Monday, December 29, 2008

Another week goes by...

3 more days left of this year! WOW! Time goes by so fast when you have a family.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Christmas!
Mom and Dad came down for a couple of days and on Christmas Eve day my dad handed me an envelope with a picture of a dishwasher in it! Woohoo!
He then said, "I can give you the money, or we can go now...whatever you want to do"
Well after living with a dead dishwasher for 4 years, we immedietly hopped in the car and went to Best Buy!
Here is a quick lesson on buying things like this...sometimes the best buy is the first buy.
We went to Best Buy first and they had one that I reall liked.

We then went to lunch, HH Gregg, and Home Depot. Needless to say, we ended back up at Best Buy to get the first one that I liked.


Some times shopping around just isn't worth it.

I highly recoomend Best Buy for this type of purchase. They where helpful, knowledgable, and most of all HONEST! The lady at HH Gregg was a complete lying idiot. Sorry, the Mike Harwood in me sometimes comes out...
Anyways....
So here it is...me and my lovely dishwasher.




I am so thankful to my Dad and my Husband for taking the hours of time to install it.
The old dishwasher had to have its legs cut off to get it out. It is currently still sitting in my front yard. Come and get it if you want to. ;)

My parents took the children with them for a few days when they left on Friday. WooHoo!
Friday I went to Kohls, then came home and took a nap, then did a whole lot of nothing.

Saturday I slept in, watched movies, layed on the couch, ate fudge, sorted pictures, showered, went to Cold Stone with Stacy, and played the Wii.
Very relaxing and enjoyable.
Sunday we went to church, went to lunch with friends, went to WalMart, Rooms to Go, Barnes and Noble. Then went to see "Seven Pounds". Really good movie! Then we used our "BoneFish Grill" gift certificate. It was pretty good.

I'm going to Chattanooga tomorrow to pick up the kids so I am trying to finish up some stuff around here tonight and then am going to go to dinner with Crissy, Kim, and Amber. Join us if you like!!!

Hope you all have had a wonderful week too!

Monday, December 22, 2008

3 days till Christmas

3 days till Christmas and my house is a mess.
The laundry is piled up and we cannot get dressed.

My voice is hoarse, and raspy at best.
My nose is way stuffy, its so hard to rest.

Grocery bags are sitting on the table quite full.
Put them away your miserable toole.

Rotting bananas are waiting to bake.
Banana bread won't happen today for goodness sake.

Packages are ready to be sent in the mail.
But today I'm moving the pace of a snail.

Floors need a mopping, they're dirty and gross.
But how can I mop when I'm blowing my nose?

3 days till Christmas, at least presents are wrapped.
Maybe I could just go lay down for a nap.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

~Sigh~

Tired of seeing friends suffer.
Tired of watching people I love make stupid decisions.
Tired of fighting my flesh.
Tired of striving to be________________.

Holding tight to God's Sovereignty.
Holding tight to God's Promises.
Holding tight to God's Commands.
Holding tight to God's Love and Patience.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tinsel Tuesday- Week 4

Hello my friends! Welcome to this weeks episode of Tinsel Tuesday.

(You must know that this is said in my BEST Mrs.Doubtfire voice)



For this weeks TT I thought I would share with you my baking list for this week. Most of the baking I am doing this week is for gifts.

Some of it might even be for YOU! But you will not know until I see you, now will you?!


This week I will be delivering my annual Pastors goody assortment. I assure you no pastors read my blog, so this is definetly not a spoiler. I have boxes for each of them (5) that will be filled with lovelies, of which I am about to share the recipes with YOU!



I also have some other homemade goody gifts that will be ready to go out this week as well.

I will take pictures after they have been delivered. Well actually, I will take the pictures BEFORE they are delivered, but I will post them AFTER they have been delivered. See? Do you see how brilliant I am?



What I have going on this week, goes all the way back to my first TT post about planning.
Remember I talked about planning out your baking for the month?
I did my shopping for this a few weeks ago. Bought my boxes a few weeks ago. And have been working on little projects for this stuff over the past few weeks.
I made my list, and checked it twice, of who I would be giving too, and now the time has come to begin the process!
I love the week of baking. Although, only one of the recipes I am making actually requires the oven. Crazy huh?!
Pastors goody boxes will consist of 4 things, of which I am about to share.
One of these things makes a huge batch and I MIGHT share with some of you.
IF you have been good this year, and I'm thinking, but I don't recall any of my friends being good this year, so never mind.


Recipe 1:

White Trash
(Kim Hill also makes White Trash, but hers is the Mississippi version. Mine is the Alabama version, and yes there is a difference!)

10-oz. pkg mini pretzels
5 c. Cheerios
5 c. Corn Chex
2 c. Peanuts
16 oz. pkg M&M's
1/2 block of White Almond Bark
1 T. Oil
Powdered Sugar-Optional

Combine first 5 ingredients in a VERY large bowl; set aside.
Melt chocolate with oil in microwave. Stir until smooth.
Pour over cereal mixture, and mix well.
Spread mixture onto 3 wax paper lined baking sheets and allow to cool.
Break into bite size pieces, store in an airtight container.

~TIP~ I do not have a bowl large enough, so I bought one of those HUGE disposable roasting pans at Wal-Mart and it works very well.
Also, I don't put my wax paper on cookie sheets. I just spread it out onto my table and do it that way.
This makes a HUGE amount!

Recipe 2:

Rocky Road Fudge
(This is one of those recipes that we have made forever and a day in my family)

12-oz pkg Chocolate Chips (2 cups)
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 TBLS butter or margarine
10 1/2 oz pkg mini marshmallows (or 5 1/2 cups)
8-oz jar unsalted peanuts

In a saucepan combine chocolate, condensed milk, and butter.
Heat over low heat till chocolate is melted; remove from heat.
In a large bowl combine marsmallows and peanuts.
Fold in Chocolate mixture.
Spread in a 9x13 pan that is lined with waxed paper.
Chill 2 hours or until firm.
Remove from pan, peel off waxed paper. Cut into 1" squares with a wet knife.
Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!

Recipe 3:

White Chocolate, Peanut, and Caramel Candy Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 c. sugar
1 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats
2 c. AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 (1.91 oz) pkgs Rolo's candy
2 (4 oz) white chocolate bars, chopped
1 1/2 cups unsalted peanuts, chopped

Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.
Add sugars and beat well.
Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
Process oats in a blender or food processor until finely ground.
Combine oats, flour, and next 3 ingredients.
Add to butter mixture, beating well.
Stir in chopped candy, white chocolate and peanuts.
Shape dough into 1 1/2" balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets.
Bake @ 375 for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Cool 1 minute on baking sheets and then remove to wire racks to cool.
Makes 6 dozen.


~ I haven't actually made these yet! I'll be making them this week and let you know how it turns out. I didn't buy white chocolate bars, I am using white chocolate chips.

Drum Roll Please! I have saved the best recipe for last!
If you have not had these, then make them!
They are easy, but also a little messy and a little hands on. But SOOOOO good!

Recipe 4:

Chocolate Balls

1 Pkg oreo cookies
8 oz. Cream Cheese
1/2 pkg Chocolate Almond Bark

Put oreos in a food processor or blender and make into a fine crumb mixture.
Place in a large bowl, and with your hands, mix the cream cheese into them.
This is very messy, but using the mixer just doesn't work as well.
For the love, wash your hands first!
Keep mixing until the crumbs are mixed into the cream cheese.
Put in fridge for a few minutes to harden back up.
Line a pan with wax paper.
Roll mixture into 1" balls.
Place on pan.
Put back in the fridge for 1 hour or so.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave.
Dip balls into chocolate.
They will start to harden pretty quickly.
If you want, drizzle some white chocolate over the top for a pretty look, or drizzle the regular chocolate over it again for a drizzly look.
Does that make sense?

Store in Fridge.
Makes about 3 dozen.

I cannot tell you enough how yummy these are!!!!




And there you have it my friends far and wide.
Some yum yum recipes to try.

Later on this week I will show you some packaging.
Until then...Enjoy the last week before Christmas!

What? I haven't blogged in a week?

Busy week is over.
12 days straight of stuff going on is done.
No parties this week.
Only housework, baking, B'Ball practice, Awanas, and Crissy's Friday night.
Woohoo!
The week of parties was fun, but I am partied out.

