Hello, everyone!  Sorry I haven't been here in almost a month.  Eek!  I really thought I'd have more news for you at the end of January, though.  Well, hopefully today I'll be able to make up for that.  

First of all, Clayton has been flagged for recruiting duty.  He was screened at the end of January, and we have yet to hear anything more.  IF they do pick him to be a recruiter (which would plunk us into a civilian community for three years), the soonest we would be moving is December 2013.  So the big news that has come out of his B billet screening is that we'll be staying here for at least another year.

As many of you may know, my birthday was this week.  After slacking off last year, Clayton did a great job helping me celebrate this year.  We took our Merlin for his morning quest.  After we dropped him off at the house, we ran some errands on base, got some donuts and coffee for breakfast, and then ran errands in New Bern.  We came home, had a light lunch, and then I opened my presents.  Clayton got me something I've been wanting for a while- matching plates!  They're really quite lovely!  He had told his mother about his plans, and she agreed it was such a good idea, that she sent me another box of the same set.  Yay!  Now I have plenty of matching bowls, mugs, dinner plates, and salad plates.  We rearranged all of the cupboards to accommodate my new dinnerware.  I've come to the conclusion that if this were my forever house, I'd be making some changes to the layout of the kitchen.  As it is, though, I think I've got everything pretty well set up now.  Oh, I suppose you'd like some pictures.  Well, if you insist!
After all of our running around and rearranging the kitchen, we were pretty well wiped out.  Especially Clayton, who did all of this right after coming off his shift at 0730.  So we took a nap.  Well, I took a nap, Clayton got his sleep for the day.  We were going to go out for dinner, but it wasn't in the cards just then.  All the same, Birthday Part I was really great.  Birthday Part II will happen this weekend.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, so when I got back from church with my friend and her family, we had potato pancakes and apple sauce for dinner.  This morning is St. Valentine's Day, and once again, my husband learned his lesson from last year.  He made us a delicious breakfast of pink waffles, bacon, and cheesy scrambled eggs.  He is just the best!  Then we took Merlin for a quest, where our little dog found the matching antler to the one he found about a week ago.  Merlin is getting to be such a good little tracker.  Later today I plan on making a special Valentines treat for Clayton.  If it comes out well, I might just post it in the food blog.  
Just a little more before I publish this today.  A big "Great Job" to my youngest sister, Shannon, who scored a 100% on her permit exam on her sixteenth birthday.  OMG, my little baby sister is 16!  Speaking of little babies, our good friends Dan and Brittni welcomed their first baby into the world today.  He's a healthy baby boy, weighing in at 8lbs 7oz, and measuring 20.5 inches.  Congratulations to them and their newest family member.