Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Weighing in - Weeks 13 & 14

Let's just say that I've allowed the holidays to get the best of me.  I lost my willpower to say NO THANK YOU.  I quit working out at the gym and let the holiday blues kick in.  I was excited to have still eaten a few treats two weeks and ago and still lose weight.  But then I gave up and gained it all back this week.  For that, I'm not happy.  But I am going to move forward and get back to the gym today. I'm tired of hovering at the same number. 

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 10 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 11 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 12 - lost 0.0 pounds
Week 13 - lost 1.4 pounds
Week 14 - gained 1.4 pounds

 
TOTAL LOST - 12.8pounds

Only 72.2more pounds to go!

Tammy

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Coke Jar - 6 Months

I've been beginning to wonder if 6 months of deployment would ever roll around.  Ever since I booked our R&R vacation to Mauritius time has stood still.  So I've tried to quit thinking about it so much.  But when the weather is soooo cold, it's hard not to think that we will soon be on an island enjoying 85 degree weather!! 

Slowly but surely the jar is filling up!
Month 1 and 2

Month 3 and 4

 
Month 5 and 6
Tammy

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Arrival--Ashleigh Peyton DeLong

This afternoon, my newest friend arrived into the world.  Meet Ashleigh Peyton DeLong.  She was born at 2:59 p.m., weighed almost 8 pounds, and was 51 centimeters long!  She and mom have had a long day, but they are both healthy and doing well.  Irma was a brave woman and delivered Ashleigh alone.  Her husband, Bill, is currently serving our country in Afghanistan and won't be home for R&R until next week, and her mom was out in the hallway trying to keep her other two children under control.  I can't wait for daddy to meet his new daughter. 


She is quickly becoming a thumb sucker, which Irma does NOT want to have happen.  so we're introducing her to the binky TODAY!
Ashleigh is our field training baby.  Back in March, 2 SCR was sent to Hohenfels for 3 1/2 weeks for a training excercise to prove to the commander that they were ready for deployment.  One morning, Bill and Jared came to Vilseck to pick up some supplies that they forgot and to bring some soldiers home so they could go on emergency leave.  Before they left, Irma and I were blessed with the opportunity to see our husbands for a few minutes.  While Jared and I didn't get the job done, Ashleigh was conceived!!

So far Ashleigh is a very obedient child.  According to dad, she had to be born on the 7th, 17th, or 27th because everyone esle in the family has a 7 in their date of birth.  And that she did!


Tammy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weighing in - Week 12

Wow!  I've forgotten how difficult it is to diet during the holidays.  There are Christmas parties to attend, Christmas markets to visit, cookie exchanges to participate in, dinners to join, goodies to eat at school, etc.  While I have pretty good will power, it's just not working for me this week.  I haven't been able to resist a piece of Key Lime pie, fudge, snickerdoodles, chocolate nut clusters, etc.  NO T GOOD!  Today, I left work feeling awful.  The sugar was only getting me through the final minutes of work as well as giving me a huge headache.   Thank goodness for a trip to the gym where I was able to rejuvinate and burn and few calories.   Tomorrow I'm going to bring lots of fruit to work and see if I can resist all the goodies.  

As for this week's weight loss, it didn't happen and there is nobody to blame but ME!  On the positive side, I didn't gain anything either!!  A new week is ahead.  I hope I make several better food choices.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 10 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 11 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 12 - lost 0.0 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 12.8pounds

Only 72.2more pounds to go!

Tammy

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Newest Marathon Runner

One of Jared's goals has been to run a marathon.  This year he ran his first 1/2 marathon on his birthday (September 11th).  About a month ago, he told me he signed up to run a marathon before Christmas.  Personally, I thought he was crazy.  Most people spend a lot of time preparing for one of these events, and I knew that his work schedule wouldn't allow him the time to go for long runs in preparation for this big event.  Once again, I couldn't  convince him to hold off.  He told me to quit worrying and that he would be fine!  He promised me that he would stop if he hurt himself or started feeling serious pains of some sort.  He also told me that his goal was just to finish and had 5 hours to do so.  If he wasn't done by then, a vehicle would come by to pick him up.

This morning was the day of the race.  Jared and two other coworkers set out to run their very first marathon in Afghanistan at 4 a.m.  I believe the course was set up so that they ran around the FOB twice.  This included running past the "poo pond."  The "poo pond" is exactly that--a pond where the backed up sewage goes.  That must have quite the refreshing smell!  lol  Jared ran the race and did a great job.  Below are his comments:

"I just finished my first full marathon. I finished in 4hours 47min I am glad I could run this race to blow off a little steam. Being in Afghanistan can be a drag so I got to keep finding things to do. I was listening to my mp3 player and Lee Greenwoods song came on it really made me feel good while i was running to listen to his song."


Then a few hours later, he said:
"my body aches because of the marathon or maybe im just getting old!"
 
Way to go Jared!  I love you and hope you recover quickly!
 
Tammy


Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Anniversary

One year ago today, Jared and I were sealed in the Bern, Switzerland temple.  What a wonderful experience it was to knee across the alter from my best friend and to be sealed to him for time and all eternity.  Knowing that we will be a forever family as long as we keep our covenants brings great peace to me since he is currently serving in a war zone.  I like to think he is safe, but I know that no one is ever SAFE there.  Rockets are regularly flying overhead and accountability checks are regularly conducted. 