~I am definetly making the ornament swap a tradition. And I am definetly going to take some pictures next year, like I should have done this year!~


~Sunday School Chrismtas party was fun. We played Dirty Santa and I won the movie "Deck the Halls". I haven't watched it yet. But I will.~

~Kids Christmas party was fun too. Kids made cute nativity ornaments for me to enjoy forever more.~

~Oh, date night...yes super fun! Although Stacy and I have discovered that we are getting old.
We went to the movies. Yes, THE movie. Then we where supposed to drive to Hoover to go to dinner cause we had a gift certificate. Well after the movie best buy, we where too tired and cold to drive allllllllllll the way to Hoover. (yes people, I am talking 25 minutes max)
So we opted to spend $20 at Frontera. ~

~Childrens Theater was very cute. We saw "The Best Christmas Musical Ever". We laughed, we cried, we had good times. Seriously, Logan told me when we left that he got teary eyed at one part. How sweet is that?!~


~Christmas Choir musical was last night. "This is our God".
It was a compelation of 10 songs that our Music Minister picked from various musicals that we have done in the past and other songs. It went very well. 47 minutes goes by very quickly.
I also have never been so thirsty after 47 minutes.
Logan had a solo part in "Welcome to our World". He did really well. He even hit his "high" note.
Stacy sang "This is our God" with the choir in the background, and even though he doesn't think he did well, I think he did, and I had to fight back tears several times during that song. The words are amazing and then there was a video playing to go with it. ~
This is the chorus:
"This is our God, living and breathing Call Him courageous, relentless,

and brave. This is our God, loving and reaching, Scandalous mercy
and
mighty to save.Hallelujah! This is our God!"



"This is our God, suffering and dying.

Call Him the Hero redeeming the lost.

This is our God, love sacrificing,All that is holy,

accepting our cross.Hallelujah! This is our God!"
Love those words!

~One of my favorite parts of the week was....
The Rockettes!!!
Loved it!
Loved going with Lana cause she enjoyed every single second of it. Everything she oohed and ahhed at. Everything was beautiful and amazing for her.
She has been doing "High Kicks" ever since then. Poor thing, she wants to be a Rockette, and well, I just don't think that is going to happen.
You have to be between 5'6" and 5'10".
Have you seen Lana's mother?
It sure was fun though and something we will remember forever!~







Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tinsel Tuesday- Week 3

Hello Friends. Hope you all are having a good week and enjoying this holiday season.
I know for me, this week is my most busy week of the season.

Monday night- SS Christmas Party
Tuesday night- Ornament Swap- (Hope to see you tonight!)
Wednesday- Christmas pics, ballet party, Awana, Choir Rehersal
Thursday- Childrens Theater, Art Class, Logan-Window Washing Job
Friday- The Rockettes!
Saturday- Morning Choir Rehersal, Evening Kids Church Christmas Party
Sunday Night- Choir Performance

OK, see really that was for my benefit. The more I see it written down, the more it gets ingrained in my brain what I need to do.

And such it is with Tradition...nice segway right ?!

Yes folks, this weeks installment of Tinsel Tuesday is Tradition.

Websters dictionary describes Tradition as:
1 : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction.



The Traditions of Christmas are all around us. The mere act in and of itself is a Tradition.
I am admittedly a Traditionalist, ecspecially around this time of year. I have many customary patterns of thought, action, or behaviour that define me this time of year.
I have been handed down information, beliefs and customs, by word of mouth and by example from another generation. I am now endevoring to do the same with my own small brood.

So this week for TT, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Traditions, both old and new. And I would also like to hear from you...what is one of your favorite Traditions.



Old Traditions that where passed down to me:

1. Baking-
I come from a Southern Grandmother and a Northern Nana, so my recipe list is quite comprehensive. I appreciate that my Mom has kept all the recipes organized so that all I've had to do is print them off. I really do enjoy the baking and cooking involved during this time of year. Growing up we followed my Mom's list to a "T" ("T" for Tradition, I'm sure!)
We made everything on the list, and lots of it. I always enjoyed spending the time with my Mom and Sister, and sometimes even friends that we would have over, baking all day long.

2. Christmas Movies-
There are certain Christmas movies that where essential in my upbringing, that I am sure I could quote every line, and yet I never ever tire of them.
White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, and Christmas Carol- the George C Scott version, are the 3 that are forever ingrained in my memory from childhood.

3. Our Christmas drink-
I'm not sure when my Mom started this, but we have an orange/coconut drink that we drink on Christmas morning that is indeed a family favorite. We raise our glasses in a toast, and everybody taps glasses before we drink.

4. Christmas Morning torture-
As kids we where not allowed to come downstairs or out into the living room until Mom and Dad had everything just so. In other words, no running out and ripping away. Mom would get the Chrismtas lights and music going, while Dad gets the coffee going...then the camera is poised, and then we are allowed in.

5. Sibling Traditions-
My siblings and I always exchanged gifts with each other on Christmas Eve. This was always fun and gave us time to appreciate what we had picked out for each other.

My siblings and I also all had a "side" of the tree. There where 3 of us, and my side was the left, Lauras' was the right, and then when Adam came along he got the middle.

We 3 also had to take turns placing the tree topper on the tree. Obviously for the first 2 years it was only me...then Laura came along and for 7 years we swapped back and forth every other year, and then Adam entered the picture and we went to an every 3 year system. It was always an honor to be the one to place the Angel, or star on top of the tree.

6. The Christmas Story-
I mean this is kind of a given, but I always remember us lighting candles, singing Christmas carols, and my Dad reading Luke 2 to us. I always remember loving to hear him reading out loud to us. I still like to hear him read it now, even as an adult.



There are others from my childhood, but you get the picture.
All of these I am passing down to my kids too, and so far they love all of them!



New Traditions for my family-

1. Pine Hill Farms
Stacy came home from work one day in the December of 2000 and told me about a place called Pine Hill Farms. So from the time Logan was 6 months old and had his first Christmas, we have been going out to Pine Hill Farms. It is one of these cut your own Christmas Tree places. Several times we have cut our own tree, but the reason we go is for the sleigh!
They have a Santa Sleigh in front of a huge Christmas Tree. Every year we have taken the kids and taken their pictures in that sleigh. It's been fun to look back over the past 8 years and see how much my kids have grown. I mean obviously you know that from year to year, but there is something about seeing them in that same spot that really puts it into perspective.

We also take bananas and feed the real live Reindeer that they have. It's a fun family day that we look forward to every year. We'll be going tomorrow! Yeah!

2. Frames
Every year, I take said pictures and I put them in a cutesy new Christmas Frame.
Acutally I do not have a frame from Logans first 2 Christmas's, but I have those in ornmanet Frames.
But every year since Lana came into the picture. I currently have 6 frames, plus I have one of all the grandkids a few years ago. It's a lot of fun to pull those out each year, and I think it will be fun to have around once my kids are grown.

3. Wrapping Paper-
Wierd huh? Actually I guess this should have fallen under Childhood Traditions, but oh well.
Every year I take the kids to the store and they pick out "their" wrapping paper for Christmas.
Then all of their gifts are wrapped in that paper. It's neat to see what they choose from year to year based on their taste. One year we had princess and spiderman...another year was stars for one, and stripes for the other...This year they both picked pretty silver and blues to match the downstairs decor. I thought that was very sweet!

4- Sunday Gifts-
I started this one a few years ago. There are usually 3 Sunday leading up to Christmas. So every Sunday evening I give my kids a gift. It's always predictable too...although I don't think they've caught on to that yet. A movie, A game, and Pj's.
It's fun to watch the movie or play the game all together on that evening. And the PJs are always soft and snuggly! Logan is still not too old for footie pajamas!

5- Baking and Gingerbead house-
I do have my Moms list of all the goodies that we made from year to year, and there are several on there that I HAVE to make every year with the kids. But I also like to change things up and try new things too. The older the kids are getting, the easier it is to do this with them, and they both love to bake.
Lana and I have been decorating a Gingerbread house together for the past several years too, and I will for sure make sure that is a Tradition we keep.

6- Adornments
This is something someone gave me years ago. It is 12 ornaments that open up and it comes with a book. It is 12 names of Christ. "I am the door", "The Good Shepherd", etc...
I love starting this 12 days before Christmas. The kids get to take turns hanging the ornament on a small tree that I have designated just for this. It is something that is different from advent, and reminds all of us of the many things that Jesus is to us.



So those are just a few of my favorites from Christmas past and present, and hopefully will be carried into the future.
Last year I started a Christmas book that I would like to add to and hand down to Lana someday. It's just a binder with all the family recipes, new recipes, craft and project ideas, etc.
Although the defintion of Tradition is information passed down without written instruction, I know she will appreciate having it down the road to keep Tradition alive in her own home.

One thing I would like to point out about Tradition is that if you want to keep it, you need to love it! Traditions can be burdensome and annoying. Seriously, who wants to make a fruit cake every year? Traditions should mean something to you and should show others something about you and your family, about who you are, and who is the center of your holiday season.

If you don't have any Traditions, or if you haven't been keeping up with them because it just gets to be too much, I encourage you to pick one or two that are easy and that you will love and then just do them!
I know it meant a lot to me that my Mom kept up with Traditions, and I can see that it means alot to my family now that I am doing the same.

