This is Getting Ridiculous

FYI- This is going to be a bit of a ranting post, so please forgive me; if your time is not worth reading about someone else's ranting, I won't feel bad if you hit the back button on your browser now. Seriously...I wouldn't ever know you did it, and it won't hurt my feelings one bit. Here goes...

James has not been paid by the Army since March. MARCH!! Can you even believe that?! We didn't realize it for a little while, since we have direct deposit and somehow about a year ago, we no longer get a hard copy of his checkstubs (but that's another rant for another time). Here's the deal: at the end of May/first couple days of June, I was looking at some financial stuff and realized that I hadn't paid tithing on our Army checks in May and April, so I went online to look at the paystub and noticed that WE DIDN'T GET PAID!!!! How does that even happen? So I told James and he called the guy you call about these things, since the Army is all about the chain-of-command, and he said he'd take care of it.

Well, James also mentioned the problem when he was in Boise for drill a couple days later, to a couple of Major's. That may not mean much to you, but being a Major is a pretty high (the rank is O4, so they have some pull when it comes to stuff like pay). And supposedly, pay problems are a BIG deal in the Army, but apparently not to the 4 people that James has contacted. He was told to give it a week and a half by one guy, and then to contact him. Well, it's been three, and here's the kicker - James doesn't have his contact information. I know, I know, it won't be too hard to get it, just call the sargeant that is involved and get the number from him....I would think that the captain who has been trying to recruit James to a special program would feel like it would be a good idea to make sure the pay goes through would be an added incentive to sign up for what he's offering, but no.

So my big idea came to me one night as we were getting ready for bed. I suggested that I contact the lady in Lewiston who is the family support person; she would know who to talk to, and I'm sure she wouldn't mind helping me out. James said it's not a good idea, since she works across the hall from a colonel (2 ranks above the majors), and so many people would get into trouble. We are not out for blood here, just the money that's due. (Did I mention that our life insurance is taken directly from our paycheck? So that hasn't been paid, either. I had to write a check for that from our savings to cover an expense that I've never had to worry about before.) I told James I would wait another week before contacting this magical source, and I did. That great day came today. I was really excited, thinking that we would be rolling in the money, until Wednesday comes and the rent is due. So I got up and ate breakfast, watching the clock and trying to decide if she goes to work as early as the Army personnel (being a civilian working at the armory, it's a valid question), and finally made the call directly to her line.

But a man answered, and it sounded like he was speaking Spanish. So I asked for her, and was put on hold for 3 or 4 minutes. Really; this is not an exaggeration. He finally came back on and said she's out of the office, and it may be a vacation for the rest of the week - he didn't know. NNNNOOOOOOOOO!!! I had no idea who he was, so I just left my name and number and said I had a question for her. I was devastated. Everything I was hoping for disappeared. So it's back to the waiting game. James has again contacted the same 4 people that he has approached before, and I am waiting until tomorrow to see if she is really on vacation. If so, I am just going to ask my question of whoever is on the phone and see if they can refer me to someone who can get the problem solved.

If worse comes to worst, does anyone know if Legal Aid is willing to take on the Army National Guard??


Hero of the Day...

So I went shopping tonight at Winco while James put Maiby in bed, and then he went to go play bball at the church. Then I heard her crying a little later, so I went up to give her a hug and say goodnight. Imagine my surprise when I found her standing up and had her poor little knee sticking out between the bars, unable to pull it back in. I couldn't help her by myself, so I hurried over to the neighbor's house. Thank you, Janette, for helping me get Maiby's leg out!! The funny thing is that as soon as she was free, Maiby reached for Janette and gave her a big hug, and then I took her so Janette could go home, and she tried to get back in her arms....is that really my daughter? My shy little girl who ignores people who speak to her?

Thanks, Janette, for being home and willing to help me in my time of need!


House Party is AWESOME!

Thanks, houseparty.com and Domino's Pizza for letting us host a great party. I was selected to receive the American Legends House Party on Saturday. If you don't know about houseparty.com, you should check it out. You can register to win a party for you and your friends. Here's how mine went:

--register to try to win a party

--get selected to host the American Legends Party

--receive a party pack in the mail containing: $75 gift card to purchase domino's pizza, coupons for friends, the 'you gotta be kidding!' game from zobmondo, pen and paper pad

--order pizzas and invite friends

--enjoy FREE pizza and get to try the new American Legends flavors

It was a great party. A bunch of people came; we cut up the pizzas into 16 slices, so everyone could sample whatever flavor they wanted without having to eat a whole pizza to do so. It was fun. Thank you, Domino's and Houseparty!! I am definitely going to stay a member and try to host other parties for free.


Do You Store Food?

Check out this fantastic giveaway from ShelfReliance! They are starting to do regular giveaways, and what better way to start than with a BIG ONE....check it out here for your chance to win.


Yardwork & Baby Shower

We were pretty busy working on a few projects. The first one was just outside our front door. We had an ugly area that had 2 plants and numerous weeds, but mostly dirt. The problem was that whenever it rained or snow melted from the roof, it would drip in the dirt and splatter our front window and door with mud, so our house always looked dirty. Now we (hopefully) have solved the problem. What was this grand, and not-as-cheap-as-I-wanted solution? See for yourself:

Ugly pugly,

but with good structure.

Small bag of weeds I pulled.

Tools used:


Making sure it's level.

It sure is great to know that I married such a handy man!

Completed, but needing another plant.

That will come later (if at all)...

Close-up of the 'patio'; we love it!!

The next thing on the agenda was a baby shower for James' sister. They didn't know if it was going to be a boy or girl, so we waited until after she was born to have a party. The theme was "A Star is Born." After I made the prototype invite, it wasn't my favorite. I really wanted to continue the theme, but it was kind of bugging me because it didn't have the right feel to it. James suggested putting on the sunglasses, which totally made the invite, since that's the type of star I wanted. (Otherwise, it felt a little sacrilegious, since that's the name of a Nativity movie).

You're invited!

The star of the show, Katherine.

We put an 11x14 blow up of this on the wall.

Star diaper cake as table decor.

And a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting,

all decked out for the star.

Here's the spread (right to left, since that is how they went):

green salad & the best ranch dressing ever

rolls for small meat and cheese sandwiches


meat and olives

yellow m&m's in star dishes

mini cupcake star pops, sans the stick (basically look like brownie bites)

star cake

It was a great party. We had a lot of fun, and Katie was passed around and around. Next time I try the cupcake pops, I will try the actual cupcake shape like in the demo. I can't believe I didn't get a picture of my finished project! Oh, well. I guess I will just have to make them again. They were a big hit, though, if you're looking for something delicious and simply adorable. Find directions here.


Ideas Needed

Does anyone have ideas as to why Maiby woke up last night about 10 times, and cried and cried and cried? Or any ideas on how to help her if it happens again? It's not very fun to head to bed and then be delayed by about 2 hours...