Sunday, December 29, 2013

First Christmas

It is the most wonderful time of the year.  We spent our first Christmas together in New Hampshire.  It was a nice break from flight school and the warm weather of Alabama (Christmas just isn't Christmas without cold and snow).

We mad a lot of fun memories but some of my favorite included: playing games near the fire, our Christmas nativity, making gingerbread houses and sledding.

Our little Christmas tree.  I pulled out the stool, placed it with all my little potted plants, and topped it off with a cotton branch I stole (shhh) from the field across the street.  A little bit of sparkly garland, lights, and wa la!  You've got a Christmas tree.

A very special nativity.  Kempy gave me a box of odd fabrics and said, "make costumes for a nativity."
Here we are.  Wise man (Aaron), angel (me), shepard (Sadie) with stuffed sheep, Joseph (Joseph),
and Mary (Avy) on her donkey.

We had a full house Christmas morning: two kids, four adults, and four missionaries.
We didn't have enough stockings to go around so we improvised with boots.
Aaron's army boot, my city boot, Kemper's slip-on boot, Joseph's cowboy boot
It wasn't all fun and games.  If we want to stay, we've got to help out.
Aaron was recruited to help tile the new shower.  He did an excellent job too!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

We hosted our first of many Halloween Parties (at someone else's house because we don't have a place where anyone can sit... yet).  We prepared Minute to Win It games as entertainment and everyone brought a treat to share.

Here is how it went down.  As guests came in, we seperated them into four teams (each given a spider ring in a different color) and got a picture of each couple.  Eating should always be a first priority so we helped ourselves to the yummy food.  Minute to Win It games was next on the agenda.  I was the MCish, more like the commander, to introduce games.  Aaron and Chris prepared materials for each game.  Heather made and operated the blueprint and timer dvd (so awesome!).  The winning team got a candy prize.  After playing all the games, we had one final competition to choose best costume.  The evening ended with more treats and conversation.  It was a blast!

Games we played:

Hanky Panky (a favorite)
Candy Elevator
Chocolate Unicorn
Junk in the Trunk (my favorite)
Defying Gravity
Nose Dive
Elephant March
Suck It Up
Dizzy Mummy
Breakfast Scramble

Costumes ('highly encouraged' that everyone dress up):

Wolcotts: Your hosts, the burglers.
Casebolts: Vampire and Salem Witch (eek!)
Sister Missionaries: Witch and Kitty 
Burns: Japenese people (what are they called?) - check out the shoes!
Lambs: The Sims (this is awesome because he NEVER dresses up so this is an umbelievable event)
Careys: I Love Lamp from Anchorman
Elders: ?? Monsters??
Latins and Jeromes: Brilliant Dispicable Me Costumes! Gru, Minion, Dr. Nefario, and Vector
Nichols: Muchacho and her Pinata

Candy Elevator
Hanky Panky

Monday, September 30, 2013

My (Most Recent) Favorite Thing

My Aaron bought me the most wonderful birthday gift (with a little hint and nudge).  It is a necklace with three special charms.

An inital.  The letter 'A' begins my name and the name of my best mate, Aaron.

A gem.  Each month has a stone/gem associated with it.  Though I was not born in the month of May, this month signifies the birth of a new chapter in life, marriage.  It is probably the most important chapter in life too.  So I recognize it by hanging a emerald gem around my neck.

A horseshoe.  Now you may be thinking 'lucky' and you are right.  The horseshoe does indeed have the tradition and superstition of luck.  But an upside-down horseshore means more to me.  Abigail Adams, wife of second president of the United States, believe her family had beem very fortunate and achieve considerable success.  She hung a horseshoe upside down over the front door of the family home, in effort that her family's good luck would spill upon visitors and enrich their lives for good.

The combination of these charms may appear as self-centered but it is not the case.  I love the reminder that I have a work to do - to keep my husband as my high priority (only second to God), continue to improve my marriage, and to share my good fortune with others through service and kindness.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oh, He Is A Helicopter Pilot - No Big Deal

Fort Rucker, AL is the home of Army Aviation.  This is where all the helicopter pilots come to train.  Aaron will be flying Medivac for the Army (like an ambulance driver but in the air). It will be another 10 months before he graduates flight school and moves onto his first duty station.

Today was family day.  It gives family members a chance to watch our pilots fly.  Pretty cool!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Wolcott Family Letter

Hey All Y'All,

Today was my FIRST day teaching step aerobics. Yipee. Unfortunately it didn't go as well as I had hoped. Ugh. But the only way to get better is to keep teaching and to keep practicing. So I listen to the same 12 songs over and over again until I get it right. Poor Aaron has all of my music memorized.

I don't feel too bad though because I get it from him too; I listen to him recite helicopter emergency procedures over and over again. For example, this is what I am listening to right now, "To avoid stress in the structure however this restriction in no way limits normal control application... three indications of loss of tail rotor; one, pedals input no longer has effect on trim; two, nose of helicopter will turn to the right; three, there will be a left yaw...execute the touch down with rapid collective pull prior to touchdown with level attitude with minimum ground run." Yup, this is our life.

But there is some cool news - Aaron is FLYING! He has a 7.7 flight hours already. He says it is a lot harder than he thought it would be. I think he has hit a wall, now he has to WORK to keep up with the demands of flight school. The poor guy. But I am so proud of him!