I do not want to trivialize what the meaning of Christmas is all about. My actions 24-7-365 should be displaying Christ love and sacrifice on my behalf.
If I am not living that out during every month, then really, what good does it do to try to cram it all into December. Tradition means nothing if it is forced and is from a spirit that is trying to live out Christs love because it is the Christmas season. If that is what I am doing, then what happens Jan.1st?

So let me hear from you...what are some of your favorite Christmas Traditions?

Stay tuned for next week's TT. Any suggestions?



Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saw it, Tried it, Like it!

I saw an idea on the cover of Southern Living Magazine the other day. I didn't have a chance to really look at it closely, so I have done my own variation. I thought it turned out really cute.
I used green construction paper and wax paper, because that is what I had. I am quite sure that SL used heavy green cardstock and velum, but hey, you use what you've got right?!
They had plain brownies, and I had made Rocky Road Fudge for a Christmas event at Church tonight. This is going to be fun to transport huh!!!
I think I will do it again next week for my ornament swap and make Creme De Menthe brownies, and get some cardstock and velum. But in the mean time....I am pleased.





Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Check Him Out

Logan has had a blog for a while now, but the past two months we haven't done much with it.
Today I have taken off the permissions, so it is an open blog.
Check him out. If your kids are friends with Logan, please let them comment.
I'd be fun to have a little kid network of blogs going on. It's fun for them and a good creative outlet.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tinsel Tuesday- Week 2

Is it really Tuesday already? This week has flown by.
Todays Tinsel Tuesday is dedicated to Decorating.
Now really, I know many of you and therefore know that many of you don't need any decorating tips. I know some pretty creative people. But I thought I would just share some of my favorite Christmas decorating tips.

I had pictures for you, but blogger is not uploading pictures today. I had this problem yesterday too trying to email a picture, so maybe it is my computer.

Anyways...you can catch on without pictures I'm sure.

For me, there are a few decorating essentials at Christmas.

1. Garland- I love garland.
Garland is relatively inexpensive. It can also be cut with a good pair of wire cutters. Why would you cut garland you ask? I like to put small strands of garland on lots of things.

~Cut a piece of garland to fit just on top of a mirror or a frame.
~Do you have a plate rack? Line the plate rack with garland.
~You could put just a small piece tucked into the side of a tray or candle holder.
~Put larger pieces over doorways.
~Little sprigs of greenery like that scream Christmas, and add an inexpensive nice touch.

2. Lights- Sparkly lights
Hey guess what...lights look good on garland! Lights are cheap! Don't buy the garland that is prelit. It is more expensive and you can't cut pieces off. Lights are cheap, garland is cheap. Lights and garland together...yep, you guessed it. Cheap!

~Wrap a strand of lights around a long line of garland and drape it over a banister, over a window, or even place it on a table or other surface.
This last way is actually one of my favorite ways to use lights.
~I love lights mixed with a strand of berries or garland, and then placed on the piano.
I also have a strand on a small table that would otherwise go unnoticed.
~Lights are a good highlighter.
~Put a small candle light somewhere that you want highlighted.
~Put an electric candle light directly behind your nativity set to add a special glow.
~Put lights in your windows.
It doesn't even have to be visible...its the effect from the light that you are wanting to show off.

3. Balls- Shiny Christmas Balls
Christmas balls are one of the easiest and cheapest ways to go festive.
~Fill a glass bowl or a glass pitcher with balls.
~Fill an oven mitt with balls and hang it in the kitchen.
~Hang some balls with ribbon on a chandalier.
~Hang some balls with fishing line from a high ceiling or a doorway.
~Set a random ball on a shelf.
~Place some balls in a decorative container with a candle in the middle.
~Hang small balls from cut branches in a tall vase.

4. Ribbon- Save that scrap!
I know you have scraps of ribbon that came off of package and was too pretty to throw away.
Save it in a box or drawer and use it at Christmas.
~Hang balls with it.
~Tie a piece around a plain candle to add a festive touch.
~Tie some around a glass candle holder with a small sprig of garland or berries.
~Tie some onto your garland.
~Hang little knick knacks with ribbon.
~Tie some onto a Chrismtas mug with a festive looking tag.

5. Collections- What do you like?
6 years ago I was in PA with my Mom and Sister and the kids. We where visiting my Grandparents. It was during this trip that I started collecting snowmen. I saw some a cute family of them, and got 4. 2 big, 2 small. This kind of started a little collection.
You don't have to be all out crazy.
I really don't even buy them anymore.
It's just something that accumulates, but I love pulling them out every year.
Do you have something you like to collect?
If you don't, start something.
It doesn't have to be big. If you just pick up one snowman a year, or festive mug, dessert plate, specialty ornament, santa, whatever strikes your fancy.
It really is fun every year to pull the things out and remember when you got it, or who gave it to you.

6. The Small Things- This is where it gets personal.
The small touches are what makes your decorating style, your decorating style and your house your home.
~Display your kids crafty creations.
~Pull out your favorite childhood craft and set it out.
~Add a paper tag to a candle.
~Make a paper chain countdown to Christmas.
~Hang a star over a doorway.
~Put a small Christmas tree in an unusual place.
~Don't hide your wrapping paper...display it in a small bucket or prop it up in the corner of a room.
~Put your Christmas cookie cutters in your window sill for a cute decoration and easy access.
~Don't forget the kids rooms. Kids love to have their own trees, and its also a great place to send decorations that cramp your style or that you don't have room for.
~Get a package of "Angel Hair". It can be used on everything...garland, shelves, around the nativity. One package will go a loooong way.
~Festive tableclothes make great tree skirts.
~ Tree skirts make great table toppers.
~ Think outside the box. Don't be confined by conventional decorating. Everything doesn't have to be red and green. Lime green and bright pink are fun whimsy Chrismtas colors too.

The most important aspect of decorating, in my opinion, is that it is you! Don't try to decorate like your friend if it truly is not your style. Find your style, and then incorporate these little things the way that makes you feel festive.

Even if you think you don't like to decorate for Christmas, I challenge you to do do this.
Buy 2 strands of garland, 2 strands of lights, a pack of balls, and a spool of ribbon.
See what you can do with it...you may be happily suprised!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

You know I'm all over this!

Woohoo! I don't usually do the MeMe things...but this one is about Christmas, so I am all over that stuff.


1.) Wrapping paper or gift bags?
I love a nicely wrapped gift.

2.) Real tree or Artificial?
I love a real tree, but I have an artificial one that my Grandmother gave us, so it is free.

3.) When do you put up the tree?
Thanksgiving day

4.) When do you take the tree down?
Sometime in January

5.) Do you like egg nog?
yes - I love Quinn Hills Egg nog!

6. )Favorite gift received as a child?
Cabbage Patch Doll

7.) Do you have a nativity scene?
Yes- Its just one of those one piece deals, but Logan gave it to me, so its special!

8.) Hardest person to buy for?
Dad

9.) Easiest person to buy for?
Stacy

10.) Mail or email Christmas cards?
Mail


11.) Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
Stacy bought me "Sleepless in Seattle" 3 years in a row! Bless his heart.


12.) Favorite Christmas movie(s)?
White Christmas, Its A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol with George C Scott.

13.) When do you start shopping for Christmas?
I like to be done before Thanksgiving except for small things.

14.) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
I'll never tell

15.) Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?
Our families special coconut creme orange drink and Johncies Jello. Plus I LU-V me some Ham.

16.) Clear or colored Christmas lights?
Both....I do mostly clear, but I like colored in the kids rooms

17.) Favorite Christmas song(s)?
O Holy Night, Breath of Heaven, O Come O Come Emmanuel

18.) Travel at Christmas or stay home?
Both- Last year we traveled, this year we stay home.


19.) Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen and Rudolph!

20.) Angel on the tree top or a star?
Star

21.) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?
Siblings open presents from each other on Christmas Eve- all else on Christmas morning

22.) Most annoying thing about this time of year?
WAAAYYYY to much commercialism. It's getting really ridiculous. Also this whole "Merry Christmas"- "Happy Holidays" debate.


23.) Favorite ornament theme or color?
I love my old nostaligic ornaments and the ones that the kids make


24.) Favorite dinner for Christmas?
Ham! Remember I said I LU-UV ham! (just like my Aunt!!!) Mashed Potatoes, PA Dutch Style Grean Beans, and a Shoe Fly Pie!


25.) What do you want for Christmas this year?
A dishwasher that works


26). Do you bake lots of goodies during the holidays?
Does the sun shine? Seriously, I just filled an entire over flowing shelf in my pantry with baking stuff for the Holidays. White Trash, Sugar Cookies, Creme De Menthe Brownies, Rocky Road Fudge, Candy Cane Cookies, and a few new ones for '08.