A special thanks to my mom and dad for flying out to Gemany to be a part of this special occassion.  I know they made a lot of sacrifices to do so. 
My parents flew to Germany to go through the temple with us!
Speaking of Jared, I haven't given an update or shared any FACEBOOK posts on him for a long time.  I guess that because there usually isn't anything new to report.  Whenever I talk to him, he is FINE but tired.  We get to Skype most Sundays at the crack of dawn, which has been fun even if I'm halfway asleep because we get to see each other. We are getting very excited to meet up in one month on a sunny resort island!  Below are some recent (or not so recent posts):

September 24, 2010
I scored a 275 on my pt test a small increase from last time. New personal best on the two mile run 13:49. I hope I can continue to increase al the way to 300

September 26, 2010
I tried to be anonymous while attending church in afghanistan but it just didnt work. A couple of weeks after I got here i was asked to speak in church. I spoke in church today on everything that happens has a purpose and the lord has a plan in mind

October 22, 2010
I am not sure why I have become a target in the Afganistan millitary branch of the mchurch.First I had to speak and shortly after speaking they asked me to be a counselor in the elders quorum presidency. They must have lowered their standards to call me

October 22, 2010Im being a little sarcastic, of course in that last post. I gladly accepted the calling just a little shocked I would be considered for it 

October 27, 2010
Why does time seem to be moving so slow right now. I cant wait for the holidays to be over then I know I will be out of this dirty, dusty, smelly place they call afghanistan for awhile

October 28, 2010
The joys of speaking in church on sunday. Just got notice I have to give a twenty minute talk on sunday. I guess they must have liked the last time I spoke, because its only a few weeks later and im speaking again.

November 9, 2010
tammy jackson the dvd you sent me for our anniversary with the photos and music almost made me cry. Keep trying ha ha ha!! Thank you for the wonderful anniversary present.

November 15, 2010
Had a great saturday went to the soldier of the month board and won it. I also scored a 279 on the pt test. I am trying to inch up to 300 its just hard to run faster when you get old like me. I have less than two months and R&R will be happening cant wait

November 24, 2010
No snow here in Afghanistan, a little chilly and lots of dust. A horrible smell is usually in the air in the morning blowing over from the sewage drain pond. Wish I was in the middle of a snow storm right now

November 25, 2010
Thanksgiving was not the greatest over here, they ran out of turkey when i got into the dining facility. I had prime rib and crab cakes and sweet potatoe pie. None of the food that was there could take the place of being with family and friends. The food doesnt taste like home cooked food. More like a british meal in afghanistan. Stuffing tasted nothing like stuffing and did not look like stuffing

December 1, 2010
just over a month left and I will get to leave this dusty, dirty, smelly and overall dump called afghanistan for a few weeks, then right back at it. Cant wait to get out of here

December 10, 2010
Less than a month before I go on leave cant wait to get away from here for awhile the final countdown for leave seems to be taking a long time.

As you can see from his more recent posts, he is really anxiously awaiting to get out of Afghanistan for a few days!


Tammy

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weighing in - Week 11

This week presented new challenges.  It started snowing here almost two weeks ago and it won't quit.  I shovel in the morning before work, during my lunch break, and after work!  As a result, I haven't been to the gym.  But I may develop a few arm muscles this winter.  The sun MUST come out and melt the snow before it can snow anymore because the piles are up to my waist, and the snow is so heavy that I can't keep shoveling it anymore without hurting myself. 

By the time I get through shoveling, I'm starving and don't want to wait to fix a healthy dinner.  As a result, I have eaten a lot of processed meals.  I've stayed within my allotted points, but I can tell that my body is craving something much more healthy.  I guess I'm going to have to stock up on freezer foods again or start using my crockpot more often.  Anyone have any good crockpot  meals?? 

All in all it as an okay week...
Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 10 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 11 - lost 0.6 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 12.8pounds

Only 72.2more pounds to go!

Tammy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Fun Trivia

Now that the holiday season is out in full force, how are you coming along?
Hours spent decorating :7 (It takes a long time when you don't have any help!)
Fire roasted nuts consumed: 3 packages
Christmas Markets Attended: 2 (Thurn and Taxi in Regensburg and Schloss Guteneck in Guteneck)
Christmas Movies already viewed: None--I need to get going
Christmas books read:  7
Times through the iTunes Christmas Playlist: Quit counting
Inches of snow on the ground: 12+ in a week and more in the future predicted
Falls on the ice/snow: 1
Hours shoveling: 5
Cups of Hot Chocolate consumed: 1
Gifts ordered: ALL
Gifts wrapped: Alomst Done
Gifts Mailed: NONE yet but need to get going
Trips Planned: 1 to Mauritius in January 2011
Late Delays/Early Releases/No work days:  6 out of 7 days!

This year is going to be a very low key Christmas for me.  Since Jared is not going to be here for Christmas and since his R&R is in mid January, we decided to forgo Christmas gifts and save our money to take a nice vacation during his break.  We are going to Mauritius.  It is a resort island South of the Equator and East of Madigascar in the Indian Ocean.  We are so excited!  The weather is supposed to be 30 degrees Celsuis (86 degrees F) while the water temperature is 22 degrees Celsius (72 degrees F).

Tammy

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tis the Season

I know that Winter doesn't officially start until  December 21st, but it has officially arrived in Vilseck, Germany.  Last week was crazy.  On Monday it started snowing so hard and fast that the school and military base shut down at 1 p.m.  Tuesday ended up being a 2 hour delay to give people more time to shovel their driveways and get to work safely.  It snowed so much on Wednesday night that they cancelled school on Thursday.  Then Friday ended up being another 2 hour delay as well.  This week is following suit.  Today was a two hour delay and a early release (we left as soon as the students were gone).  And just now, I received another phone call about a 2 hour delay in the morning due to the snow that is currently falling!! 

While the snowy scenery is beautiful to look at, I have spent 15 Euros ($20) on phone calls this week informing staff members of these delays.  Our home phone plan is ridiculous.  I can call the United States for free.  However, I can only call the people with the same prefix as me for free within my base.  The majority of people that I call from work and church do not have my same prefix.  The bad thing is that our phone company has a monopoly on us military folk as there isn't another phone company to change to.  I think I'm going to have to get a 2nd job to pay for my current job's phone bill.


