Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas at the Hollis House

We had a pretty great Christmas this year even though we had no family to spend to it with. Holidays are always so hard since we're so far away, but we try to make it the best we can. Kevin had an entire week off, which I think was great because they have worked these guys to death the past year. We didn't do much during the week.. just spent some quality q-t. We did take an evening and go to Poffabro, a town only about 10 minutes from our house, to see nativities. It was very cold. Even though it's not far from us, it's such a different climate. Despite the cold, Rosalie had a BLAST, which totally shocked us. They had a live band that just moved from street to street playing music. It def made it feel Christmasy.

My sweet family!
My Princess and I!
Roey and Daddy!

This nativity was made entirely from CORN!

We decided to skype with my family Christmas Eve since they had a very busy Christmas Day planned. We skyped with them so they could open their presents and Rosalie opened a few from them. After we were done skyping, it was way past Rosalie's bedtime. Kevin sent her lil butt off to bed so Santa could come but she wanted no part of it. She sat in her bed and screamed and kicked the wall. This went for a good 20 minutes before she crashed. We played Santa.. exchanged our Christmas stockings.. then went to bed.

It didn't take Buddy long to find his Christmas presents!

Santa Came!

Rosalie woke up at 5am Christmas morning. 5am is too early for her. I knew she was going to be grouchy and whiney so after a few fusses, I let her be, and she went right back to sleep til 6. When she came downstairs she was so excited and ran straight to her presents.. which is not her normal morning routine. Usually as soon as she gets up you have to get her a drink.. then while she has her drink she goes to the potty and does her thing. (Don't get all excited.. that's the only potty we have down is when she gets up. We're still working on it) I knew if I let her start opening she'd pee so I made her go in and sit down (yeah i'm such an awful mommy hahaha.) She peed as fast as she could and took off running for the livingroom. After getting a fresh diaper put on she went right to work opening presents. She opened for about 45 minutes when it became a fight to get her to open presents because she wanted to play with the new stuff. We let her take a break and play and then Kevin and I opened. After we finished we made her go back to opening which was probably another 45 minutes. When she was done we got all her stuff put back under the tree and cleared the livingroom so her big present could come out.. her Dora four-wheeler! As soon as Kevin sat it down she jumped on and took off! She absolutely loved it! After she played for awhile and got her bath, we took her outside so she could ride with more room. After she got bored with riding we sat outside and colored with chalk on the sidewalk for a good hour. I cooked a huge dinner and after dinner we watched Elf and A Christmas Story. Overall, it was a good day.

(Please note.. pictures are in reverse order of our Christmas morning haha)
My little artist

Rosalie and I Christmas morning.. yup we had matching pjs!
Rosalie with all her loot!
"Cheese" hahaha
Boy was Santa good to us this year!!

Deciding what's next!

Rosalie made out really well for Christmas lol. She still has more presents to open at my mom's house because I told her not to send all her gifts since the movers will be coming in a month and a half. I was pretty pleased with every one of my Christmas presents! We got our usual money from the families.. then I got an Apple Tv, the final 2 HP movies, The Biggest Loser for the Kinect, a charm bracelet with about 9 charms (which is something I always wanted!), some stuff from AE, VS satin jammies, Under Armour, Bare Minerals, lotions and bath stuff.

Hope everyone had a Christmas as wonderful as ours was!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Hollis Family!

Pretty Pattern Christmas Card
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tribute to Fallen Heroes

A friend posted this on facebook.. and I had to share. I love this song.. it touches deep in my heart and it's just something I can't even fathom. I can't imagine not growing old with my husband or Roey growing up without a Daddy. These pictures are just.. amazing. You have to see it for yourself.

Head over to Oh Penelope Photography and give yourself a good cry haha

Monday, December 12, 2011

Recycled Crayons

I came across this on pinterest and wanted to slap myself upside my head for never thinking of it! We have a ziploc bag with crayons that Rosalie had broke. I transformed about 8 broken jumbo crayons into 5 cute heart recycled crayons! I figured I would share my tutorial because really it is genius!

Take all your broken crayons and peel off of the wrappers. Chop them up into pieces and throw them in a bowl . This time I did them all rainbow mix, but next time I think I'll do them in coordinating colors.

You'll see in the picture that I did use a few regular sized crayons too. I had about 4. Regular sized crayons never last long in our house because Rosalie breaks them quickly. These weren't broken, but I figured I might as well add them.

Next, grease muffin pans. I have a heart shaped muffin pan that I scored at Target after Valentine's Day last year. I have never used it lol.. until now! I would have never have thought I'd be using it to make crayons!

Fill each muffin with crayons. Depending on how chunky you want them depends on how deep you want to fill them. I decided to go as chunky as possible so I filled them the whole way.

Heat your oven to 250. Place the crayons in the oven for about 15 minutes. Pull out of oven and let cool. I let mine cool for about 15 minutes until the pan was safe to touch, then placed them in the freezer to speed up the process.

I won't lie... when they came out looking solid colors I was skeptical.

After 15 minutes in the freezer.. I had these!