27). Do you decorate different rooms of your home?
Yes! Living room, den, kitchen, and the kids both do their rooms.


28.) What decorations do you put outside?
Garland and bows on the railings. I don't have any outdoor plugs so no lights for me. My poor kids ask for them every year though. Maybe some day.

29.) How do you spend Christmas Eve?
Enjoy a nice dinner and dessert, read the Christmas story, kids exchange gifts between each other and watch A Christmas Carol.

30.) Is Christmas your favorite holiday?
I'd have to say yes.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Twilight, Toes, and Christmas Decorations

Topic One: Twilight-
I went again this week. Loved it even better the second time around. I will go again. I tried to go today but Mary didn't answer my text. Mary why didn't you answer my text?
Anyways...I just have to say this about Twilight and then I will move on...
I love that they are vampires, and could have, do, act, however they like, and yet they CHOOSE to be upright, moral, non killing, vampires. It adds this human dimension to them of fighting their flesh, and I like that about them.
I think that Stacy and I are going to see it together next week for his birthday. Happy Birthday Missy, I mean Stacy. ;)

Topic Two: My Toe-
Crissy graciously offered to take me on Wednesday to have my toe taken care of. It was comforting to know that she was in the waiting room listening to Rob Pattinson sing, while I was having half of my big toenail removed.
I must say that I never knew that something like a toenail could cause so much pain. I had been trying to treat it at home for 2 weeks to no avail.
The worse part was them giving me 3 shots in my toe to numb it. And then as he started to remove the nail, I could feel a digging pain. Yeah, not supposed to feel that. So he had to give me another shot, straight down the top of my toe. Then he proceeded with the removal. It was a horrible sound, and feeling. I could hear the tools, and feel the pressure of him ripping out my nail. Pleasant. Then he bandaged it up all big and fat so that I couldn't wear a shoe. So I've been shoeless since Wednesday.
I even went to Thanksgiving dinner at Kim Postons with no shoes on. Which by the way was such a fun time having Thanksgiving dinner with that fun group of people! Kim Poston made everything imaginable! It was amazing!
Back to the toe- Hubby is about to remove my bandages and re wrap them smaller so that I can wear shoes. I must go grocery shopping tomorrow, and I've already been to Wal-Mart once with no shoes, I'm not doing it again.

Topic Three: Christmas Decorations-
Tuesday the kids and I decorated the den, and the kids did their rooms. Very cute they are by the way. Then yesterday we put up the tree and decorated while watching White Christmas. Can't get any more festive than that! Then today, I decorated my living room. I think I've mentioned before that I do my den, living room, and kitchen, and I do them all differently. It's just something I like to do. I like the differences. Downstairs is snowmen and silvers. The living room is golds, and more rustics. The kitchen is whimsy and fun.
And lest you all think I am rich, a lot of the stuff I have inherited...the rest I have gotten gradually over the past 10 years.
I look forward to a lot of you coming over to my house on the 9th for the Ornament Swap. If you didn't get an email invitation, consider this your official invitation! (unless you are a crazy person)

Alrighty then, I have covered my desired 3 topics for the evening. Now I will go let Stacy bandage my toe. Fun for him huh?!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tinsel Tuesdays

I'm feeling festive today!
Can you tell?
Not even Thanksgiving and I've already put up my Christmas blog. Deal.


I have never done any of the day of the week blog thingys.
But during this Christmas season I have decided to do "Tinsel Tuesdays".
Yes, I made that up. Shocking, I know.
On Tinsel Tuesdays, and there will be 5 of them, I will share Christmas ideas and tips.
Edge of your seats...I know you are!


Today's Tinsel Tuesdays tip is Planning. Come on friends, say it with me, Planning.
If there is one thing I have learned about this time of year, it is Planning.
I always have kept a notebook or binder with Calendar pages in it. This year, sweet Virginia gave me a handmade planner that I have already filled up and LOVE! Thanks Virge!

Anyways...things that are in my planning notebook:

1. List of people I need to give gifts to-what the gift will be and how much it will cost.

2. Recipes and how much each of those recipes cost to make. (trust me, this is helpful!)

3. Parties- the date, time, what I need to bring, how much it will cost me.

4. Entertaining- the date, time, what I need to provide, how much it will cost me.

5. Baking Schedule- I need to pace myself and don't want to make everything at once, I gotta spread my baking love!

6. Craft ideas- Any crafts projects I or the kids want to do...again how much it costs, and a general day we might do those.

7. Christmas Eve and Day Menu- This year my parents are coming to our house for Christmas, so I need to be prepared. I have been writing down ideas for our menu.

8. Christmas Budget- This is just me and my financial analness, but I do highly recommend making a budget for Christmas. Include any baking, entertaining, parties that require gifts, giving, and misc holiday stuff.

So my friends, I give you a week to PLAN! Check back every Tuesday between now and Christmas for more Tinsel Tuesdays.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Rainy Day Randimonium

1. Baking Chocolate Chip Banana Bread today.

2. Kids are cleaning out from underneath Logans bed.

3. Children found a very old waffle underneath Logans bed.

4. Lana freaked out when I told her to pick it up.

5. Found a piece of paper on my desk...with Logans handwriting. It says, 2 times..."Laser Hair Removal". Yeah, not sure what that is about.

6. Trying to attack the mountain of laundry that piled up over the weekend.

7. Really wanting to go see Twilight again. Yes again. Yes I am obsessed. If you haven't read the books, then hush.

8. Had the best time Thursday night at midnight seeing the movie with 8 other women.

9. Stayed home from church yesterday morning with Sinus crud, horrible cramps, and a very painful ingrown toenail.

10. Unless a miracle happens tonight, I have to go to the Dr. tomorrow to have toenail taken care of. I don't think puss, swelling, and constant throbbing are good things. And yes, I have been doing the Epsom salt soak thing.

11. Done with Christmas shopping. Still need to get something for my brother. Other than that...done.

12. Made a huge grocery list over the weekend. Can't wait to start my Christmas baking.

13. Having only one car is a pain in the butt at times...other times its nice to be stuck at home. Like on rainy days like today.

14. Still wondering why my son wrote down laser hair removal.

15. Miss talking to my parents who are in Africa with my Sister. Wish I was there too.

16. Really looking forward to the Rockettes show with Lana.

17. This coming Sunday is the Hanging of the Green and the first Sunday of Advent. Yeah!!!

18. People from church invited us to their house for Thanksgiving. That is so nice. We are looking forward to it. No Cracker Barrel for us this year. Which would have been fun too.

19. Started taking down my Fall decorations so that this week I can put up Christmas decorations! Hooray for Christmas trees!

20. Have the Nutcracker Suite song in my head.

21. I love glitter.

22. Want to do one of those paraffin wax hand treatments sometime.

23. I look like a complete dork right now, and I haven't brushed my teeth today.

24. Had to redo the budget yesterday to make room for all the Christmas parties and such that are coming up.

25. Will be paying the van off on January 31st. Then what? We have a paid off dead van.

26. 2 words- Cullen Family

27. I have enjoyed several cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies this weekend.

28. Really miss my sister. And the girls. I want to give them big squeezes.

29. Speaking of big squeezes, Alli Shirleys new baby is so squeezable and cute!

30. Seriously, laser hair removal? I'm not even hairy...what is that about?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thank you!!!!

Well if you where just listening to DJC then you know that picture #9 won.
:( Poop for us.
BUT!!!!! We did win 2 tickets for being in the top ten!
The lady said that we where really close.
#9 was the one that we where close with yesterday.
Oh well....Lana is soooooooooooo happy that we are going to the show!
We've been wanting to go so bad and the tickets are beyond pricey.
She started jumping up and down and was almost crying! So sweet.
Anyways, thank you all for your support and your votes. Ya'll are the best!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BEGGING YOU PLEASE!!!

OK, so I submitted this picture of Lana from 2 years ago, to WDJC's contest to win 4 tickets and a walk on roll to the ROCKETTES!
Well I just got an email that she is one of the 10 finalist!!!!
Can you please email - contest@wdjconline.com and vote for picture #10-Lana Lowery.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!! I am begging!
Lana and I have been wanting to go to the show so bad, but tickets are enourmously expensive. Plus, if she wins, she gets to be part of the nativity scene in the Rockettes show!!!

The rules are 1 entry per email address....so use as many email addresses accounts as you can!
The deadline is Thursday night! Winner is announced Friday.
Thanks my friends!!!

Biscuit Bowls

To answer Veazers question about Sloppy Joe Biscuit Bowls, I will tell you all.
First of all, my friend Stace' is the one who showed me how to do the bowls. She did them when we where in Charlotte and served Chicken Soup with them. Very yummy!
I thought Sloppy Joes would be good in them too, and they where!!!!