We still have no furniture in our house (that is, besides the table and dining chairs and Grandma Tolman's orange chair). We set up two camping chairs + the orange chair to make up our "three cushion sofa", we use boxes as end tables, and all of our pictures are still sitting on the floor in the general area of where they will eventually be hung up once there is a piece of furniture underneath of it. But alas, we are still shopping for furniture. I got the comment this week, "It is taking Amy longer to choose a couch than to choose a husband." Haha!!

We did make a headboard for our bed though and it looks AMAZING! I can hardly wait until we get it attached to the bed after the sanding and finish are applied.

Hum, what else? Not much. We are doing well. Happy to be here together. Happy that we took the six-hour-round-trip to the temple in Birmingham, AL this weekend. Happy that the weather is finally cooling off. Happy to have good friends in the ward. And happy to have a great family.

Hope all is well with y'all! Have a blessed day (I'm picking up on the lingo 'round 'ere).
Amy (and Aaron)

Friday, August 2, 2013

The Search of the Grey Sofa

The hunt for a perfect grey sofa to last me 20 years begins.

If the darn thing didn't cost so much I wouldn't make such a big deal outta it.  But alas, it is months worth of saving and lots of research.  Ugh.  I think I like writing English papers more than sofa shopping.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

He Survived, Escaped, Ran-Away, and Evaded

I don't think 'Ran-Away' is the right word that fits in the SERE acronym.  But it has something to do with survival.

Aaron took a three week survival training at Ft. Rucker.  During those three weeks, Aaron learned survival skills.  He had to march around the woods for several days, hunt for food, and use a map and compass to find his way back while it rained everyday.

During those three weeks, we could not see or speak with each other.  It was a long three weeks.

Aaron came home on Sunday, 10lbs lighter, worn out.  He was happy to see me, happy to have food, happy to sleep in a bed, and happy to be out of the rain!

My survior man... with his "SEREstache" (yuck).... in front of his sign.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Alabama - Apartment 132

Setting up an apartment for the first time is a lot bigger task than I ever thought it would be.  In the past, I would arrange the leftover furniture from the previous tenant, make do, or do without.  Now I am living in a completely empty apartment without anything to work with.  The options are endless on how to fix this place up.

With such an open pallet of options, I'm not sure where to begin.

I usually begin with the problems and dilemmas.  Then I try to work from there.

Dilemma #1 - Whatever furniture we purchase here will be moved wherever we get stationed next - which could very easily be overseas.  So is it worth purchasing lots of furniture now and get the house just the way I want it to then move it in a year?

Dilemma #2 - What kind of furniture do I get?  Particle board ($) that will last a couple years and two moves before it is destroyed by the movers -or- Solid wood ($$$) that will last a lot longer and ten moves before it is so dinged-up that I want nicer furniture.

Dilemma #3 - Ikea!  I love their furniture and they have the option of particle board and solid wood furniture for reasonable prices.  Perfect.  Unfortunately the nearest Ikea store is in Atlanta, GA, three hours away.  How do I get a bookcase from there to here without paying the $300 shipping charges?

Dilemma #4 - What if I make my own furniture (bookcases, end tables, etc)??  Then that will solve several dilemmas - Solid wood. I will know how to fix the furniture the movers break, ding, or destroy. Much cheaper to make than to buy at stores. And I don't have to go to Ikea to get it.  Sound like a plan to me!  But the dilemma is this... is this going to be one of those reupholster-chair-projects-that-look-horrible-even-after-48-hours-of-straight-work-but-I-am-to-stubborn-that-I-won't-stop?  If that is the case, maybe I should stop while I'm ahead.

Nonetheless, here is apartment 132:

My vision (pictured above).  My reality (several pictures below).

Who would've thought two boxes, a blanket-table cloth, and Chinese floor seating could lead to a romantic dinner with this great guy?

Don't let if fool ya, this is our three cushion sofa.  Notice the box at the end?  That is our end table, of course.

It is hard to invision, but this will be a fabulous shelving unit.  It will reach from one end of the boxes to the other.  And it is as deep as the short bookcase+two books shown.  It is all measured out.
[--bookcase--]<----sofa table---->[--bookcase--]
The lamp (pictured above) will sit on the sofa table.  The large world map (rolled up in the long cardboard box) will hang above the sofa table.  Then a tall bookcase (35w x77h) will sit on either side.
Nice vision, eh?

Looks good enough as it is, right? Wrong!
This is going to be my second favorite wall (following the fancy shelving unit wall).
This wall going to host my cedar chest and it will hold a tv stand (72w x 19h).  Again, the lamp will sit on top of the tv stand as shown, and the picture of Christ will hang above the cedar chest which is right next to the front door.
I thought the placement of the picture was perfect.  The picture of Christ is looking straight at the entryway and whomever leaves the apartment.  It is as if Jesus is saying, "Go and feed my sheep.  Remember who you are."  I love it.

Vision #2.  This is the headboard that I want to make for my bed that sits in front of a window.

And this is the wood to make that headboard.  Aaron and I will use the woodworking tools at the arts and crafts center on post to make it. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


We took our first (but not certainly not last) trip to New Orleans!

I am in love with this city - so many cultures, traditions, food, and things to do and see in one city!

Jackson Square
Mississippi River before the firework show

So many spices

Sandra Bullock's house in the Garden district.
This was one of my favorite things to do in NOLA - the Cemetary/Garden District Tour.  So interesting.

Mardi Gras museam 
Props for floats.  They make floats year-round to prepare.

San Fransisco plantation house along the Mississippi
Jumbalaya and Red Beans and Rice, a NOLA favorite