one winner will be drawn on the 2nd of August.

Now what is the contest? I've been toying with this idea for some time, actually I think I have been since I started blogging nine months ago (that means I'll have another giveaway in just a short three months). I think I will do a 100 of my favorite things.

See I love the movie 'The Sound of Music' and my favorite song from that movie is 'My Favorite Things', or something like that. But you know the one I'm talking about....'these are a few of my favorite things'. Any way, so I thought it would be cool to list some of my favorite things, 100 to be here goes.


1. The Sound of Music
2. Books
3. Scented candles
4. Pictures
5. Cross stitch
6. Crochet
7. Reading
8. Peace and quiet
9. Autumn
10. Country music
11. Mexican food
12. Baby feet
13. The desert after a rain shower
14. The sound of thunder rolling down the canyons
15. The sound of rain on the roof
16. Baby's laughter
17. Italy
18. LDS Temples
19. Family
20. Friends
21. Sleeping
22. My husband
23. A comfortable chair
24. Sundays
25. Gelato
26. Fresh baked bread
27. The smell of lavendar
28. Lip balm
29. Cinnamon and Pumpkin scented candles
30. Lavander scented candles
31. Fresh laundry
32. Vampire books
33. Romance novels
34. Historical fiction
35. Sitting outside in the shade on my swing
36. Latin music
37. Italian music
38. Tender moments
39. Funny moments
40. The movie Grease
41. The tv show Grey's Anatomy
42. Crime shows
43. Comedies
44. Betty Boop
45. Teddy bears
46. Bunny rabbits
47. Souvenior thimbles
48. Bags and purses
49. Baskets
50. Diet Pepsi
51. Ice cold water
52. Warm showers
53. A nice back rub
54. Grandma's baby blankets
55. Children's singing
56. Children's laughter
57. New scrapbook paper
58. Scrapbooks
59. The first day of school
60. Blogging
61. Rubber stamps
62. Stickers
63. Crossword puzzles
64. Suduko
65. Hidden object games on the computer
66. Roller Coaster computer game
67. Nora Roberts books
68. Any movie with Vin Diesel
69. The movie Dirty Dancing
70. Long hair on little girls
71. Gerald N. Lund books
72. Tom Clancy novels
73. Shelves to put nicnacs
74. Baby dolls
75. Backyard BBQs
76. Kabobs
77. Daddy's steak
78. Mom's macaroni salad
79. Grandma Crook's potato salad
80. Grandma Berkley's zucchini casserole
81. The sound of Grandma Crook knitting
82. The sound of Grandma Berkley's voice
83. Grandpa Berkley's garden
84. Grandpa Crook's teasing
85. My parents
86. Dave's parents
87. The ability to read
88. The legacy that my ancestors have left me
89. My testimony of Jesus Christ
90. The USA
91. The opportunities I have been given to travel to other countries
92. Star Trek
93. My rocking chair
94. Facebook
95. Family history
96. Arthritis (yes, I am thankful for my arthritis)
97. Talented people
98. Kind people
99. Loving people

And last but not least

100. ME


Now what will the winner receive? A box containing some of my favorite things. Remember to post on your own blog, follow my blog, leave a comment, and most important....have fun!!

Good Luck Everyone!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Take Me Out Back and Shoot Me

Seriously, I really wish someone would take me out back and shoot me. I have been hackin' up a lung for five days now, but it feels like an eternity!! I have kept my family up with my barking and the dogs in the neighborhood howl every time I cough. My head feels like it is going to explode. The muscles in my abdomen feel like they have done a million sit ups and a million crunches. I can't sleep for coughing so much. I can't lie down, I can't sit up, I just want to die. The pain which I experience on a daily basis is five times worse because of this stupid cough. I know that this will pass and that I will get better soon, but right now I just feel like I will never get over this.

Okay, so besides being sick, we are anxiously waiting for Dave's job interview on Monday. Yes, he has an interview for a position back at Hill AFB in Utah. We are desperate to get back to the states and even back to Utah. Yes, I just said "WE ARE DESPERATE TO GET BACK TO UTAH"!!!! For those of you that know us, know that we haven't had very good experiences in Utah, but we are willing to let them lay in the past and start anew. We will never complain again about anything there after our experiences here in Italy.

Don't get me wrong we have loved being here in Italy, the people are wonderful, the country is amazing and we have seen and done some things that we would never have been able to do or see any where else in the world. Obviously!!! But we have had some serious health issues here and we need to get back to the world of real doctors and be able to choose the care that we need. We need to have the medical facilities available to us that we obviously don't have here.

The girls are all anxious to get back to the states where they will be close to family and be able to get on with their lives. Things for them have kind of been put on hold because of the lack of availablity to civilians.

Wish us luck and pray for all of us. We have spent much time in prayer and fasting for our family as well as family members and friends all over the world. We have been richly blessed by our Heavenly Father and are thankful for the experiences we have had here, the good as well as the bad. We have become a stronger family and become more self-reliant. We look forward to seeing all of our family and friends soon. We hope to be able to hook up again with friends that we have met here in Italy and have had to say good-bye to.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Well, the fourteenth was Kaitlyn's 10Th birthday. I can't believe my baby is a whole decade old, a double digit! It seems like just yesterday that we were being told that we were expecting a surprise. And what a surprise she was too because two years before we had been told the chances of us getting pregnant again were slim to none. What a blessing she has been to our family! Our family had been through so many tragedies, disappointments and trials the previous six years or so that the Lord decided to send this little miracle to us. She brought the smiles back, the laughter, the joys, and the happiness back into our family. We feared losing her before she was even born. I went into labor with her at 18 weeks and so I spend the next several months in bed. I did EVERYTHING the doctor told me to do so that she would grow to full term. She was still a tiny baby at barely 5 pounds and a tiny 17 1/2 inches long. At 10 days she aspirated and had a second degree seizure. Dave had to resuscitate her with CPR and saved her life. Yes, she truly is a miracle to us. We love her so much!!! We hope she had a wonderful birthday and many many more to come.