You need:
1 pack of Grands biscuits ( I used the generic kind from Aldi)

Roll the bisuits out flat.
Place them over the back side of the cups of a muffin tin that has been sprayed with Pam.
Bake 10 or so minutes.

I then filled mine with Sloppy Joe meet and topped with some shredded cheddar that melted on it. It was goooood.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Missy's Helpful Grocery Tips

Ok, well I mentioned last week about grocery shopping for 2 weeks for $100.
Several people have asked me how, so I am here to give you some of my tips.
In reality I spent about $85 on groceries, because I had to spend $20 on non-food stuff.

***Disclaimer- I do not do this every week. This was just a particularly tight week.


1. Take inventory of freezer, fridge, and pantry. See if there is any meat hiding in that freezer that you can use. With your pantry items, see what you can throw together to make a meal.

2. Think soups and casseroles. For my family of 4, a large batch of soup, or a 9x13 casserole will last 2 meals.

3. Breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, eggs, breakfast casseroles, again, all good ways to eat cheap. Bacon and Sausage are also cheap.

4. Settle on two main meats when going to the grocery store. For instance, I bought a 3lb package of ground beef, and a bag of chicken breasts. Those will be my only meats for the 2 weeks. But if you use 1 lb of meat in a casserole or soup, then you've gotten 2 meals out of 1 lb.

5. Keep easy snacks on hand. I always like to have some sort of homemade goody on hand for hungry children. Lately I've been making some sort of bread in my bread machine, that is a good snack with some butter or jelly...or I make some quick bread like banana bread, applesauce bread, etc...in small loaves to keep around for munchy children.

6. For me, Aldi is one of my best cheap grocery allies. If you don't have an Aldi near you, there are other discount grocery chains that offer cheaper food. I had to run into Food World the other day for some canned goods for a food drive, and I was shocked at the difference between them and Aldi for things like canned corn. 20 cents here and there really starts to add up.

7. Go generic. Besides Cottonelle TP, Colgate Toothpaste, and Suave Hair products, I cannot think of anything that I don't buy in generic form.

8. Plan your meals. This is the biggest help!


Here is my list of meals for the 2 weeks:

Sloppy Joe Biscuit Bowls, green beans
Potato Soup, corny cornbread
Venison Pot Roast (already in freezer), rice, corn
Baked Fish and Rice (already in freezer)
Chicken and Rice Casserole, Broccoli
Beef and Mashed Potato Casserole, green beans
Sausage and Egg Casserole, Fresh bread
Country Style Stk (already in freezer), mashed potatoes, corn
Pancakes and bacon
Enchiladas

Lunches:
Baked Potatoes
Hot Dogs ( the very cheap kind)
Ramen noodles and Grilled Cheese
Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese
PB & J
Cheese Quesadillas

Snacks:
Popcorn
Pretzels
Homemade cinnamon raisin bread, banana bread, pumpkin bread
Hot chocolate and Marshmallows
Apples, bananas

Breakfast:
Cereal
Oatmeal
Leftover pancakes

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tagged and My Grocery List

Well first of all Virginia tagged me to tell you 6 things about me. I feel like you should all know everything there is to know about me by know...but just in case, I will give you 6 more yummy nuggets of randomly randomness.

1. I am currently counting down the days until the Twilight movie comes out. Oh yes, I WILL be at the midnight showing with Crissy, Ginger, and whatever other crazy people are joining us. We are currently at 8 days, 1 hour, 55 minutes.


2. Unlike Virges aversion to Facebook, I am, well yes, I can say it, a wee bit obsessed with it. Who knew status updates could be so much fun!


3. I obsess over money. We just did our budget for Nov.15th -Dec.29th, and yes, every penny is pretty much allotted. Of course, my going to see Twilight money is budgeted in that. Well actually, I think Crissy bought my ticket on line. So I will drive us there since it is across town, and I will purchase snacks. Yes, you have to have snacks at a midnight movie!


4. I like Amish books. Jah, I do. I just finished one today. Although, I am an Amish novel purist. I only like Beverly Lewis because I consider her the first lady of Amish books.


5. I used to have a pair of red, white, and black PJ's that had a panda on them. I loved those PJ's. They even had holes in them. Kim Hill always made fun of them in college. After a year or so of marriage my husband finally made me part with them. I still miss those PJs. They where so comfy.


6. I love me a good grocery list and meal plan.



Which brings me to my grocery list portion of this post.
I have just put together a 2 week grocery list, on my master grocery list of course, and planned out meals for 2 weeks based on a $100 budget. I can't believe it. But its true. We are poor this week so I am forcing myself to use up what I have and be extra thrifty with what I have to buy. And I must say that $20 of that is non-food items that I need like TP, detergent, and other stuff like that.
I look forward to my two weeks of bare necessity's. Stacy and I are definitely learning to live on less right now. Not that we've ever lived on a lot. But since I've stopped working, things are definitely tighter. We are also down to 1 car since the van is completely dead. So I will be taking him to and from work on days that I need the car. Sounds fun doesn't it!? Such is life. People do stuff like this all the time right. God is still good. All the time.

I just thought of a 7th thing about me. I am "I'ming" with my Mom while I type this post, and I crack myself up. Number 7- I make myself laugh. That will come in really handy when I'm in a loony bin some day.

Night peeps!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oh yeah, I've been Yearbooked!

So tonight my husband got me onto the yearbook yourself thing.
Love it!!!

Here I am in 1966.



1956




Oh yes, and as a man!






My poor husband. He will probablly never kiss me again. If you don't know my brother...this is what he looks like! Stacy is very disturbed! Yes folks, I look like a man.




My brother Adam.



No go, yearbook yourself and post it. You will get hours of laughs!

The Weaving that is Me


20 hours of total car travel visiting various friends and relatives gives one lots of time to think and ponder on things.
My recent travels to NC have gotten me to thinking of the different people that have come into my life over my 33 years and have left their mark.


I grew up in Charlotte, NC, with the exception of being born in the north, and then a year we spent in VA. But most of my first 14 years was centered around Charlotte and the church I grew up in there. When I returned last week, I was able to see some of the ladies that "raised" me. It was a weird feeling to me to be sitting as a woman with the woman that played such an instrumental role in my first 14 years. For me growing up, there was a feeling of security and comfort knowing that all of these families where there for each other. We where gently corrected whenever we needed correcting, and we where loved on when needed loving on. We got together often for game nights and fellowship. If someone was going through a trying time, a meal was brought, or your kids where taken care of.
For those days and for those ladies, I am thankful. In those foundational years I learned a lot about serving one another and hospitality. The kind of hospitality that comes naturally out of a love for your fellow sister or brother in Christ, not out of obligation.
I am thankful for the people of my first 14 years that began to weave a foundation into my life.



When I was 14 my Dad got transferred to the Atlanta Georgia area. I was devastated! I can remember sitting on the kitchen floor pitching a grand ole teenage girl fit and begging to be able to stay in Charlotte.
But as I look back now, I see why God moved us. There are people in Atlanta Georgia that God knew needed to be in my life. I was a stupid teenager. I made foolish mistakes, didn't apply myself like I should have, and probably drove my parents crazy. But I can look back at my Youth Group and the various Youth leaders and Bible Study leaders that where in my life at that time and thank God for His Sovereignty. During this time was also when our family was introduced to Robbinsville, NC, and the people of the Snowbird Indian Community. This is the time that God was weaving in and out of me, a heart for others, for the Gospel, and for Missions.
I am thankful for the people during those teenage years of my life that lived out Godly lives before me when I was the silly Missy of High School. There are people that I think of often and am thankful for their gently guiding in those years.


When I was 18 I moved onto College in Orlando Fl. The next 5, yes 5, years where spent in a whirlwind of moving around with college moves, and transfers. Really my college years where unsettling. But I am thankful for the people that came in and out of my life during those 5 years. Some of my dearest friends where brought into my life in college. People that have weaved in and planted themselves firmly in my life. Some people have come and gone but have left their marks any ways. As crazy as going to 3 colleges is, it was a necessary part of my life because I learned much about life, doctrine, and myself, at all 3. Alot of weaving took place during those 5 years. They are almost as foundational as the beginning because I started to become who I am today. Plus I met my husband!!!



I have been in Alabama since January 1997. WOW! Almost 12 years. That is amazing to me. And again, I am thankful for the people that have come in and out of my life in that time. I became an adult in Alabama. I met my husband, I had my children. I've grown in my walk with God and my doctrinal understanding. I've gone to several churches that have all had their unique place in my life. I have settled into a church family for the past 4 years that have supported us when we needed supporting and always love us. I have sat with people that have made me laugh, and sat with people that have challenged me to be a better child of God.
I have also gained a separate body of believers as a family that I don't even go to church with, but that are special and necessary in my life regardless.