Oh, and did I mention that I'm not enjoying having to shovel snow off of 2 driveways alone?  It's the pits.  Maybe by the end of winter I will have strong arm, shoulder, and back muscles.  lol

Have a great night!

Tammy

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Schloss Guteneck Christmas Market

This post is a week late...But on Saturday after Thanksgiving, Irma and I took her two kids to the 1st Christmas Market of the holiday season.  One thing you must know about Germany is that EVERY town has its own Christmas market during the holiday season.  It may last for one day or it may go from Thanksgiving weekend until Christmas Eve.  Most of the markets are very similar..they all decorate with lots of lights and festive decorations as well as sell food and other knick knacks.  However, each market does have its own uniqueness about it such as where the event is held (in a castle, on the town, etc,), the food that is special to that town, or its festivities such as parades and carnival rides.  Neither one of us have ever gone to the Schloss Guteneck Christmas Market, so we thought we'd give it a try. 


It is nestled inside a courtyard and began with a parade with several hundred market folk, historical clubs, parades of fanfare teams and various music groups. 
Then the fun began.  As we were walking along the path and admiring the crafts, ornaments, crystal, etc. being sold at each of the different booths, Lizzy found the camel ride.  She really wanted to ride the camel but backed down once her mother told her she couldn't go with her as she was 9 months pregnant!  I told her I that I would go with her, but she was too scared.  Then out of nowhere, Mikaela decided that she wanted to go with me.  I knew I couldn't back down even though I was a tad bit scared.  I had ridden a camel up Mount Sinai when I went to Egypt and didn't care for the experience, but I was trying to make it sound fun for the kids (I'll think twice next time).  So off we went.
  
The camel held very still while Mikaela got off, but then he decided to move away from the stand while I tried to hop off!
Enough fun for me!!!  In the air is the fresh smell of lots of yummy food.  Fried doughnuts, langochs, and fire roasted almonds and peanuts!!
YUMMY--fire roasted almonds and peanuts!
  Before long, the kids were frozen and begging to go home!  A fun day was had by all!

Tammy

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Weighing in - Week 10

Thanksgiving day came and went.  I didn't deprive myself of any food that I wanted to eat.  However, I did make sure to eat normal meals beforehand so I wasn't starving and I took small portions of everything that I wnated to eat.  YES, I even indulged in pumpkin pie and a pecan tartlet!  That wasn't all.  On Saturday, my friend Irma and I went to our first Christmas market of the season to Schloss Guteneck, Germany, and enjoyed a couple fried doughnuts and shared a Langosch.  Langoschs are a very yummy German treat.  It is a very large scone with either cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on it or it can me more like a pizza with paprika, mozzarella cheese, and a garlic sour cream dressing.

Since I knew I would be eating a little different this weekend, I made sure to up my excerise to compensate for the sweets that I knew I would eat.  Let's face it.  If I give up on all sweets during the holiday season, this diet is surely not going to last very long.  When I got on the scales this morning, I was pleased to see that I had actually lost a fair amount of weight for me. 

Can I keep it up for the remainder of the year??  I'd love to lose 10 pounds during the holiday season instead of gain 10 pounds that many people do.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 10 - lost 1.8 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 12.2 pounds


Only 72.8 more pounds to go!

Tammy

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Coke Jar--5 Months Down

Okay.  So I'm two weeks late in this post.  Jared keeps asking how the Coke jar is feeling up.  While Ia consistenly put money into this jar each week, it doesn't appear to be filling up very quickly.  Likewise, time almost feels like it has been at a standstill.  I'm beginning to wonder if January will ever get here!  I can't wait to spend two weeks on a sunny beach with Jared.


Month 1 and 2

Month 3 and 4

Month 5

I guess there is a little change but not enough to get too excited about!

Tammy

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

This year, Thanksgiving was unlike any others.  Not only was I away from my friends, family, and husband, but I was in a foreign country that to them is just another day.  While I had a good feast with two other friends from Jared's unit, something was missing.  I felt so alone and sad. I hadn't felt this way in a very long time.  So I called home and skyped with my parents, sisters, and nieces and nephews.  That only made things worse because I saw how much fun I was missing out on.  So I sat down and had a good cry.  While crying didn't fix anything, it released a lot of emotions and allowed me to sleep like a baby!

I have so much to be grateful for...so I'm trying not to get down.  I am most grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who knows how to succor me.  He is allowing me to grow to new lengths but always there to share His unconditional love with me.  I'm so grateful for the Atonement, which allows me the opportunity to return back to His presence if I daily repent and live worthy of this blessing.

In addition to my Savior, I am most grateful for to technology, especially the cell phone and computer with Skype.  These two devices have allowed me to keep in contact with the people who mean the most to me.  Without them, I would be one lost, sad, little girl.


Tammy

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Weighing in - Week 8 and 9

Oops. I missed a weigh in post for week 8. Okay, maybe I purposely missed it. For one, I was still feeling really crappy and didn't do anymore that was required of me. And I was also upset about my weigh in. I stayed within my points, but ended up gaining 1.4 pounds!! It was probably because I became a couch potato during that week.

By Sunday I finally started perking up. The headaches and lightheadedness have gone away for the most part. So yesterday and today I decided that I must get back to the gym to get some much needed exercise. When I got on the scales this morning, I was pleased to see that I had lost all that I had gained the week before plus .4 pound! Now the true test will be to see how I make it through the Thanksgiving weekend...

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds
Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 8 - gained 1.4 pounds
Week 9 - lost 1.8 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 10.4 pounds

Only 74.6 more pounds to go!


