Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Tag

Ok, I guess I have been tagged which means I am supposedto do this questioneer thing, thanks Julie. I was going to totally ignore it but since it is sort of like a game and I am a stickler about rules of games I feel I must comply. So, here it is.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, I like to mix it up.

2. Real tree or artificial? Hmm, by choice would always do real but to be practical we have artificial.

3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving

4. When do you take the tree down? Right after the 1st of the year.

5. Do you like egg nog? Yep, but not the fat free kind they sell in the store, it scares me. If it is fat free then it can't really be egg nog, it is just nog and that is wrong.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I don't really know. I do remember when I got my Cabage Patch Doll. I had seen it on my moms bed before Christmas and told my sis and she told my mom who then bought this really ugly doll (I know Cabage patch dolls are really ugly but at the time I loved them). When we opened the gifts I could not understand where the CPdoll was and everyone said I must have seen this ugly one and mistaken it for a CPdoll. Then after I sat and moped and even cried a little the brought it out. I still say it was a very cruel trick but my dark side can see the amusement in it.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Carl, he always says he doesn't need anything.

8. Easiest person to buy for? My kids, they are even excited when I buy them new socks at the store so Christmas is the best thing in the world. Does that indicate they are deprived? I am just happy they are so appreciative.

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Not yet.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? I have done both.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Lets see, my mom used to wrap everything she bought arround Cristmas so I think I got tightts or socks one year. She also used to wrap parts to present seperatly like the batteries and stuff so we would have more to open. I guess I am not as appreciative as my kids. We always got other great stuff though.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Elf

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Ocotober or November.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No. I did get a recycled present for our wedding though. When we opened the gift there was another card inside the box with someone else's name. I don't know who gave it to us but I still remember the gift.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Hmmm, what must be at every Holiday dinner are my dads rolls, they are awesome and it isn't a Shull holiday without them.

16. Lights on the tree? Yes, but white only. I cannot stand colored lights!!! (Keeping Julie's answer for this one)

17. Favorite Christmas song? There are so many.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We open one in the evening from a family member, it is our tradition. Santa comes at night so how could we open presents before Christmas morning? duh!

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Commercials they try to be all sentimental and it really bugs me. Especially the car commercials. Who is seriously buying a car for someone for Christmas. I know it happens but it seems really unlikely.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? My tree is green, gold and red.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Crown roast, it is so pretty and festive looking. I also like Prime rib.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Carl to be home and to know where we are going to be for the next couple of years. Yes, it was supposed to be set but now some things are up in the air again. Also I think I want Wii fit, anyone have a review of it for me?

26. Who I tag: I wouldn't do this except it is here so I feel it is part of the rules and therefore I am required to comply. So I tag Ally and Katie.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Carl wrote a letter about his trip and I thought I would post it for everyone.

Hi all, Well I am in the Horn of Africa, have been for the last week or so. It is really interesting. I flew in on a military flight from Bahrain. From the air I saw the water looked really nice, which with a diving addiction like mine really is a good sign. Then we hit land, I have never seen so much trash in my life. The people here live in squaller, actually I think that they live in a level below squaller. In order to keep the inhabitants in line they condone the use of cot, which is a fairly powerful cross between meth and weed. It comes in the form of green leaves that they much on like a huge dip of chewing tobacco. Lovely I know. The government uses this as a form of crowd suppression since they have around 60% unemployment. The American base is pretty interesting in and of itself. It had been raining for several days before I arrived so everything was muddy, there are not roads on the base, just dirt paths that are purely suggestions. The whole base is on the flight line that is shared with the french and us. So we get twice the number of jets, and the French Mirage is really loud. I am living in a shipping container with a bed and an A/C, the conditions are only slightly better than Eric's. When I got to the first container (CLU) there was a sign on the window that said "Military Working Dog", I thought that was weird and I went in, and sure enough there was a crate and someone else's stuff. I close the door and head back to the housing office and get a new CLU (Yes you can insert any pun you want here). This CLU was full of water there was about 1-2 inches on the floor. Apparently the Navy overlooked the fact that there is a rainy season here. We got busy working, I have a new employee working here and I came to train her. I was able to go out into town to the Bizarre. That was a lot of fun. I picked up some African goods. Kraus you are right, if you have been to one bizarre, you have been to them all. Kraus you would be super proud of me, I bartered with people and got it so low that they called me a Russian, because the Americans would have payed higher prices. I got a chess set for little Carl, he is learning it in school and has taken a keen liking to it. I got the girls some figurines, and for us a carved Rhino. Since the place closes down on Veteran Day, I signed up to feed my addiction and go diving. We did two exceptional dives, who would have know there was such good diving here. After the dives we went snorkeling with whale sharks, that is right whale sharks. They migrate through this time of year. I was able to swim with a juvenile only about 12 feet in length and another about 20 feet in length. It was truly amazing to be so close to such a large fish. They are completely docile, one even got kicked in the head by and unsuspecting swimmer. I have some not so good pics of the whale shark that I will be posting to the blog when I get back to civilization. I am heading back to Bahrain in the morning and hoping to be home by Thanksgiving. I love you all, Carl