I am amazed as I look back on the past 33 years at all the people that God has used to weave me into the person I am today. I am even more amazed that if I live to be 99, I am only a 3rd of the way done. How many more people does God have in store for my life to make a difference.
I love that even though I can only see the little bits that are in front and behind me, God is seeing the big picture, He is seeing the beauty of it when sometimes all I see is the frayed edges.
I am thankful for you, because if you cared enough to read this then you are one of the people that God has used in my life. Some of you have been in my life for a really long time! Some of you are new to my life, and it's been a fun ride so far but we have a lot of life ahead of us.
Thank God that He is the weaver of my life and not me by myself. I sure would have made an awful mess!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Here I am!


I've had the blog funk. I don't know why really.
I have SOOOO much going on in this brain of mine that I am a little overwhelmed with it all.


I have much to say about my week away and all the happenings. Just haven't felt like saying it.


I did have a good time despite the stomach bug.


It's always good to be home though, and when I'm gone and come home I realize how much I love my cozy house.


I must go take the kids to art class now. Maybe later I'll blog again.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Still Around

The stomach bug that is.
Logan came down with it today after us being bug free since Monday night.
Weird huh?

I have some observations to make:

1. It takes me longer to bounce back from things than kids.

2. Lana likes to be left alone when sick.

3. Logan likes to cuddle when sick.

4. Lana is tough when she throws up.

5. Logan is embaressed when he throws up.

6. Germs hide and then pounce on you when you least expect it.

7. Grandparents are good to have around when a grandchild is sick.

8. You cannot watch enough of "The Munsters" when sick.

9. I'm ready to be done with this.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Still Going

Arrived in Robbinsville last night after being in Charlotte for 4 days.
It's been a tiring couple of days, but its been good.
Today as I sat in an all day board meeting I enjoyed the view of the beautiful changing fall leaves mountainside. It is so gorgeous up here right now.

I am tired tonight. It's been a long couple of days.
The kids and I are enjoying snuggling in and watching "The Munsters".
I think I hear chocolate cake calling me right now.
"Missy, I need you...I've been sitting here all day being neglected...you wanna piece of me?"

Ok...I better go pay attention to the chocolate.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Arrived

Just to let you all know we are in Charlotte.
Not without incident of course, but we are here nonetheless.
I have a story to rival some of Kim's traveling stories.
Would you like to hear it? Hear it goes.

You know that I had the stomach bug.
Monday morning I decided to leave anyways as my window of opportunity would leave me if I wanted to fit in Charlotte, and get over to my parents, and get home in time to vote next week.
So we left at 9:00am Monday morning, me still with a very queezy upset stomach, but the kids seeming OK.

About 6 hours down the road, at our 4th stop, we where in the bathroom at a peach stand in Gaffney, S.C. I had my cell phone and my keys in my jacket pocket, went potty, and then went to flush. When I turned around my cell phone and my keys fell right into the toilet. YEP! Plop plop fizz fizz! Joy of Joys. I had to stick my hand into the unflushed toilet to retrieve my phone and keys. Obviously needed them. Of course there where no paper towels, so I had to wipe them off with toilet paper, and then went to the car and used wipes and hand sanitizer all over them. I then did opted to not use my phone until I had some lysol in hand.

Well, an hour later I arrived at my Aunt and Uncles house.
~Tiny background info...My uncle, my dads brother is 12 years younger than my dad, and only 10 years older than me. Therefore there kids, my cousins, are younger (13, 10, 7) ~
OK, so I get to there house and begin asking Irene for some Lysol. We had been there around 15 minutes and she was looking for some, when Lana comes to me very calmly and politely and says "Mom, I just threw up in the bathroom".
Yeah, sure enough, I brought the stomach bug to unsuspecting friends and relatives. Nice aren't I? Don't you wish YOU where my friend?
Well, for the next 3 hours Lana threw up and sat in my lap. Dean and Irene (Aunt and Uncle) where extremely gracious to us, for which I am very thankful. Also SERIOUSLY hoping none of their boys get sick.
After spreading the germs over there, we came over to my friend Stace's house, to spread some more germs. Stace is the natural remedy guru, and had Lana (and me) drink this nasty stuff called "activated charcoal", which Lana threw up all over a rug of theres that we will try to wash, but will most likely throw away.

Ah, the joys of being my friend!!!
Today (Tuesday) morning, we have all woke up feeling OK. Lana is eating toast, and I am about to eat toast, and so far (knock on lots o wood) Logan is OK.

So, anybody else need a visit from the Lowery's????

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Seriously???

Well, I am supposed to be sitting snug as a bug at my friend Stace's house in North Carolina about now.
Instead I am sitting at the computer at my house blogging.
I'm doing good...this is the furthest I've gotten away from my bed all day.
Yes folks, the HATED stomach bug made its ugly appreance AGAIN at 3:00 am this morning.
The last stomach bug was more of a painful cramping event...this one does not allow me to hold anything in.

So here I sit, instead of in NC, I am still in AL. Hoping to go to NC in the morning, but at the moment my stomach is saying that may not be the case.
Lana Lou told me right before bed that her belly hurts. Hopefully this is just a made up woe for attention and not the real thing.

This stomach bug has opened my eyes to the fact that I need to take better care of my immune system. I have always been prone to getting everything that goes around. It must stop. I will have to start eating more super foods. Although Kim Hill is the super food queen and she has walking pneumonia. So maybe I will eat super foods and eat lots of Vitamin C.

Must go back to my bed now.
Hopefully tomorrow I will be in the great state of NC.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

MMMMMMMMMMMM

I just baked Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The smell of fresh baked cookies.
MMMMMMM.
No smell can beat it.

What is your favorite smell coming out of the kitchen?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Friday

I know my post titles have been so original lately.
Today is Friday. Yesterday was Thursday. And tomorrow, yes tomorrow is Saturday. The day after Saturday is Sunday and is the day the kids and I leave. Which means that Friday will be busy packing, Saturday will be busy cooking and cleaning, and Sunday will be 7 hours in the car.
Kind of makes your head spin a bit doesn't it?!

I am giving the kids a day off of school today. Really I am giving myself a day off of teaching. They are watching PBS kids...that's learning right? Then Logan is going to have to read to Lana out of a Little House on the Prairie book....learning again. Then they can start on home EC...helping fold laundry, help clean...you know, all the things kids LOVE to do!
It's rainy today, so no PE! AGGG, rain rain go away, my kids need to go outside today!

Tonight we are going to a little Halloween party. That should be a fun Friday night activity.
Tomorrow night we are going to our monthly Sunday School get together, and we are cooking out and having a hay ride. Cannot get more Fall than that!

Last night I went up to Children's Hospital to visit Crissy and Gracie.
We listened to Mama Mia and played Bingo. It was fun, I mean as much fun as you can have when an 8 year old girl is in a hospital and the doctors are trying to figure out what is wrong with her. I left feeling optimistic because Gracie had gotten out of bed to walk to the elevator and was smiling. THEN I read Crissy's blog this morning. I am so frustrated for Crissy as a Mom. Please keep praying for them.

Well onward with my day I guess. We've been rather lazy on this ooober rainy day.
I made Chicken Pot Pie at 10:30 last night so Stacy would have something to take for lunch. That sounds perfect for today!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Please Pray

For those of you that don't know my friend Crissy and her family, please be praying for them. Little Gracie (8) has been sick for going on 2 weeks now and was admitted to the hospital today for tests. For my family members, Gracie is Sarah Beth! She reminds me so much of her.
Anyways, here is a link to Crissy's blog that kind of updates what happened today.
Please pray the Drs can find out what is going on, and for strength for Crissy and her husband and family.

It's Wednesday

I have often wondered why Wednesday is spelled like that. Why not spell it Wensday? Or even Wendsday? Why Wed Nes Day? Who did Nes Wed I often wonder?

Anyways...It's one of those busy weeks.
I invited all the ladies from my Sunday School class over last night for dinner.
Soup, bread, Apple Crisp, a Pumpkin Roll, Hot Apple Cider. MMMM good.
Somebody else brought Taco Soup, Corn Bread, Spinach Dip, Velveeta Dip, Baklava....Lets just say there was no shortage of food for us 8 people.

I was very pleased with my Pumpkin Roll. It's my Mom's recipe and I've never made a roll up cake before. I think about 2 years ago Kim Hill and I where looking through a cook book and I said that sometime that year it was my goal to make a roll up cake. OK, well it took me 2 years to get up enough nerve to do it. I will do it again! Maybe for you the next time...whoever "you" might be.

Having a daughter is very good for the ole ego. I was decorating the table up a bit. Just put out a nice table cloth, and a runner...then added some Southern Living stuff, leaves, and some candles. Well my sweet daughter said it looked like a Kings table! That made me feel better than Martha Stewart!