Do this! Your toddler will love it!!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

General Tso Chicken

One thing in the states I long for is Chinese food. Kind of an oxymoron right? Longing for Chinese food in America! ha! One of my favorite places to go is the Gourmet Buffet and you can guarantee that when I'm home I'll visit it about once a week! LOL! I came across this recipe for General Tso Chicken on Pinterest. Kim Hamilton had pinned it and I figured I might as well give it a try.. maybe it would help my chinese cravings... it was DELISH. I'd have to say it has become one of my FAVORITE recipes!!!

General Tso Chicken
1 Lb. chicken breasts (cut into 1" pieces)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. "lite" soy sauce
1/4 c. unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 c. white distilled vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed ( i used 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated (I used 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 3 Tbsp. water
4 green onions, sliced

Dredge chicken in flour and fry in oil over medium heat (in a wok or a skillet) until golden brown and crispy.

Drain excess oil. Sprinkle cayenne over the chicken and keep warm on low heat.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, combine sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, vinegar, garlic, and ginger) and heat gently. When sauce is smooth and sugar has dissolved, SLOWLY add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until sauce has thickened to desired thickness.

Pour sauce in the wok and stir to coat chicken. Stir in green onion. Remove from heat and serve with fried or steamed rice!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Incentive Flight in Chinook Helicopter

The past couple of days the helicopters have been flying over our house nonstop dropping parachute guys out. Rosalie loves watching them and every time she hears one go over she'll go "woah. what's that?" Little did we know, the one helicopter that went over us yesterday had Kevin in it! He got picked for an incentive flight. I just wanted to share some of his pics!

so close to the alps.. doesn't get any better than that!

See the little cluster of houses almost in the middle (more towards the top)? The houses that are all the same looking and have the orange/brownish rooftops? That's our housing! How coll is that?

Monday, November 28, 2011


Another photobook... Pictures of Rosalie from this fall after she turned two!

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Mom & Dad's Visit

After 2 weeks, I'm FINALLY getting caught up on getting all of my pictures organized! Here's another book i wanted to share.. it was from my parent's visit!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Final Mission Astronauts

A few months back, Kevin, Rosalie, and I went to the BX. We were totally surprised when we got there and the astronauts from the final mission were there for a meet and greet. Of course we were unprepared and didn't have our camera, but I figured Rosalie could at least get their autographs. They signed a big photograph and we had bought a newspaper that was all about NASA and had it signed. It just so happened that in front of us in line was the Chaplin and his wife. They were so kind and offered to take pictures for us! He finally emailed them to Kevin not to long ago so here they are!

Poor lil thing was soo tired and played possum with them... totally not like her!

Friday, November 25, 2011


I have so much to be thankful and am extremely grateful for all the wonderful things that God has blessed me with.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my family.
I have an amazing husband who I am so proud of. He works hard for his family and his country. He is an excellent Father and I couldn't ask for Rosalie to have a better Dad than him.
I have a beautiful, healthy little girl who is the light of my life. She is the reason I get out of bed every day and couldn't imagine a world without her. She truly brings me so much joy!
My parents.. I couldn't ask for better parents. They have loved me unconditionally, supported me no matter what, provided me with an amazing life, and have been there when I needed them the most. They have treated my husband like one of their own and have showed Rosalie so much love.

I am thankful for our health.

I am thankful for my education & my career. Even though it's collecting dust right now, I can't wait to be able to put it to use again when we return stateside!

I am thankful for our military men and women.

I am thankful for the roof over our heads.

I am thankful that for the past 2 years I have been able to be a stay at home mom. I am grateful that I have the chance to watch Rosalie learn and grow every single day.. and that I'm not missing any of her milestones!

I am thankful for my two bestfriends, Kayla and Abbey. Even though we are thousands and thousands of miles apart, I know I always have them to go to. In my 24 years of life, I have not found a friendship like the friendship I have with them. I'm so grateful that God blessed me not only with one person that is bonded to me like a sister, but TWO people! I love them so much!

I am thankful to have such wonderful neighbors! When we first moved to Aviano, our neighbors were TERRIBLE. They were so inconsiderate of us... and were just down right nasty mean spirited people. The ladies that we live by now are just the sweetest and nicest people! It makes living here not so terrible when you are surrounded by such a positive atmosphere!

I am thankful that we've had the chance to live in Europe. I am so grateful that the US Air Force has given us the opportunity. We have seen so many wonderful places and things that I'll always carry with me. Seeing Ireland has always been a dream of mine that in a million years I never thought I would happen!

With that being said, I'm thankful that this was our LAST Thanksgiving in Italy! I know that when we get to Alabama we won't be able to go home for every holiday.. actually I don't think I would want Rosalie to spend Christmas anywhere other than her home.. but it'll be be nice to know that if we want to go home, we can just jump in the car and go!

I am thankful for Ladybug Creations. I have in no way made a fortune on my bows. I sell my bows way under priced. I love that I can make Rosalie endless amounts of bows to go with every single outfit she has. I love seeing little girls wearing my bows and I love happy customers! It kept me sane while Kevin was gone and has kept me sane through all these inspections and exercises the past few months that have had my husband pretty much nonexistent.

I have so much more to be thankful for, but unfortunately that is about all the time I have! I'll leave you with my lil Turkey...