Posts Tagged ‘gifts’

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Gold Award Court of Honor

August 20, 2017

The Chief was unable to make it home. He missed it by a week. It couldn’t be helped. But he was there in spirit. His carved Girl Scout Bridge and his Hounds at Hazelwild medallion were on display. And he sent an email for me to read during the parents’ moment to speak.

Ok, now is the time to grab your tissues. T1, your dad, who is the Eagle scout, and I are very proud of you and this amazing project you created and undertook. I would say yes, there were times you were a typical teenager but then this wasn’t a project a typical teenager would attempt. I hope you know that after doing this, you can really take on any event and project you put your mind to.

                              The Chief sent the following message: Every Dad thinks their daughter is amazing, I have the blessing of knowing that mine is. When I learned the size and scope of the project she set out to do I had an initial bit of hesitation, knowing the amount of work that would be required. T1 insisted that she was up to the challenge and would be able to get the job done. In the end, the time, sweat and trials that went into this project were worth it in the end. Completing a Gold Award Project is something to be proud of, but as a Dad I was more proud of something else. Being able to have a vision, share it with others, and get so many people to give their time and energy to make it a success is even more amazing. Seeing the growth and maturity as she dealt with the challenges lets me know that she’s capable of anything she sets her mind to.

  I truly know my daughter is awesome.

Many of you know that T1 lost her special greyhound, Crookshanks, on March 31st. I was originally going to commission the same Cindy Liebel pendant for T1 but the idea came to me to honor Crook. Racing greyhounds have tattoos in their ears. One set of numbers marks the kennel the hound came from. The other ear has the birth month and year followed by a letter showing which order in their litter they were tattooed. Crook, who raced as Kiowa Saints, had identical tattoos to her sister Hedwig except for the letter–128F. I always said it stood for fair, as Crook was lighter than Heddie, who is 128D (for dark). I thought about a pendant but you are really a bracelet kind of girl. So here is a custom Cindy Liebel cuff bracelet with Crook’s tattoo numbers. And when people ask you about those numbers, Crook will always be honored as your first–but not last–greyhound and how she helped you earn your Gold Award.

Note: I had a few dads in the audience come up to me afterwards to say that they fought back a few sniffles. My SIL’s dad came up to me and said, “When she struggles in life, the first thing she needs is the Bible. The second is her dad’s email. Make sure she takes a framed copy of that with her to college.”

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Writing Workshop: Travel

September 18, 2014

So this week’s prompt #4 is a perfect way for me to share pictures of our summer vacation. I could blog about the pitfalls of traveling with 13 family members, especially when no one likes to take control and one member took advantage of that… but it really was a fabulous trip with a lifetime of memories made.

First of all, if your spouse is a Merchant Mariner, I suggest finding out where all their classmates sail and if any happen to be on cruise ships.

That was just a secondary and happy occurrence but the Chief knew the Chief and it was only poor scheduling that his sea partner was not Captain at the time… I can only imagine the goodies we would have gotten if he had been on board. No, we took the cruise for the Chief’s parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. They wanted to show the grandchildren where their parents had grown up. Otherwise, no, the Chief would not spend his own money to go sail on a boat for his vacation. And his parents graciously paid for the cruise and our island accommodations.

Needless to say, we were spoiled by the Chief’s well-placed connections. The Chief said to me at the end of the voyage, “I hope you don’t expect every cruise to be like this.” To which I replied, “Are you kidding? I want to know where all your classmates sail.”

Here are just a few pics and captions. Enjoy and don’t be too jealous.

The best turkey burger and fries. Yum!

The best turkey burger and fries. Yum!

Another dining option... this time we took the girls. At first we couldn't find the specific restaurant because you had to go through the wine bar to get to it... hello, we don't drink. But I'm glad we found it for lunch on our last day.

Another dining option… this time we took the girls. At first we couldn’t find the specific restaurant because you had to go through the wine bar to get to it… hello, we don’t drink. But I’m glad we found it for lunch on our last day.

It wasn't our anniversary but our steward must have thought something was up with all the gifts we got everyday. These love birds were cute.

It wasn’t our anniversary but our steward must have thought something was up with all the gifts we got everyday. These love birds were cute.

yup, the creepiest.

Yup, the creepiest.

More yummy chocolates.

More yummy chocolates.

The Chief had to get this bottle of wine because it was described as "tasting like cherry coke." His parents enjoyed a glass each too.

The Chief had to get this bottle of wine because it was described as “tasting like cherry coke.” His parents enjoyed a glass each too.

We passed this plate around to his parents and his sister & husband.

We passed this plate around to his parents and his sister & husband.

The Chief has this submarine cruise on his must-do list. I was not feeling well but I enjoyed the smooth ride and the cool temps. Now that I think about it, I'm lucky I didn't make a whole lot of other people sick.

