Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Many Ways Merry Christmas Card
Browse our collection of Christmas card designs.
View the entire collection of cards.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Making Our House A Home

After we received our orders to stay at Ft. Sill, Jamie agreed to locate the "lost" stud-finder and help make our house a home.  I have a long list of things I still want to do, but we have accomplished a good bit with little money and a short amount of time.

~Homemade Chalkboard + Drippy Candles in Bottles = Thank-You, Pinterest~

We have a lot of big wall spaces in the house we are in now, and I don't think we moved a single piece of wall art from Georgia.  My friend Rachel encouraged (and inspired) me to create meaningful spaces based on who we are and where we've been.  I was really excited about this Opekta Jam print...10 points for knowing the history behind it. :) 

Rachel also encouraged me to hang my aprons in the kitchen.  It adds so much color to the room.  

And our favorite furniture shop in town had a mega sale last week.  I still haven't decided where I'm going to put it, but could you pass it up???

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October Coffee

Tonight's coffee was held at A Pigment of Your Imagination.   We all choose a piece of pottery to paint.  It was so much fun to see all of the creative ideas; kudos to the girls who hosted the event.

There was lots to chat about tonight, as today we found out where we will all be going (or staying).  Rachel and I are staying, along with some other sweet ladies.


We're putting our heads together to plan next month's coffee.  This month's activity will be hard to beat.

Stay tuned to see what our pottery looks like after the firing process.

And if pottery ain't your thang,
never fear!
In Lawton, 
quality questionable entertainment 
is always near.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Pioneer Woman Favorites

This past week was busy.  We weren't home Monday evening, Tuesday evening, Wednesday evening, or Thursday evening.  So last night, we were excited to stay home.  And I was excited to finally cook our own dinner. 

I made Cajun Chicken Pasta, from The Pioneer Woman Cooks website.  Dinner was served at 8:30, but it was really good--worth the wait.  I made this Cajun Spice Mix, and I used whole wheat fettuccine--which I'm positive negated the unhealthiness of the heavy whipping cream.  I do think that next time I will use less chicken and add some Polish sausage and shrimp.  I also think that this recipe tied with Fancy Macaroni for my all-time favorite PW recipe....another recipe that I feel is healthy because I use whole wheat macaroni.  I've made Fancy Macaroni four times, and, one time, I forgot the goat cheese.  We love goat cheese, but we actually liked the dish better without it.

I would love to know if you've tried any PW recipes, and if so, which ones are your favorites.  There isn't enough butter in Comanche County for me to try them all myself.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Life as of Late.

1. I've been spending way too much time on Pinterest.

2. I'm currently in the middle of a 4-day workshop, known as GSAS (Growing Spouses Army Strong).  Yes, we are learning more than which fork to use first, and what to wear to certain events.  It really has been great, and, as it's currently only offered at Ft. Sill, I feel very fortunate to be a part of it. 

3. Lawton's International Day was yesterday...

 It was a blast.

Complete with gyros,

and belly-dancing.

I know you want to come visit.  

4. Our spirits lifted when we found an excellent restaurant in a neighboring town.  Sharing the meal with our sweet friends made it even better.  

5. I've been busy organizing my treasures.  

It's okay. 

Be jealous.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

FSU vs OU: Part 2

Let me just begin by saying, it could have been worse.

This is my new friend, Rachel.  We were in the same unit at Benning, and we knew of each other, but we were both busy.  We were busy enjoying our time with our redeployed husbands.  And both of us were close to family, so we were busy driving home on the weekends to visit them.  

But now, we're in Lawton.  And we're realizing how much we have in common.  

So what if Rachel went to OU and I went to FSU?  We both have Converse shoes in our school colors. 

We both enjoy food.  All kinds of food.

Game Night Menu:

Artichoke & Spinach Dip 
Picadillo with Tortilla Chips
Veggies & Dip
Wing Street Wings
Garnet and Gold Cupcakes

If you would like the Oreo Football Cookie Balls recipe, you can simply click the link.  If you would like the Artichoke & Spinach Dip recipe, you'll have to chant "Florida State is still really great" at least five public.  The Picadillo recipe was, by the way, the most requested recipe of the evening.  It's one of my favorite appetizers, and the recipe is from my Uncle Chris.  We miss you, Uncle Chris!  Thank you for sharing your yummy recipe.

Give me one minute, and I'll be back on track. 

We have some more new friends,  Dave and Alyssa.  They are such a sweet couple.  And they aren't really fans of OU or FSU, so they agreed to come over and be our peacemakers...just in case things got out of hand.

Jamie and I were pretty good sports, as OU had a slight lead for most of the game.  The OU fans, well...what could they say?  They were expecting to have the lead.

So there was much shock, screaming, and excitement when FSU tied the game in the 4th quarter.

We had to send a picture-text to my friend Gina, the other second-grade teacher at my school.  She's a mega OU fan.

I'm glad that I'm a pretty fast texter, as our moment of glory didn't last long.

 Yes, OU scored.

And they won.

And that was it.  FSU played well.  OU played a bit better.  But both teams look good.  And we had a great time.  :)  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

FSU vs OU: Part 1

Well, the build-up to this game has been fun...

Now, it's game day. 


*enter scary music*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School Days

Jamie tells me, at least twice a week, that I need to upload some of our pictures from Amsterdam.