Tammy



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Good Health...Not Today

Today I'm grateful for good health. For the past 10+ days, I have had headaches and dizziness 24/7. I'm even dizzy sitting down writing this post. The doctors can't decide what is causing this. So I'm about to enroll in Tri-Care to get a referral to visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor off post. This should be an interesting experience. I just hope I get a doctor that speaks some English or I'm going to be in trouble! I'm normally a very healthy person, so when I get sick, it usually hits me hard. Every time I get sick, I remember how lucky I am to have such great health. It gives me much more compassion for those who get sick often as well as patience to endure through my own aches and pains.

Anyone want my headaches and dizziness??? I'm willing to share :)

Tammy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music

Today I'm grateful for music. I love coming home after a day at work and putting in some music to wind down to. I love how some music has a way of calming the soul and bringing peace within while other music will make you want to dance or keep you motivated to run that last mile. Whatever kind of mood your looking for, music can help get you there (it may even put you in the Christmas Spirit).

I can't imagine life without music. It has always been an important part of my life. As a child, I took piano lessons and enjoyed a singing group called "Talent Sprouts." Then I joined a choir in grade school, learned to play the flute in middle school, and started learning to play the guitar in college (I wish I had kept it up).

Since moving to Germany, Jared and I feel very
out of touch with the current music industry. There is only one Elglish station here and it doesn't play my type of music. Can anyone suggest a good country CD for me? My mom is asking for my Christmas list, and I don't know what to tell her...

HELP!!

Tammy

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friends

Today I'm grateful for friends, both past and present. I have been blessed to have some really great friends in my life. They have been there to listen to my woes, give advice when asked, share in my greatest joys, or just say hi and let me know that they are thinking about me. During the last few months, I have come to lean on different friends for different reasons. Sometimes, I just need someone to listen to me. Other times, I just want someone to be with so I'm not alone. I hope I can always be the friend that you have each been to me.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for awhile and leave footprints in our hearts and we are never the same." I love this quote and think it is 100% true. Today I say thank you for all of the friends who have come into my life, whether it was for a short time or for eternity. You will never be forgotten.

Tammy

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Laughter

Today, I'm grateful for laughter. Have you ever started laughing at something that was funny and then couldn't stop. I had one of those experiences last Friday. A few friends went to a restaurant to celebrate one of the girl's birthdays. Something funny was said that caused us all to start laughing. Before long, one funny comment led to another. Within a matter of minutes, we were all laughing so hard that our abdomens, cheek muscles, and head hurt. It was a good thing that we were only at a ma and pa shop with only one other party there--and they were laughing too.

Then I called and talked to my family this afternoon. They were still chuckling over a joke that my little sister had played on my dad last night after he had come home from work. From what I could gather, my sister was standing in the bathroom with the lights off. My dad had walked into the bathroom (keeping the lights off as he assumed everyone was in bed asleep) to put his dirty socks in the hamper. As he lifted the lid, Cindy touched my dad's arm and said, "Boo." Apparently, this startled my dad so much that he started screaming. My mom, who was asleep, woke up to this screaming and thought that she was being robbed or something. I wish I had been there for this moment because it takes a lot to get my dad. I have a feeling that Cindy's get back day is coming.

Laughter is truly the best medicine. Laughter provides a physical and emotional release, which I have been in need of lately.

Tammy

I Love My Mom

Last night I got sick and didn't get to share a grateful post. So today I'll share two!

Today I'm grateful for my mother. I love her and hate that we live so far away because she means the world to me. She's been through it all with me--the good and the bad. And last night, when I was so sick, she was there on the phone with me telling me that I was going to make it and be okay. Finally, after my mom had talked to me for about an hour, I was able to go back to sleep at 3 a.m. Thank you mom.

My mom has always been there for me. Below are just a few memories:

  • As a child, we spent many nights sitting together at table doing homework and projects
  • We love to spend time playing games together!
  • We love to go shopping together!
  • For the last 15+ years, we faithfully attended the Forgotten Carols play together to start off the Christmas season. Now that I'm in Germany, I miss the traditions that I had created with my mom.
  • We had many memorable moments together as we drove every weekend during the winter months to see Cindy when she was in the hospital in Utah.
  • She has always moved me into my college apartments and back home at the end of the year--always consoling me before driving away.
  • In preparation for my wedding, my mother and I made a quilt and 65 pumpkin rolls to serve at our wedding reception (besides a laundry list of other things).
  • She flew to Germany to attend me and Jared's temple sealing.
  • She always goes the extra mile to make family feel welcome when coming to visit. You can always rest assured that she will be stocked up on your favorite treats and serve you your favorite meals!
  • Now that I'm in Germany, she is always so willing to go buy things that I need and can't purchase over here. I know I must be a pain sometimes, but she never complains. She always replies, "Just glad I can help."
  • She always makes time to talk to me--whether it be to listen to my joys or hear me cry through my pain. She has helped me find the strength to live over here in Germany while Jared is gone for the next year.
  • She taught me how to cook, sew, croquet, cross stitch, etc. All of the many things that are now my hobbies! And many of these things she had to teach me backwards as I'm left handed. Not many people can do things both ways.

And the list goes on and on! I only hope that I will be half the mom she has been to me! I appreciate all that she does for me and look forward to making many more experiences together in the future. I can't wait for her to come visit me again next year!

I Love you Mom!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Today, I am grateful for all veterans, past, present, and future, who are sacrificing their life so that the rest of us can remain safe and enjoy the freedoms that our forefathers fought for us to have. It's funny how much more these holidays mean to you when you are directly affected by a veteran who is currently serving. The military is not an easy profession to be a part of nor do the soldiers receive the respect from many of the citizens that they fight for. Nonetheless, I'm so proud of my husband for following his heart and doing what he knows he should. During this deployment, I am learning the struggles and heartache that soldiers experience being away from home. My heart goes out, in particular, to those soldiers who have no moral support from family and friends back home. May God watch over them and bring them home safely!!