Today is ballet/piano day. It is also ENT Dr. day. Logan has been clearing his throat incessantly for weeks now. Stacy thinks it is a bad habit. I think he is possibly right, but also think it could be drainage that Claritan is not fixing. So I am taking him to the ENT to find out if this is a medical issue, or a bad habit that needs to be nipped in the butt!
I'm going to see the ole doc too. My ear has not stopped hurting since my last sinus infection 2 months ago. I have serious hatred for taking medicine, so I am hoping he can just wave his magic Drs wand and make it go away!


Sunday the kids and I leave to go to Charlotte, so the rest of my week will spent laundering, packing, and putting some meals in the fridge for he hubbie who is staying behind.

Well, Tat ta and toottleloo me friends and family. Hope you all are having a splendid fall day!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Thing About Homeschooling & the Sound of Silence

The thing about homeschooling your kids is that there is often no silence.
Even while doing work at their desks, there is some sort of sound. Pencils tapping, chairs creeking, loud sighs to make sure I know that they are unhappy about the assignment.

For my sanity they have one hour of room time everyday, but even that is not silent. Lana has to sing or listen to music. She has to. It is that or talk. So I forgo the complete hour of silence, for the greater good, which is of course, the singing or talking not directed at me for one whole hour.

With the beautiful weather, the kids have "P.E." outside everyday. Although they are outside, I can assure you, with the windows open in my house, this is not silent time either.

Stacy doesn't get home until 8:30ish every night (OK, Saturdays he gets home at 7:30ish), so I have long given up on 8:00 bed time. That is the flexibility of homeschooling, and with Stacy's work schedule, it is a necessity for Stacy and the kids, in order to spend time together, that they stay up well past my desired bedtime for them. So alas, non quiet till at least 9-9:30

Stacy is a TV/Movie, unwinder. So after the kids are in bed, he spends the rest of what is left of the evening with the TV on. Oh, and did I mention that he is a man, therefore half def?

So where does this leave me? For a while I was staying up waaaaaaay to late by myself, just to enjoy the sound of silence. Sometimes I do have some hormonally drivin sleeping issues that are not allowing me to fall asleep, but more often than not, if I stay up really late, it is because I have chosen to.

However recently Laura Morgan wrote a blog post about Dying to self. The Lord used that to convict me of well, just that, dying to myself. And what a joy that has been. (she say's in her most sarcastic voice!) ARG! There are many many many ways I need to die to self more, so that Christ can have free reign. So I have to make the choice to go to bed at a more resonable hour so that I can be better prepared for the not so sounds of silence the next day.
If I know I am in one of my quirky sleep issue nights, then I need to break out the Tylenol PM and swallow it down with a nice glass of water, and be done with it.

The thing about homeschooling is, it's a choice. It's a leading from God, that has many ramafacations. Some we may not see for years to come, and will prayerfully be fruits of our labors. Others are more immediete and not so pleasent, like the absence of silence.

Today I had the afteroon to myself, and I came home to an empty house, and it is the Sound of Silence. I think I will enjoy it for a few more minutes, but I am kind of missing the sound of the singing!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Funny Memory

Today is my sister and her husbands anniversary.
9 years. Stacy and I got married in June of '99 and Laura and Travis got married in October of '99. Yes, we where very kind to our parents weren't we?!

Anyways, last night I was remembering about their wedding.
I was so tired the whole time and did not feel good. I had been nauseus and sensistive, but just chalked it up to stress and nerves I guess.
So we went to the wedding in N.C., stayed for a few days and then came back home.
After we got back home I took a pregnancy test ( it was actually the 3rd one I had taken...for some reason I had negatives before I had positives), and found out I was pregnant.
Laura was on her honeymoon in Orlando, Fl. but I had to tell her. So I remembered the name of the place they were staying at, got the number and called her. (this was before the day of everybody having cell phones)
I'm sure you can imagine her suprise to answer her phone on her honeymoon and hear me on the other end!
She said they where watching a movie, and then I told her that she was going to be an Aunt!
What a nice suprise to hear on your honeymoon.
To this day she is known as simply, Aunt. Not Aunt Laura...just Aunt.
She will not have it any other way!

And in seperate news that just happened while I was typing the previous...Stacy called and the van completely died on Roebuck Pkwy today. He had to call somebody from work to help him push it and it is now sitting in the Wendy's parking lot. Isn't that just lovely.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Assorted Sundry's

Is that redundant? Assorted Sundry's? Doesn't sundry represent assorted?
Ok, anyways, I digress.

The stomach bug seems to have left the building. No one else has gotten sick, hallelujah!
This has happened before where 1 person will get it, or maybe two, or other times everyone.

I am annoyed that it will be in the 80's for the next few days. ARG!
I had already planned to bake bread and make soup today, and I still will, but good grief, do I have to sweat while I do it?

On Sunday I decided not to watch TV all day ( I was sick people) and instead read a book. It was called "Evidence Not Seen". Wow, it was really good. I think I will blog solely about it later.

I am obsessed with the game "Word Twist" on Facebook. I often find myself laying in bed unscrambling words in my head. It is very annoying.

Yesterday was Columbus day and we had school. We never really got to Columbus activities, because we had to make up stuff from Friday's sick day. So today we will be learning all about how in fourteen hundred and ninety two Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

I had to go grocery shopping yesterday. I had to go to Wal-Mart first because I needed a few things there that I knew Aldi did not have. While there, I began to get tired so opted out of going to Aldi and got everything at Wal-Mart.
I now rue that decision. I spent more money fo sho. If I get bored one day, I am seriously going to do an Aldi/Wal-Mart price comparison on major things that I buy.

Speaking of things that I buy...I have made a master list. This is something I've always wanted to do, but I just never have. Sooooo handy! I just hang my master list of things I normally buy, in assorted categories, and then check off what I need throughout the week. It makes making a grocery list much easier. I just carry the master list with me.

The kids found a frog in the yard yesterday that is missing a leg and arm. Weird huh? They have it in a little container and want me to take it to the pet store today to see if they can help the poor little guy. I'm sure that crazy squirrel lady would say it is because of outdoor cats.

Tomorrow I am working. Amber is taking Stephen on a field trip, so I am working for her. This was perfect timing, as I will be going to NC on the 26th and need gas money.
I haven't worked in 2 months, so it will be nice to see people that I haven't seen in a while.

Thursday we have our first of 5 field trips to children's theater. We are seeing "Rapunzel". I like going to children's theater. It is a free day. Woo to the hoo.

Today my friend Crissy is having surgery on her mouth. Pray for her if you think of it. She has been in a lot of pain.

Well, we now come to the end of my assorted sundry's for today. The kids have completed their regular assignments and we will now move onto Columbus. Perhaps outside.
Have a great day everyone! (all two of you that maybe read my blog)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Home on Sunday

Well today is day 3 of el Stomach bug. I just ate some toast and so far so good. The horrible stomach pains haven't even come again yet. So maybe I am getting to be in the clear.
So far so good with the kidos too. Of course, I will hold my breath for a few more days and wait to see what happens. If I can hold down some more food today, I may even Lysol the place. That would be a good thing.

Stacy had his first Deacons meetings today. Yes that is meetings, plural. He had one at 8:00 this morning along with a breakfast, and then another one after church with lunch.
So considering that, and the fact that I don't yet know if the children are infected, they had to stay home with me today. I hate that for them. They love church. I love church. But this is what we had to do.
I am leading our kids choir at church and we were supposed to sing for the first time today. I felt bad having to cancel. I know that at least my kids were excited to sing. Hopefully next week.

LanaLou and I have spent the morning watching "I Love Lucy". I am so glad that I have not had to make her love that show. She just automatically loves it.
We watched one this morning that I had never seen. It was so funny!
Lucy and Ethel go to Charm School. Hilarious! We where laughing so hard. I love the little lines too, like, "You've snapped your twig". I'm gonna start using that one.
Lucille Ball and I share the same Birthday. August 6th. (incidentally Michael Landon died on August 6th...yes I know, I am full of useless information)...anyways so I was telling Lana that Lucy and I have the same Bday. I told her that all funny people where born on Aug.6th. Lana's reply "Your not funny." WHAT? How can my child not think that I am funny? She retracted with "Well you are sometimes". I must work on my funniness with my child. I cannot raise a child that doesn't think I am funny.

Well I have had enough fun for the day. Time to go lay back down on the couch and watch more TV. I have watched some good stuff the past few days. Yesterday I watched "Legally Blond". I forgot that I liked that movie. And then, in Crissy's honor, I watched a Colin Firth movie..."What a Girl Wants". It was actually a really cute movie. AND Colin Firth puts on black leather pants. Crissy, stop drooling...that can't be good for your mouth.

I hope you, all of my blogging friends, have enjoyed your weekend and your Lord's Day.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

From the Devil...