Kaitlyn loves to play with bouncy balls, write poems and stories, draw pictures, watch movies, snuggle with Mom, be read to each night before bed, go places with her family, and just be a girl. She likes to spend time with her family and friends. She loves school, but hates homework. She loves stories, but hates to read. She is learning sign language, spanish, italian, and crocheting.

Kaitlyn has enjoyed her 2 1/2 years here in Italy. She has made so many friends, but has had to say good-bye to many of them since their parents PCS to other places. She misses her grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends that she has in Utah and can't wait to get back.

Kaitlyn wants to be a writer when she grows up. She has grown several inches since we moved here to Italy, she is 4 feet 5 inches tall. Not too much more and she'll be as tall as her mom, 5 feet 1 inch!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fourth of July Celebrations....NOT!!

The day started nice and sunny, but by noon the clouds had rolled in over the mountain and we knew the afternoon thundershowers were on their way. Dave, Aimee and Wendy managed to get out canopy set up over our table for the craft fair in the spinkles and rain that fell from the dark clouds. Dave then rushed home to get me, Kaitlyn and all of our other stuff. When we got back to the base it was sprinkling a little bit. We set up and were ready for customers by 315. We sat and sat and sat and sat.........and sat for several hours. Thank goodness I took more crocheting to work on because it was a VERY LONG DAY. The sun made an appearance for a little while, but those dark clouds loomed over the mountains like a bad dream. We had several people stop by our "booth" to take a look at our wares, Aimee's paintings and drawings, Wendy's photography, and my crocheting and cross stitch, but no sells. At about 730 a couple of little girls came by and wanted to buy something small, Wendy sold a small cross stitch pieces she made about 10 years ago and I sold a couple of cross stitched magnets. A whole $10 is what we sold. BUMMER!!! We broke even, the entry fee was $10. I don't think the craft fair was advertised as well as it could have been and it was the first year. At about 815 we started cleaning up and the thunder rolled and the lightening crashed and the rain came down in buckets!! The canopies were trying to blow away and so we had to hold them down and rush to get things put away and help each other. Dave was stuck at home because it was HAILING and the wind was so bad that he couldn't get the gate open long enough to back out of the driveway. When he finally showed up we were in a mad dash to load the car and get the canopy down, we had lots of help, the Reiker and Stevens families helped to get everything loaded in our car. Thanks everyone!!

The celebrations included a battle of the bands. When did music become so load and screechy that you couldn't understand it? I thought I was gonna go insane listening to that. There were 8 bands and they each had about 20 minutes to impress the judges. OH MY HECK!!! Most of the music was screaming and screeching guitars. There were maybe two songs that I could actually hear what was being sung. One of the bands, The Originals, was pretty good and they won the competition. One of Dave's co-workers, Dave, had a son that was in that band, so my Dave was pretty happy that they won. And of course, the other Dave was a proud father.

Dave and Kaitlyn had a good time checking out the games and food most of the day. The ward was having a party at the pool that night as well, so Dave took Kaitlyn over there so she could go swimming. She was able to swim for 20 minutes before they were kicked out. They had a good time despite the weather. They were able to spend quality one-on-one time together.

We were all exhausted by the time we all got home. Dave ended up sick with a cold, Kaitlyn was trying to get over a cold and so she was back to being sick again, Aimee and Wendy were just plain exhausted, and I was in enough pain that I didn't care one bit about anything for a couple of days. But over all we had a great Fourth of July. Sorry there are no pictures, we forgot the camera. Hope everyone had a great holiday!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Lots to catch up on

I don't remember if I updated everyone on Dave's situation. About a month ago he was having problems with tingling in his left arm and fingers. This had been going on for about a week or two and he was getting concerned because of the family history of heart issues and diabetes. He made a doctors appointment, that alone concerned me because he NEVER goes to the doctor unless he is REALLY sick. Any way, the doctor ordered blood work and a stress test. We waited a couple of days and he was feeling like it was getting worse so the doctors' nurse told him to go to the ER in Pordenone. We spent 10 hours there hooked up to cardiac monitors and waited for the cardiologist to appear. Italy is VERY laid back and their philosophy is we will get to it when we get to it. Any way, when he FINALLY saw the cardiologist, who was all of 20 years old, she told us there was no evidence of cardiac problems. YEAH!!! Dave went ahead a did the stress test as ordered by the doctor, and everything was great!! There is NO sign of cardiac problems, so far no diabetes. His cholesterol is a little high but the doctor didn't seem to be too concerned about it, told him to continue riding his bike and watch his diet.

I believe that the tingling in his arm and fingers is due to carpal tunnel.

We have signed up for the craft fair here on base for the 4th of July. I have tried to get as many baby outfits done as I could to sell, and I will be taking orders as well. I also decided to sell the cross stitch projects that I have completed over all these years. Aimee and Wendy are also going to be selling some of their paintings and photos. We are all excited to participate in this activity. I just hope that it doesn't rain all day.

An update on my arthritis I suppose is about due. The doctor put me on Mobic, an arthritis medication, for a month and it didn't really help and it also caused some side affects that I wasn't too thrilled about. So for now we are just trying to manage my pain, not too successfully right now, but oh well. I am looking forward to returning to the states and finding a doctor that specializes in arthritis. Last November I was able to go to the gym and do some walking and exercises. I was really enjoying it and feeling a bit better, the pain was a bit managable. But since January I have not been able to go and sometimes I am lucky to walk down the stairs. Of course, some days are better than others. I do what I can, when I can and try not to do too much when I am having a good day.