The Chief had this submarine cruise on his must-do list. I was not feeling well but I enjoyed the smooth ride and the cool temps. Now that I think about it, I’m lucky I didn’t make a whole lot of other people sick.

We decided to take the Chief's parents to dinner with us as a way to thank them for the cruise. The food was delicious.

We decided to take the Chief’s parents to dinner with us as a way to thank them for the cruise. The food was delicious.

The one surprise plate we did not share with the others. T2 ate a strawberry almost as big as her palm before I came back to the room. YUM!

The one surprise plate we did not share with the others. T2 ate a strawberry almost as big as her palm before I came back to the room. YUM!

Got to love the creepy red eyes on our towel animals. But Louis was awesome!

Got to love the creepy red eyes on our towel animals. But Louis was awesome!

Exactly.

Exactly.

The Chief made contact to let the Chief know we were sailing with him and he asked the Chief what his "poison" was... not a drinker, the Chief asked for diet soda. We were sent two cases of soda and a magnum of champagne.

The Chief made contact to let the Chief know we were sailing with him and he asked the Chief what his “poison” was… not a drinker, the Chief asked for diet soda. We were sent two cases of soda and a magnum of champagne.

The first of many surprises left in our cabin. We also got an invitation to attend a private reception with the Captain and the top officers.

The first of many surprises left in our cabin. We also got an invitation to attend a private reception with the Captain and the top officers.

One of the sights my FIL wanted to see was the Arizona Memorial. Very somber and moving. Copyright The Chief 2014

One of the sights my FIL wanted to see was the Arizona Memorial. Very somber and moving. Copyright The Chief 2014

KuKui nut leis. The hotel employee responsible for helping guests with taxis and shuttles talked with me and the girls about the leis I had made T1 and how I didn't have kukui nuts to add... he said "Don't leave if your shuttle gets here" and went into the building to bring back 4 leis for our family. Now that is customer service.

Kukui nut leis. The hotel employee responsible for helping guests with taxis and shuttles talked with me and the girls about the leis I had made T1 and how I didn’t have kukui nuts to add… he said “Don’t leave if your shuttle gets here” and went into the building to bring back 4 leis for our family. Now that is customer service.

Rainbows in Hawai'i--Who would have thought? Copyright SnipeWife 2014

Rainbows in Hawai’i–Who would have thought? Copyright SnipeWife 2014

So sorry all the photos are out of order. We also got a tour of the engine room and a map signed by the Chief and the Captain. The Chief also got crew coveralls from the Chief. Too funny.

Well, I hope I don’t get anyone in trouble for posting about all of this.

If you want to know more about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshops, click on the trophy in my side bar. Here are this week’s prompts:

1. Show us where you go for quiet.
2. Throwback time! Share an old class photo of yourself.
3. List the top 6 books on your list to read next.
4. Write a blog post inspired by the word: travel.
5. Something funny your child said.

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Sometimes It Is Not Fun Being an Adult

January 12, 2014

When the Chief asked me what I wanted for Christmas I said, “I was thinking about that. Could we combine Christmas with our anniversary, not get each other anything, and go to this bed-and-breakfast that I’ve been dying to go to and have been watching its blog like a hawk?”

The Chief was game and I was given the go ahead to look for a sitter for the girls.

Then the Chief gave me for Christmas a pair of earrings we had scoped out at an antique shop downtown. Now I did get him to narrow down how much he spent and I don’t think that he paid too much for them. I would like them appraised to see if the stones are real but the earrings themselves are 14k gold.

So our anniversary came and went and so did some weird weather. It is fortuitous that we did not go on our actual anniversary because of the weather. (The next day was a snow day and that could have been disastrous.)

We were planning on going tomorrow. But it has been nagging at me. The cost. The cost of one night. I know, I know it is the experience of staying in a historic building, having cocktail hour, a luxury bath, gas fire-place, amazing food in the morning, time alone, just the two of us… I’m worth it. He’s worth it (though I’m not so sure he’d enjoy it as much as I would). 18 years is a pretty good accomplishment.

But we have a family cruise to Hawaii this summer. I’m going to want to do as many excursions as possible. The amount we would have spent in the accommodation, taxes and for a sitter for the night could pay for 1 or 2 excursions for a family of 4 depending on what we choose to do.

I was talking to the father of the sitter, letting him know we’d tell her tonight if we still needed her. “Yeah, we usually end up taking the kids with us because there will be a time when it’s just us.” I said, “We’re going on this trip but it’s not like we’ll have privacy.” He laughed, “Sure you will. Just send them to the beach.” T1, who will be sharing a cabin with other cousins, piped in, “Or just send T2 to our cabin!”

It is not just that. In recent days I looked around at our more than adequate home and started listing that I’d still really like–our bathroom redone and we truly need to admit we need a king size bed if we’re ever going to get decent sleep any time soon. This could mean a whole new bedroom set (ours is 18 years old now). And he has a list of his own–new kitchen floor, new front door, etc. None of this will be inexpensive. We just got a new hot water heater, new washer & dryer, and replaced the french doors. Not cheap at all. Those three were definite needs and not the wants of a new bathroom sink.