I tell him, at least twice a week, that my teaching job is jeopardizing my blogging career. 

I still haven't uploaded the pictures.

He still doesn't acknowledge my statement of concern.  I'm not sure he's heard me.

Speaking of my teaching job...

"Mrs. Bertolino, it looks like you didn't get a good night's sleep last night."

"Well, my sweet student, what makes you say that?"

"It has something to do with your eyes..."

Enter chorus of "Yes, Mrs. Bertolino, your eyes look tired today," along with 18 stories about nights when my students' third cousins and their great aunts have not gotten a good night's sleep.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crisp Air

We traveled to Baltimore, Maryland over the holiday weekend for Molly's wedding.  When we left Lawton, on Friday, the high was 110 degrees.  When we returned to Lawton, on Monday evening, it was 80 degrees.  And it was wonderful.

I love this time of year.  I love wearing jeans and a sweatshirt.  I love taking walks in the crisp, cool air.  I love making chili.  I love the excitement of college football.  I love Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  And I love knowing that Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner.

Feeling the crisp air, as we walked out of the airport, caused my mind flood with all of the things above.  And as I thought of all of those things, I watered up a little and squeezed Jamie's hand a bit tighter.

Two year ago, just as the air was turning crisp, he left for Iraq.  And he left me in Tallahassee, where I began classes at Florida State.  Thankfully, Will and Taylor (and so many other dear people) kept me company.  I'm so thankful for the times that we shared together.    

This year, the crisp air makes me miss Tallahassee...and Will and Taylor...and my classes at Florida State.  But that year, I missed Jamie.

And after Christmas (Floridians have the privilege of referring to winter as Christmas), and spring, and one brutal summer, the air started to turn crisp again.  And just when it was time to pull out the jeans and sweatshirts, it was time to drive to Georgia and welcome Jamie home.  Did I mention that I <3 the crisp air?       

Who knew that a change in weather could instantly ignite so many emotions?  (Jamie is learning, and at the speed of light.)  Happy cooler weather. :)  I hope that this weather is here to stay.  I hope that this season floods you with many wonderful memories; and I hope that it provides you with opportunities to make many more.   

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Healthy, Quick, Cheap & Oh So Yummy

This week is crazy.  I'm squaring away my lesson plans for next week, prepping my sub-plans for my meeting with my sub tomorrow, still trying to get into a groove with my class, packing for Molly's wedding and wrapping up the details for her big day...and keeping tomorrow night free to celebrate two years of marriage :)  Yes, FUN.

So when I made my grocery list last weekend, I planned quick and easy dinners for this week.  I just had to take a minute to share this one.  It was that good. 

I don't have pictures of the step-by-step cooking process (which in my kitchen, included dropping a bowl of black beans, shattering the bowl, and vacuuming up beans), but, if this isn't fancy enough for ya, you can check out the post that made my mouth water.  

Step 1:  Cook brown rice. 
I cooked 1 cup since it's just the two of us.  Actually...Jamie cooked it for us--so it was warm and ready when I walked through the door.  (He's so helpful...and he hates having to wait on dinner :)

Step 2:  Warm up a can of rinsed and drained black beans.  I hope it's as simple as that for you :)

Step 3:  Mix together:
3 large peaches, skinned and diced
1/4 red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch of chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt to taste

Step 4:  Layer rice, beans and peach salsa.  We topped with green onions because we had them and we are fans.  Enjoy!  

And now, because we feel so great, we're going out for a run. :)  

Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Weekend + Phoenix

This weekend, I was hoping that it would be cool enough for me to go outside to take some pictures of Lawton.  But the high today is 108 degrees.  If you want to see Lawton, you'll just have to come visit. 

So now, my fun weekend to-do list consists of 1) Learning how to walk in these...

and 2) Finishing this.  My list is short, but I'm sure you'll agree that I have my work cut out for me.  And just in case you were wondering, I can't seem to locate my not-so-fun to-do list.    

Since I don't have any pictures of Lawton to share, here are some pictures from my recent trip to Phoenix.   (I've already grown to love many things about Lawton, but rest assured that you're probably getting the better end of this deal.)

I was expecting Phoenix to have cacti, but I didn't realize that the city is in a valley, surrounded by mountains. 

We hiked up and around a few of the mountains.  There were times when I felt accomplished, and there were times when I felt like I was going to die.  I was there in late July and early August; it was dry, but H-O-T.

We loved chasing the sunsets.   

The week I spent in AZ was probably one of the most relaxing weeks of my life.  It was wonderful.  Just revisiting these pictures is relaxing me...or maybe it's the Korean food that I just consumed...all I know is ZZZZZzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mattie!

Guess who's turning 8 today???

Madalynn Joyce Harmon.

We call her Mattie.

Mattie is the baby of our family,

but she has enough personality to keep up with the rest of us!

She's daring, 

she's a great sport, 

and she gives the best Christmas gifts.
(Will is wearing Mattie's gift to him, Christmas 2010)

We all love Mattie...

even when we aren't really sure what she thinks of us.

Dear Mattie,

We hope that you have a happy,

 Happy Birthday!

Jamie says, "Don't act wild and crazy!" 

We wish that we could be there to celebrate with you!  WE LOVE YOU BUNCHES!!!

Jamie & Laramie