An Afternoon with Ivy

As we drove up the driveway to spend the afternoon with Shelley and her horse Ivy, EJ pointed out her window at the horses grazing in the field and excitedly exclaimed "dog, dog". That's my city girl!

EJ was a bit timid at first to get close to Ivy, but after she saw how comfortable Saren (her new 5 year old friend) was at riding EJ sat in the saddle and even rode a little.

I can see her love of horses developing and look forward to many more days at the farm!

Here Comes the Sun

That song was stuck in my mind the whole week Biebs was visiting. Fortunately she had plenty of sun while she was here and we soaked up a lot of it while relaxing on the beach.

Biebs and I go way back. Back to the days before cell phones (our own that is), college, and husbands. We met as lifeguards at the same pool, and spent three fabulous summers together in the sun. She was the one that constantly made me laugh and was always up for hanging out at Borders to "study" or a last minute road trip.

She has visited me every place I have lived and now, as she starts her career in the Navy, I look forward to doing the same for her! I think there will be many more beaches in our future...

EJ loved her time at the beach with Biebs. She got to dig in the sand, play in the waves, and meet new friends.

A new favorite activity of EJ's is fetching water from the ocean to pour into the sand.

The BIG Debut!

I'm very excited to announce that Little Aviator will make its big debut at the MWR Flea Market on Sunday, March 27. With the help of my dear friend Biebs, I have been able to prepare an assortment of my Aviator kokeshi dolls and flight apparel to sell at this popular event.

Stop by our booth (#96/97) to see all the wonderful items we have to offer!

Sakura Blossom Party

past sakura society members

Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the natural beauty of flowers. Flowers almost always meaning sakura blossoms or cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms are not as prevalent here in Pensacola but that did not keep us from celebrating the delicate flower at Angela's house.

Angela and Laurie

We are lucky to have a whole contingent of former Warlords living in our area so this was a great reason to get our kimonos, yukatas, and happi jackets out and enjoy each others company while reminiscing over sake and sakura wine.

finally a chance to wear her kimono

aunt biebs

pumpkin mochi

Mochi took a little bit to get used to when we first moved to Japan. I gradually learned to love the taste and it became a common stack or dessert I enjoyed. Laurie made this fabulous pumpkin mochi recipe which is a great twist on the classic flavors.

cherry cheesecake

Hail and Farewell St. Patty's Style

decked out in green

We held our third St. Patrick's Day party for the first time in our new house. The parties started while living in Japan and we were excited to celebrate with our friends and neighbors in Pensacola this year.

DaddyO made his traditional corned beef and cabbage. He got a head start on the cooking and began corning the beef ten days early!

corned beef


I was in charge of the decorations and baking.

for the love of the irish

shamrock cookies

DaddyO finished the carport just in time for the festivities and we enjoyed visiting with friends under the twinkling lights.

The party also turned into a Hail and Farewell for DaddyO's squadron. Every few months incoming pilots are "hailed" and outgoing are bidden "farewell". DaddyO said goodbye to a few of his good friends as they move to the to the West Coast and Middle East.



and iraq bound

This was a wonderful night to celebrate with good friends and be reminded of how "lucky" we are to have them all!


who are you?

Spring Poem Kokeshi

A friend from Japan gave me a very special kokeshi こけし when EJ was born. Avia fell in love with this doll while she was visiting and decided to make her a little friend. She used one of my unfinished wooden dolls, painted it with acrylic paint, and finished with a spray of clear gloss. The demure doll is the perfect size to fit in EJ's pocket and spends most of her time being carried around in it.

Beach Day

With 70 degree weather on Sunday we had no excuse not to go to the beach for the afternoon.

EJ had a blast digging in the sand, watching the seagulls, and collecting seashells.

She has all the makings of a beach girl!

McGuire's St. Patty's Day 5k

sea of green at the starting line

We ran our third McGuire's St. Patty's Day 5k Prediction Run this weekend. Avia joined us for the race and got to experience all that a McGuire's run has to offer.

We enjoyed the beautiful weather, festive competitors (over 11,000), and scenic trail as we ran the three miles through downtown Pensacola.



nearing the finish line

and across!

Here is a look back through the years...

2011 - time to be announced

2010 - 27:15


Happy Faschnaut Day!

Avia arrived on Monday for a week long visit with us in (hopefully) warm and sunny Florida. DaddyO was excited her trip would fall over Faschnaut Day and that meant she just might treat us to her delicious potato doughnuts.

DaddyO has many fond memories of coming home from school as a child and helping his mom make dozens of faschnauts on Fat Tuesday. They made glazed, cinnamon sprinkled, and sugared. This year EJ got to help Avia make an assortment of the German doughnuts and I got to learn her recipe!

baking with Avia

Edna Ruth Byler's Potatoe Doughnuts
(from the More With Less cookbook)

3 pkg. dry yeast in
1 c. lukewarm water

Mix in large bowl:
1 qt. scalded milk
2 c. mashed potatoes (no milk ad
1c. fat (half butter, half margarine)
1 c. sugar

Let cool to lukewarm then add:
yeast mixture
6 c. flour

Let stand until mixture foams up (about 20 minutes).
2 eggs, beaten
1 T. salt
11-12 c. additional flour

A little more flour may be needed, but dough should be soft. Turn out on flored board and knead until satiny. Let raise in warm place until doubled in bulk.

Roll out dough, cut doughnuts, place on trays and let raise until not quite double. Fry in hot shortening (375 degrees). When drained and while still hot dip in glaze mixture. Insert a stick through holes and let a number of doughnuts drain over glaze bowl until next ones are ready to do.

1 lb. powdered sugar
1 T. margarine
1 t. vanilla

dash of mace

enough rich milk to make thin icing

Makes: 100 doughnuts

Smokin' in the Square

We walked downtown and enjoyed the sounds, smells and tastes of Smokin' in the Square. BBQ pit masters from across the country converged on Seville Square and smoked and grilled their way towards bragging rights.

We tasted our way around the park with some friends and decided that JC's Pit Crew from Huntsville, AL won our vote.

EJ couldn't get enough of the ribs, chicken, beans and slaw. I think she got her dad's taste buds.

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