Brown bootish shoes from the thrift store- terribly uncomfortable and obvliously from the devil

The pre stomach bug hitting feeling- yes, of the devil

Can't find things that we bought and need to find and yet they are nowhere- either the trolls, or the devil

Fleas- definetly from the devil

Up and down gas prices- The devil lives in gas

Something dead in the fridge- Could be me needing to clean out the fridge, but mostly likely...devil

Waitresses with short shorts- Probablly make good tips, but surely are of the devil

Skinny people that stay skinny no matter what they eat- Spawn of satan

Paying $4.31 for a drink at Starbucks- The devil makes me do it

Presidential debates- Bring out the devil

Halloween- Should I say it? (that is for you Kim)

Brakes & Transmissions- you guessed it...devil

I wish I had a little Black box.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recent Funness




































I post these pictures more for my sister whom I know misses her niece and nephew, than I do for any of you that see my children on a regular basis.
Ignore them if you'd like ;)
#1- Our day at Oak Mtn, we hiked to the "waterfall". Lana picked flowers and Logan collected weapons. Typical day.
#2- A recent Star Wars Birthday party. Logan is a storm trooper. Lana is of course Princess Leah, the tough weapon carrying version.
#3- Logan in his typical "analyzing the crap out of something" pose.
#4- Lana in her typical "look at me all cute in the flowers" pose.
#5- Every single little pumpkin we saw was perfect for Savannah. Lana has big plans for bringing Sarah, Summer, and Savannah to the pumpkin patch and picking perfect pumpkins. In the mean time, she wanted to "give" Savannah this one.
#6- The best looking couple at the Pumpkin Patch. Also the only couple at the PP. It was a nice quiet day there!
#7- Well, I just that was a cute pic.
And there you have it. Recent Fall funness in the great state of Alabama.














Monday, October 6, 2008

Heaven or Something Like It

Lately I've been thinking about Heaven.
It's really not something I think about as much as I marvel, long for, and anticipate.
Thinking would involve some sort of understanding, and Heaven is so far beyond the concrete thinking of my brain. What I know about Heaven is that anything my brain could conjure up would be a very poor misrepresentation of it.
How can I process in my earthly human brain that in Heaven we will worship God forever.
I come away from a hour and a half Church service completely overwhelmed at God's Holiness and Grace. How could I even process eternity of that, an eternity with the Vail lifted and God's full glory revealed.
What will it be like to hear hosts of Saints and Angels singing Holy, Holy, Holy?
I get choked up when I hear 200 sinful people in a man made Church building.

The world is fascinated by the thought of Heaven.
Stacy and I where watching part of an old Robin Williams movie yesterday, "What Dreams May Come". The movie "5 People You Meet in Heaven" comes on the Hallmark Channel all the time.
These movies, and most of the world around us think that Heaven is this place of our own choosing. Our minds make Heaven whatever we want it to be. We can run through oil paintings with our old childhood dog, or meet up with our High School English teacher and talk for hours about the good old days. In a humanistic Heaven, it's all about ME!
Seriously, why would I want it to be about me. I haven't done things right here on earth. What makes me think that in a Heaven that my brain comes up with, it's going to be any better?
Everything I do here on earth is tainted with sin. It is God's gift of Salvation and the promise of eternity with Him in a Heavenly body where I will sing with the Chorus of Angels Holy, Holy, Holy, that gives me Hope and makes me long for Heaven.
Why O why would I long for something that I'm just going to make up when I get there, that comes from a very finite brain such as mine?
I can't plan for the end of the week let alone eternity. I can't imagine anything more beautiful than things that I have already seen.
In this life of uncertainty, I look forward to the day, as the old hymn says...
"When we all get to Heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory."

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Don't Be Scared!

Lana and I have made this recipe for Chocloate Chip Zucchini Bread several times now. Don't be scared of Zucchini bread! You don't taste the Zucc, it just adds moisture. This recipe makes two loaves and is a wonderful fall treat.

Also if you have a little girl ( or boy) that likes to help in the kitchen, grating Zucchini will occupy a nice amount of time!!!

I hope you try this, you won't be sorry.

Ingredients:
3 Cups AP flour
2 Cups Sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp allspice (we use pumpkin pie spice)
2 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and allspice.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs, oil, and vanilla.
Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.
Transfer to 2 greased loaf pans.
Bake @ 325 deg. for 60 minutes, or until a insterted toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes and then remove and let cool on wire racks.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inquisitive

I love checking in on blogs and reading new fall recipes, and happy fall posts.
So I was wondering, what is your favorite thing about fall. You can have more than one fave.

I'll tell you mine:
-The nip in the air (returning tomorrow!!! YES!)
-Cardigans or sweaters or vests~ bascially just that knitty soft feeling
-Pumpkin Spice Candles
-Brown boots~Which I still havent found and now have no money for :(
-Making dishes with apples
-The Pumpkin Patch~ and then making pumpkin pie with the pumpkins we get
-Crunchy leaves
-Soup and bread
-Taking a trip in the fall to visit friends and family
-Opened windows
-Apple Cider
-Bon Fires

And that is just to name a few.
What do you love?

Monday, September 29, 2008

Poop in the sink...

Live outside!
That's right folks...if you poop in our sink, you have proven that you are an animal, and must live outdoors.
And such is the fate of Anna the cat.
She is now an outdoor kitty.
We'll see how long this lasts.
It was Stacy that banished her to the out of doors, and yet last evening when we got home, he tried to let her back in.
She refused ( I guess my curse worked) and stayed outside.
Fine by me.
"Bye bye kitty, enjoy the outside. I won't tell the crazy squirrel lady that we have an outdoor cat. Please don't bring me any "gifts" and leave them at the door."

I must tell you briefly about squirrel lady.
I saw her on the news Thursday night. She runs the Alabama Wilderness Center at Oak Mountain. I thought that would be a good field trip for the kids, so on Friday we went there.
The squirrel lady proceeded to tell me that people shouldn't have outdoor kitties because they hurt birds and squirrels. Really? Do they? Come on lady, haven't you ever heard of the circle of life? I mean not that I WANT the cat to go out and randomly start attacking little animals, but really, this kind of stuff has been going on for a looooong time.

Anyways...that is my story. Really its just a story to procrastinate and take a break from my sorting. I'm doing that dreaded task of sorting last years Winter clothes, going through drawers of current clothes, and finding a happy medium to combining Fall and Summer clothes in this neutral part of the season. My den is covered in clothes. Arg, I better get back to work.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Answers

Jeri asked me why I asked all the questions.
No reason really...just random random things for no apparent reason.
Now maybe you want my answers...maybe you don't...I'll give them anyway!


1. How often do you wash your hair?
Definetly Sunday and Wednesday...the other days are up for grabs.
Listen people...if I don't HAVE to go anywere, I will stay in workout pants and tshirts all day long.

2. If you are a Mom, do you EVER go to the bathroom without being interupted?
My kids are past the age of actually walking in on me ( except Lana still does sometimes) but I very rarely go to bed without someone talking to me or at least trying to talk to me.
Usually I sit on the toilet and then immedietly hear from somewhere in the house..."MOOOOM???!!!"

3. What do you do about a pair of jeans that look slimming when your standing, but when you sit you can pinch your rolls?
Baggy shirts, or stand up, or not care, or stress all day about it, or maybe I should just use a knife to cut the rolls off.

4. In regards to Homeschooling VS. Kids that go off to school...Which way is the easier in getting and mantaining a "clean" house?
Whats a clean house? I will most days settle for picked up and "organized".

5. How often do you get a hair cut?
Depends...I need one now and it's been since the middle of June since I had one.

6. Do your children have specific chores they must carry out everyday?
Each kid has a chore chart...I'm trying to get better about sticking to it. They also have there own plate, bowl and cup they have to wash, and of course keeping their rooms clean. They both help with laundry too.

7. Do you plan a weekly menu?
Used to...trying to be better at it again.
Thanks to some of your comments, I am taking some of the pressure off myself in this regard. I think planning 4 meals a week is a good goal.

8. How much do you spend a week on groceries?
$200 for 2 weeks...trying to divide $150 big trip and then $50 the next week.

9. Sex? How often? Ok, just kidding, don't anwer that one!
3 times a day, everyday.
Yeah right! I can't even go to the bathroom without interuption!

10. How many hours of sleep do you need a night?
9...I need 9!!! I always thought that was weird, But Dr. Betty Talley at Southeastern reaffirmed me in that when I was in College. She said she needed that too so then I didn't feel so bad since she is a "Dr."!
I don't get 9 though. My sleeping patterns of late have been very irratic. I go to bed late, and then toss and turn and don't sleep well. It's really quite annoying.
Ah, to get 9 straight hours of sleep. Someday. Someday.

Thank you all for your participation in my survey.
I owe you all $2 each.