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election Day

One of the reasons I came home when I did was so that I could be able to vote. We got in late last night and with the time difference and the excitement of seeing their toys again I gave in and let the kids stay up a little late. I had a whole list of things to do today, most importantly vote but I also kind of needed to get groceries since the only thing in my cupboard was grey poupon (which expired in 2006), beans and some teddy grahams. Okay, there was some other stuff but it is two years old. When I woke up the kids were still sleeping so I thought I could have the sitter come, I would run and vote and then get a few groceries and come home to feed the kids. I arrive at the school and go to the line, which is the middle of the real line, it goes down the hall and starts on the other side of the school. When I get to the end of the line a sweet man is giving a speech about how it will probably be three hours and there is nothing that can be done about it so please do not get angry while waiting. So I start the day there. Since as aforementioned there were no groceries in the house I only grabbed a coke that Carl had left when he was here last and that was my breakfast. I was still in line when lunch came and still in line four hours after arriving, I could smell McDonald's from down the street and my stomach actually craved it, I know almost as bad as just a coke for breakfast. There was a woman a few spots ahead of me who had potato chips and I had to keep myself from pouncing on them, and I really don't like potato chips. In line I was with two other women from our subdivision so it was nice to meet neighbors. I was really impressed with how calm everyone was, there was grumbling but I was also a grumbler and felt it was understandable as four and a half hours in line crept upon us. There were women in line with their children, I was so impressed with them. My children would have been running around in circles after the first ten minutes and these kids behind me were so good for their mom, I really must be doing something wrong. I felt bad for some who came and saw the line, heard how long it would take and said they could not do it and chose to leave. But mostly I was impressed by those who felt it was important enough to call work and just let them know that they were going to be longer than planned because they had to vote. I finally got to vote and left almost five hours after getting into line. Lightheaded from nothing to eat and stressed to return my rental car I had driven from the Jacksonville airport to Charleston I went to Cathy's house and she came with me and gave me a ride home where I then got into the van to drive to the grocery store and finally pick up some much needed groceries and pizza for the kids for dinner. Thankfully they had eaten while I was gone since my awesome sitter Shelby realized when I did not come home (I don't have a cellphone or any phone for that matter yet) she should get food for them and had her sister walk over cereal and milk for breakfast and then Cathy who finished voting before me brought over popcorn and apple juice for them. I get in the van and back up , hearing some strange noises and feeling the car is driving funny I stop to investigate. Now, this is a car Carl bought while here, a month ago, this is the first time I am driving it.....ever. I get out and look around and see that the back tire is completely flat. I park it and take Carl's truck instead. I get to the pizza place to order and realize I don't have my wallet....back to home get the wallet back to pizza and groceries. It is now six thirty and up til now I still have only had one coke all day so I started getting light headed and dizzy. Deciding it was time to get home and eat I picked up just the essentials and went home with pizza. Shelby, my sitter had called her dad and he filled up my tire so now I just have to see if it was a fluke or if it will be flat again tomorrow when I have to take them to school to register. The kids ate, I ate and now they are showered and in bed and I am now debating whether I should start the daunting task of unpacking and laundry or just fall into bed and pass out leaving these mundane tasks to tomorrow.