And the kicker? The Chief and I just had physicals. Our GP is an old friend–I’m talking I’ve known him since 9th grade. He went in to see the Chief and said, “Not that your wife told me to say anything to you, but you don’t seem too particularly thrilled with your employment situation. What’s it going to take for you to stop sailing?”

“For my wife and children to agree to live on half my salary.”

Don’t get me wrong, the Chief is pretty selfless and doesn’t make us feel like a burden. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that it is me that refers to myself as spoiled and blessed that I don’t have to work. I’ve struggled with that and I’ve panicked about that–I can be immobilized by the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” But the Chief has never made me feel like he resents us. He has expressed displeasure when he’s felt unappreciated but he’s right. The girls especially have had moments of thoughtless unappreciation.

I just spent the month of November being thankful and December is about serving, giving, and counting those blessings all over again. If the Chief is one of my top blessings, is it right for me to ask him to take me to what boils down to as an extravagance in light of all the home improvements I just complained about and the already planned expensive Hawaiian trip .. for “our anniversary”? Is it appreciative to ask him to spend money of something he might not enjoy as much as me?

Okay, just to be balanced, if the Chief asked me to spend our anniversary at a woodworking show, you better believed I’d roll my eyes, groan, make sure there was a nice hotel and restaurant involved before I’d agree to go with him. (And yes, I’ve spent my birthday at a woodworking show with him but it was followed by a Trace Atkins & Bill Engvall concert–seemed like a reasonable exchange!) The Chief agreed to the B-n-B idea without asking for something for him.

I wanted the Chief to step in and say, “Let’s save the money for Hawaii.” But he wouldn’t. He felt like he was in between a rock and a hard place. He listened to what I had to say. If he gave his thumbs up, I’d enjoy it–I’d have a blast. But I’d probably feel the guilt later when I had another sleepless night or complained again about or mismatched medicine cabinets. Or had even more guilt as we signed up for our excursions. Would it be worth it.

The Chief came up with the only grown-up solution. “If you’re going to feel guilty, let’s not go and go shopping for a king size bed this week.”

He’s a good guy, that Chief of mine.

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I Promised….

March 19, 2013

a bunch of posts after my scrapbooking weekend. But I don’t know where to start.

Often that feeling is exactly what keeps people from ever starting anything. It can be paralyzing. I figured if I put this off much longer I’d forget what I wanted to write and I’d be hard pressed to find new things to write.

I have lots to say just not lots of focus or time to say them.

I will start with the birthday. I’m not sure why I celebrate it any more … okay, that doesn’t sound right. There was a time when my birthday represented more negative than positive. I guess now I just don’t want a big fuss because I don’t need anything or particularly expect anything. I get to celebrate my birthday with my friends, scrapbooking for 48 hours. What more could I want?

But I have dear friends who in spite of my protests “No, no, don’t do anything/give anything!” still took me out to lunch and gave me gifts. Really, just the long lunch was fine (but I love my new Wonder Woman cooler cup!). We actually had the hubby of one friend join us to celebrate his birthday too. And I ate the chocolate moose muffin from Mimi’s Cafe for dinner–how’s that for celebrating on the wild side?

The best thing ?… the Chief worked hard to find just the right gift. He spent a few days searching Ebay auctions and researching and at 9 PM on Sunday night won an auction to give me my own oboe! I had to ask him what brought this about and his reply was simply “You said you wanted one.”

Trying not to pass up a teaching moment, I made sure that when the Chief asked me what I thought an oboe was worth and how much he should spend that T1 was within ear shot and I replied, “I know how much I wouldn’t go over because this is definitely a want and not a need.” I am happy to say the Chief has mad Ebay auction skills and got a great price for this oboe.

It has been over 20 years since I’ve played. I loved going to the music store and buying the reed and cleaning kit. I even picked up the same lesson books T2 is studying out of — BTW, alto sax and oboe are in the same key so we can work together — and some simple music.

Playing the oboe is exhausting! It is coming back to me and I don’t sound as much like a duck as I did in 9th grade which earned me the Duckie award from the band teacher. I still have the duck Christmas ornament my band geek friends gave me. 🙂

To anyone else this might seem like an odd gift but really it was the perfect gift. In a lot of ways it was the Chief saying “I love you” without saying those words. It reminded me of our first Valentines where he won me a copy of the stuffed Chewbacca doll my dog ate (this was back in the beginnings of Ebay in 1996). Again, what an odd but awesome gift that had “I love you” written all over it.

Of course I’ve had a few hecklers say “If all you had to do was say you wanted some

A modern oboe with a reed.

A modern oboe with a reed. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

thing, next time go big!” Nah, to me this was big.

Thanks, Chief. I love you too.

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