♪♫"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the ones who died who gave that right to me. . . ."♪♫


Tammy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weighing in - Week 7

Today, I am grateful for my health. With the exception of being overweight and having a hyper thyroid, I am quite healthy. And for that I am very grateful. I have a family history or high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Thus, I need to be committed to keeping my health in check or I may eventually end up with many health problems.

This was a difficult week for me. Although I stayed within my points range, I didn't eat the correct amounts of fruits, vegetables, and protein. I began craving my comfort foods such as starches, chocolate, and peanut butter. I also stressed out about the lesson I had to give in Relief Society on Sunday, had no motivation to do much cooking or exercising, and started having dizzy and lightheadedness spells. I don't know why I am feeling so lousy...unless it is because I wasn't eating healthy like I have been the past several weeks. Although, I always want a big number at weigh in, I knew it wasn't going to happen this week. In fact, this morning when I went to get on the scale, I was just hoping that I would lose o.6 pound, thus, hitting my 10 pound mark. A 0.6 loss would also mean that I could finally wear my fuzzy, warm fleece jacket that has been lying on my cedar chest for the past week.

Today, I'm celebrating my success. I lost my 0.6 pound--not an ounce more or less! After 7 long weeks, I have finally hit the 10 pound mark! In the past, I have usually lost he first 10 pounds in a month, but not this time. Although 10 pounds doesn't seem like much in comparison to what I need to lose, it seems like quite a bit when you think of it as in a 10 pound bag of flour. I hope it is off for forever!

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds

Week 7 - lost 0.6 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 10 pounds

Only 75 more pounds to go!

Tammy

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Book Club

Today, I am thankful for book club. Reading is not and never has been one of my hobbies. Instead, it's more of a chore. However, after attending book club tonight (mainly just to get out of the house and be with other people since I hadn't completed the book), I have been inspired to start reading again. There is so much to learn in reading. I know that by reading again, not only will my reading comprehension increase, but I will feel more well rounded in society. Sometimes, I feel like I'm living in my own little world because I don't always relate to others since I haven't read or kept up-to-date on things.

Also, one of my deployment goals is to read 12 books before Jared comes home. To date, I've read 1/2 of a book. So I'm not off to a good start. However, I LOVE Christmas books and plan to dig them out this weekend and start re-reading them! Hopefully, that will be just the nudge I need to keep going.


Tammy

Monday, November 8, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary Jared

Today, I'm grateful for my husband, Jared, who is also my best friend! Two years ago today, we were married. I'm so grateful that I took my coworkers' challenge to do the on-line dating scene and prove to them that it doesn't work. Oops...I'm now eating my words for forever!

Our dating period was relatively quick. Jared had just moved back to Idaho and initiated contact with me on April 18, 2008. After chatting on-line for three hours (and at 2:30 a.m.), he asked me out on a date for the next day. I was a little hesitant since I had recently gone on a date with someone that I had met online that turned out disastrous. I tentatively agreed to the date as I hadn't talked with my family to see if we already had some plans. During our conversation, I found out that Jared was good friends with a few of my cousins in high school. So it also gave me time to call a couple of my cousins in the morning to see what they had to say about him before I fully agreed to the date. Everyone told me that he can be shy until you get to know him, but he is very respectful and will treat you like a queen. So off I went and had a great time at the movies and dinner. Jared was different than any other guys that I had dated. He treated me with respect, made me feel important, and was willing to listen to me ramble on about a bad day that I had at the office a few hours earlier. He even opened the car door for me. I thought had become a thing of the past. Later, he told me that he only does it for the first 50 dates! Ha-ha

From that period on, we took turns driving to each other's home until we were married since we lived a little over 2 hours away from each other. Jared proposed to me on September 13, 2008, at the Twin Falls temple, and we were married in Blackfoot, Idaho, on November 8, 2008.

Since that time, Jared joined the US ARMY, and we are currently stationed in Vilseck, Germany. This was a very hard transition for me. I gave up everything that was comfortable to me and moved half way across the world to begin a new life together. Although I was happy to finally get to be with Jared, I missed my family and friends back home. Through it all, Jared has been a trooper and has been there for me. On December 10, 2010, we were sealed in the Bern, Switzerland Temple for time and all eternity. I love knowing that as long as we both live worthy of the covenants we made in the temple, we can be together forever. This promise has helped me immensely since Jared is currently deployed to Afghanistan. We are both anxiously waiting for his R&R date so we can be together again for a couple of weeks.

Jared is a wonderful husband with a heart of gold and upholds his church responsibilities. He is always willing to help out and do his part so we can spend more time being together. I miss him
and can't wait to celebrate many more years together!

Below is a little music video that I put together for our anniversary. It contains a few of our memories from dating to present. The picture quality is best if you keep the video screen small.

video
Tammy

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I'm Grateful for...Day 1

Okay...I'm a little behind schedule. But since everyone else seems to be posting what they are grateful for every day during the month of November, I decided that maybe I should start a Gratitude journal myself. However, I'm going to make mine last through the remainder of the year. If nothing else comes of this little excercise, I hope it will help me remember that even though I am facing a lonely year of deployment and celebrating holidays alone, I have been blessed with soooo many things...

1. I'm grateful that my Relief Society lesson is over! I am the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society. One of my responsibilities it to teach the 1st Sunday lesson every 3rd month. I have been stewing about this assignment for months now. I don't like to get up and talk in front of people. I much prefer the smaller group settings. I also am not good at creating talks from nothing and adding comments to go with each section. However, I pressed forward.

The topic for my lesson was "Having Family Home Evening." While some of you might think, "That's not a hard topic," I was thinking, "What could I possibly tell the sisters in this ward about Family Home Evening? They know we have been asked to have it every Monday night and that they will be blessed for doing so." I certainly am not an expert in this area. I grew up in a home where Family Home Evening did not happen all the time. We started doing it several times, but we always allowed things to get in the way. Then we stopped having them. However, I do remember so special home evening where the lesson was on testimonies. At the end of the lesson, we went around the room and each bore our testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That was my first times of hearing my parents publicly bear their testimony. I remember how strong the Spirit was in our home that night.

Once Jared and I moved to Germany, I tried to start our own Family Home Evenings. However, we haven't been very consistent. Jared says, What do you want to do? We spend every night together." This is mostly true. However, we are not discussing gospel principles, which is the key. Thus, I decided to give my lessons on the Prophetic Promises of Having Family Home Evening. Maybe, if we are reminded of all of the promises that are in store for us if we will SINCERELY and PRAYERFULLY hold Family Home Evenings, we will have the desire to begin again. Just look at the blessings that the Prophets have promised us:

  • Great blessings will result
  • Love at home will increase
  • Obedience to parents will increase
  • Faith will be developed in the hearts of the youth
  • They will gain power to combat the evil influences and temptations which beset them
  • Great blessings come to those who carry out this responsibility
  • A great measure of peace and harmony in the home
  • The Lord will grant rich blessings
  • Will bring families closer to one another
  • Families will be blessed
  • There will be better feelings between husband and wife, between parents and children, and among children
  • The Spirit of the Lord will be made manifest
  • Couples receive strength
  • Couples can be drawn ever closer together
  • Young couples will prepare for the great challenges of parenthood
  • Not one in a hundred of your family would ever go astray
  • Develop increased personal worth
  • Family Unity
  • Love for our fellowmen
  • Trust in our Father in Heaven
  • Great blessings
  • You will gain strength to withstand the temptations of the world
  • Will receive many blessings which will help qualify you to enjoy your families through eternity in the Celestial Kingdom

Who wouldn't want these blessings to come their way??

Tammy

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Weighing in - Week 6

Another week has come and gone. The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend. I was able to get a few good walks in! However, today the cold, damp drizzle made its way in...and I'm afraid it might be here to stay. YUCK! On a happy note, I stayed on my diet fairly well even though I enjoyed some of my favorite foods...enjoyed my favorite Italian dish with Irma for her birthday on Wednesday, Rib eye steak and stuffed potatoes on Friday, breakfast skillet and Flamkucken pizza on Saturday, and baby ribs on Sunday!!! I was soooo hoping for a big number today because I want to hit my 10 pound mark, but I fell short by 0.6 pound! I bought a warm fleece jacket that I'm dying to start wearing, but I told myself that it would be my reward for losing 10 pounds. So I guess it has to lie on my cedar chest for one more week.

Jared has been commenting that I am cooking lots more now than when he was home, which is true. However, truth be told, I have always been willing to cook him whatever he wanted. The problem was that he was either too hungry to wait for me to cook a healthy meal or he felt bad to make me slave in the kitchen while he was unwinding from his day by watching TV or playing a video game. Tonight, he told me to keep up the diet so that when he comes home, he can jump on board to the good food as the DEFAC leaves a lot to be desired.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds
Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds
Week 6 - lost 1.8 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 9.4 pounds

Only 75.6 more pounds to go!

Tammy

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

I’ve never thought much one way or another about Halloween until right now. As I'm sitting in my living room listening to the doorbell ring more times than it probably has ever rung since Jared and I moved to Germany, I'm realizing how stupid this holiday really is. It has become a day for children to supposedly "dress-up" and go knocking on strangers' doors begging for candy. When I was a child, I remember only going around the neighborhood to the neighbors that we knew before dashing off to grandma and grandpas and aunts and uncles homes to tell us how cute we looked! Of the trick or treaters that came to my home tonight, I only knew one of them. Also, way back when, there also seemed to be a “universal” age limit of when you started or stopped trick or treating. However, tonight I had more babies in strollers that never spoke a word and teenagers coming to my door than the typical children you would expect to see out enjoying this festive evening. One other gripe—why do we have to be doing this on a Sunday night? You are not allowed to trick or treat off post on Sunday because it is a Holy day for the Germans. Thus, why can’t this same rule apply to those of us who live on post? Oh well, at least I saw some cute outfits while giving out some sweet treats to all the “children” young or old. I almost didn’t buy any candy because no one came to our house last year. So I didn’t know what to expect tonight.

If we are going to celebrate this holiday, I would like to see it be more of a carnival where you get all dressed up and go somewhere to play games such as musical chairs, bob for apples, cake walk, hit at a piƱata, throw the bean bag into the clown’s mouth, go fishing, etc.

Does anyone else feel the same way about this holiday or do I just need an attitude adjustment?


Enjoy your day!

Tammy

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weighing In - Week 5

This was an interesting week weight wise. The day after I weighed in last week, I gained 3 pounds...for no reason. I also found myself to be extra hungry every day. However, I continued to stay within my points (I think) and allowed myself to go out to eat three times during the week. It is very difficult to determine how many points I use when going out to eat in Germany because I have yet to find any nutritional fact information guides for restaurants in the area. Several of the restaurants in the area are ma and pa owned; therefore, it wouldn't surprise me if there really isn't any information posted.

Now that the weather is getting even colder, I find myself losing motivation to excerise. I used to walked around the ARMY base every day after work. This week I had many errands to run after work. Thus, by the time I got home, it was almost dark. However, I did make it to the gym 3 times. I'm finding that if I go straight to the gym from work, I am fine. But once I come home, I find myself hungry and unmotivated to get myself back out of the house and to the gym. All in all, I still lost some weight and am pushing forward. This week, I lost 1.2 pounds! Not much, but better than nothing.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds

Week 5 - lost 1.2 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 7.6 pounds

Only 77.4 more pounds to go!


Tammy

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Coke Jar--4 Months Down

Do you ever have a whole post written and ready to publish just to push a wrong button and have all the text deleted??? GRRRR...this is happening to me too often lately.

Anyhow, when Jared and I were getting ready to move to Germany, my dad gave Jared a Coke bottle that he had previously used to hold his loose change in. It is huge--it stands about 2 1/2 feet tall. In December, Jared decided that he wanted to see how much money the bottle would hold by only using quarters. He was very faithful about putting his change in the jar. When deployment time rolled around the corner, the job assignment was past off to me. I was instructed to withdraw $20 in quarters every week to put into the jar. The first month I was very faithful in my task. I stopped by the change machine in the arcade room to get my change. However, during the second month, the arcade room where the change machine was located was removed and was being replaced by a German bakery. So I decided to stop accumulating quarters as I wasn't going to stop by the PX Customer Service every week and ask for $20 in quarters nor was I going to open up a savings account at the Community Bank to ask for $20 in quarters that I would be giving back to them in the next year. When Jared inquired as to how the jar was filling up, he was disappointed and began telling me about a few places on the Vilseck or Grafenwoehr post that I could search for change machines. Needless to say, I recovered $150 in one day and am now up-to-date. Every week, I faithfully withdraw $20 from the Laundromat coin machine and hope that I don't take the last coins so some soldier cannot do their laundry! lol
Month 1 Month 2
Month 3 Month 4
The idea behind this jar is that by the time the jar is almost full, Jared's deployment will b3 almost over. I have taken pictures each month of the progress of this bottle, but it is hard to see any change and we are not even at the widest part of the bottle!! Some weeks I feel like that is how quickly deployment is going. So I have threatened to start using pennies, nickels, and dimes, to speed up the process. But Jared quickly cabooses the idea!

Tammy

Weighing In - Week 4

Another week has come and gone. This week I've been craving everything pumpkin--maybe because of the season that is upon us. So I've tried some new recipes...pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin butter, and pumpkin smoothies that taste just like the milkshakes from Arctic Circle! Two other new recipes that I tried include oatmeal breakfast bars, which taste just like banana bread and chicken enchiladas made with chicken and navy beans...nice and filling.

In addition to trying to switch up my food diary this week, I've also tried to work out every day either on the eliptical machine at the gym or walking around base. By the end of the weekend I was confident that this was going to be a great weight loss week as I was already down 2 pounds on Sunday. However, by the time that I jumped on the scale this morning, I was only down 1 pound! Yes, I am glad that I at least lost weight and didn'tgain or plateu; however, I was hoping for a bigger number as the time before I see Jared for R&R is getting shorter and 1 pound a week isn't going to make me look much different.

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds
Week 4 - lost 1.0 pounds


TOTAL LOST - 6.4 pounds

Only 78.6 more pounds to go!


Tammy

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weighing in--Week 3

Update on Deployment Goal #2
Since my weight loss was great the first week and poor the second week, I had no idea what to expect this week. I was a little worried to be honest with you because two of my weekend days were spent out touring Germany; thus, I wasn't home to cook for myself. The weather was perfect, and the fall colors were amazing (I'll write more about it later). However, I still tried very hard to make healthy choices and exercise every day. This morning I hopped on the scale and found I was down 1.6 pounds! This is not a huge number, but definitely better than last week's 0.4 pound. I'm a little disappointed at how slow I am losing the weight this time around. Normally, I can lose 10 pounds in the first month (especially since I have so much to lose). This time I am three weeks into the diet, and only down 5.4 pounds. I'm really hoping that my body gets on track because I'd like to look a lot different when I see Jared for R&R in a few months. I must remember "SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!"

Week 1 - lost 3.2 pounds
Week 2 - lost 0.6 pounds
Week 3 - lost 1.6 pounds

TOTAL LOST - 5.4 pounds

Only 79.6 more pounds to go!

Tammy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rothenberg, Germany

Last weekend, one of the FRG groups hosted a bus trip to Rothenberg, Germany. Although Jared and I had been there once before, I decided to get out of the house and enjoy the day sightseeing and spending time with friends.

Once we got there, it was raining (no big surprise). So our first stop was going for a walk along the wall that is built up along the entire city.

One thing that I will always remember about Germany is the very colorful homes and roofs. I'm not saying that I want my own home bright yellow or red, but I do like the color that it adds to a very green countryside.

Soon after the rain subsided, I met up with Irma Delong, one of my new friends from Jared's unit. I convinced her to and her girls to tour the Criminal Museum. This is a museum that shows all the different ways that they used to torture people. Her youngest girl, Elizabeth, was very inquisitive and thought everything was "AWESOME!" Towards the end of the tour, the two girls started fighting with each other and at that moment I happen to come across a device that was used for women when they quarreled. So we told the girls that the employee was going to get it out so we could use it on them. They didn't think that was as funny when they found out their heads would be put in a hole and their hands would be inserted into the small holes and kept there until they could get along.
Then we ended the day with a YUMMY treat that only Rothenberg is known for--Schneeballen. They are pastry balls, which are each about the size of a softball, made of strips of pastry wound into a ball, deep fried, and coated with various icings or toppings. It's a must have before leaving town. Yes, even I saved enough points in my diet for the day to have one.

Tammy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No Motivation/New Goals

Lately, I have found myself in a slump and can't get out. I have lots of things to do but no drive to do any of it, including blogging. I get up each day and go to work and then come home each night and think of all the things that I need to do, but quickly lose the momentum to do any of them. I'm also finding myself having less patience with people, processes, and everything in general. Currently, I'm impatient with my own life as I feel like it has been put on hold for the next year. It's not that I can't go and do anything, because I do get out, but my way of life as I liked it is gone. After almost 4 long months, I’m officially lonely and I really miss having a significant other to sit next to, to cuddle up against and watch a movie, to hold my hand, or to gently kiss my lips! So I must patiently wait (or not patiently wait) for my life to resume again.

So I've been thinking that maybe to get out of this rut, I need to find some good things to occupy my time. If I post them, then I have friends and family who can check up on me to make sure that I'm staying on track. So here they are:

1. Make a quilt from beginning to end (completed August 24, 2010)
2. Lose weight--85 pounds (started September 22, 2010.So far, I've lost 3.8 pounds. Slow and steady wins the race)
3. Read my scriptures everyday
4. Read 12 books
5. Exercise regularly
6. Send Jared a package once a week
7. Complete a career certification class
8. Pay off Toyota Corolla (completed September 3, 2010)
9. Pay off Honda Accord
10. Practice the piano regularly
11. Finish making my curtains and get them hung (completed August 27, 2010)
12. Visit a new place at least once a month (Crystal Factory in Neustadt, Germany; Polish pottery in Boleslawiec, Poland,LDS temple in Freihung, Germany; Eidelweis retreat in Garmisch, Germany; Rothenberg, Germany; Bamberg, Germany; Ansbach, Germany; visiting caves in Pottenstein, Germany; playing at Eschenbach Lake, Germany; Berlin, Germany, Salzburg, Austria; etc.)

Some of these goals have already been accomplished while others of them I need to get working on!!

Tammy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jared's Birthday

Jared, the love of my life, celebrated his 35th birthday today!! He is quite honored to have it on a national holiday. To celebrate, he decided to sign up to run his first ever ½ Marathon! And he had a great run time of 2 hours 15 minutes. All week, his boss had been bragging about having one of his soldiers run in the race. So to show their support, his unit was spread out over the course of the race and took turns running a few miles with him. Towards the end, his quads really started tightening up, but his coworkers kept him running strong to the end!!
For his birthday, I was trying to decide what I could do for him to help make his day a little brighter and more special than other days. He only asked for three things: an external hard drive, the Rocky movies, and garments. My family bought him 2 out of the 3 items, so I decided to send him his one big gift along with 34 other gifts. It was a collection of items such as:

1. External hard drive
2. Quilt that I made in my quilting class
3. Hershey’s Crunch (his favorite candy bar)
4. A book
5. A DVD
6. A pack of pens
7. A picture of the two of us
8. Can of almonds
9. 3 bags dried blueberries
10. 3 bags dried berries
11. Bag of coke gummies
12. Body wash
13. Sexy letter
14. Gift card for music downloads
15. Twix
16. 4-100 calorie snacks
17. 4 granola bars
18. Room freshener
19. Gum
20. Magazine
21. Crackers

22. Peanut butter
23. Case for external hard drive
24. Computer game
25. Newspaper
26. Crystal Light to go packets
27. Beef jerky

He called me the day he received it, and asked which ones he could open early!! He was disappointed when I told him that he had to wait to open all of them. He was so cute…he said, “You make me feel special. You didn’t have to do all this for me. You spent a lot of time getting this ready!” It’s at that time that all of the time and work pays off.


I celebrated his birthday by going to Pottenstein with a few friends to visit the cave and eat at a famous restaurant, Steak on a Stone. Steak on a Stone is a unique restaurant where you order the type of steak you want to eat (rump steak, T-bone, bison, ostrich, kangaroo, etc.) and they bring it to you an extremely hot stone and let you cook your own meat at the table. I had a T-bone steak, which was very good. The weather was wonderful, the company was fun, and the food was delicious, but I still felt an empty void from not being able to spend the day with Jared. Later that evening, he surprised me with a Skype call where I was able to see his smiling face for the first time in three months. I was so overcome with joy that I just wanted to sit on the couch and cry. I felt like we hadn’t seen each other in years. The picture and speech were not the best quality, but I was pleased as could be to see my best friend for a few minutes. It was kind of funny because we always seem to be able to have plenty to talk about when he calls on the phone, but we found ourselves in silence just enjoying one another’s presence.

Having spent our first “special day” apart from each other was harder than I expected it to be. If today was a preview of what the next few months are going to be like, I hope they pass right on by!


Tammy

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Meals in a Day

Wow! I survived another first week of working at an elementary school. While it was very chaotic at times, I thought it went very well. My one complaint was that every teacher wanted my attention at the same time. I felt like I couldn't give anyone the attention they needed, especially the new teachers and staff. By Wednesday afternoon, I was ready to install a ticket machine and tell them to each take a ticket and I would help them when there number was called. But all in all, I thought that the days were smoother than some of the regular days we experienced last year.

This week it finally dawned on me that I haven't been eating very good. I get off work and get busy doing other things. Then about 8 or 9 p.m. I am starving. So I will grab a granola bar to eat or I don't eat anything at all. It is plain to see that none of which I have been doing is very healthy. I've been looking at a book called "31 meals in a Day" where you cook enough food in one day to last you for the entire month. That is a lot of cooking and freezer space. But I decided that I would try it out and make a few meals to freeze so I could come home from work and just pull a meal out of the freezer to eat for dinner. I intended on cooking three meals this afternoon, but I only had to stop and make a cake in the middle of all the cooking for my friend's birthday. So I only made two meals, stuffed peppers and manacotti. I'm not much of a leftover eater, so this will be interesting. I definitely need more variety, but I will have to increase my selection in the coming weeks. Since the weather is becoming much cooler, I think I will also make a couple of soups next week to add to the variety.

Anyone have a favorite recipe that would freeze well that you would like to share with me??


Tammy