Friday, December 28, 2007

City Girl sees Dead Deer


So, my husband killed a deer. I actually will prepare and eat the processed deer, which is a far cry from when we got engaged, when I almost fainted from mortification seeing the dead doe he killed. This year, on Christmas Day, my sister-in-law (Kerri) said "Quinn killed a deer!". And I cringed. I know. Horrible. I went outside and saw this huge deer (Quinn was smiling ear to ear) with big antlers sitting in the back of Mitt's Polaris. Yikes. Corin and Silas watched him CLEAN the deer (hello, why the heck do we use the term CLEAN to cut apart a dead animal? Just asking) and were not affected. I was affected, FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE thinking about him cleaning the deer.


So now, I'm home. SOMEHOW, the deer's head made its way into a black garbage bag and into my minivan and rode home with us for three hours without me realizing it. I'm glad I didn't know. Now. Quinn. Is BOILING the head in a giant pot to take off the skin so that he may put the antlers on a rack (that will not go in the house, by the way). I got a peek. Not pretty. It's very interesting.


I'm glad for the meat. Free meat for at least two months (possibly three). Thanks babe. I'll probably never go hunting with you. But, I think you're going to be okay with that.

Mississippi Christmas Pics


We're back! We had a great time in Mississippi with the family. On Wednesday night, there were twenty people sleeping in the house (3 bedroom, 2 bath)! It sounds like a lot, but it's always "the more, the merrier" philosophy there. Quinn killed a great, big buck on Christmas day, which he is so proud of. I'm glad, too because of all that meat (no Ginger, I won't sneak Venison to you). Fun times included:

Stuffing stockings on Christmas Eve

The merriment of Christmas morning and reading of the Christmas story

Visitors aplenty

Naps

Lots of singing and guitar playing (and dancing of the children)

Playing games (Scrabble and Mexican Train-the most fun game ever)

Lots of chit chats

Coffee and dessert whenever you wanted (I must've gained five pounds)

Wassail (it is so good)

Going on a fourwheeler with my hubby

Seeing how proud Quinn was for killing the buck- the biggest he's ever killed

Making food in the kitchen with all the ladies

Breakfast (I love everybody sitting in pj's drinking coffee and drowsily talking)

Fighting over pecan pie

Watching my boys with Quinn when he would take them hunting

Getting to go through old jewelry with Michelle, Kerri, and Madison (Jason's sister). I got some cool stuff.

Going to Walmart. Somehow, it's just more fun in Kosciusko, MS.

Watching the grandparents with the little ones. It was like they were feasting on their cuteness and littleness.

Watching Felix and Ansley. Man, they were CUTE!

Soaking up every second of family time and looking forward to the next time around.

It was wonderful. Hope ya'll had a good Christmas!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from the Hills!


I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas. We're headed out tonight to Mississippi for a few days for an old-fashioned Christmas. There's no snow, but there's Wassail always hot for sipping and the guitar is handy for singing. I'm hoping a bonfire is in store and maybe building a gingerbread house. There's hunting for the men (I guess the women too but, uh, not me) and hayrides for everybody. Felix has already asked us a million times when he can ride the "traccor". It's always fun and it's one of my very favorite places on this earth. We're looking forward to it! Enjoy your time with family and have a wonderful Christmas!

P.S. These pictures were done by Jessica Wright, a friend of ours at church who does a great job and is reasonably priced.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Display

I'm delusional. I get something in my head and just know it's going to be perfect. Too bad I'm distracted by the computer, errands, poopy diapers, and educating my children. I'm also distracted by sitting on the couch for 30 minutes and staring into space. Perhaps I'm thinking of how perfect everything could be.

Picture it... Gleaming white tablecloth, candles, house that is just filled with good smells coming from the kitchen. My make-up perfectly done; my hair curled and coiffed. Tea is chilling in the fridge and coffee is ready to brew at the touch of a button. The house is clean, the table is set, and Christmas music is softly playing. I'm laughing with my adoring hubby and he is thinking how lucky he is to be married to me. That's how I pictured last night with company was going to be.

The menu:

Baked Maple Dijon Chicken Thighs
Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Marshmellows
Steamed Broccoli
Pumpkin Pie with Whipped Cream

We had Matt and Heather Davis and their boys over for dinner last night. They were due between 6 and 6:30. I knew since lunchtime they were coming. The house was basically clean and just needed some tidying up. Laundry needed to be put away, the house vacuumed, the bathroom cleaned, the kitchen floors mopped, and the food prepared. No big deal. I also needed to shower. I usually don't shower in the morning because I think all day that I'm going to exercise and usually shower in the afternoon when I see that I'm not going to get exercising done. So, by 4:15 in the afternoon I'm still wearing sweats and starting to mix up the pie. The bathroom is done, the laundry put away and the chicken is ready for the Maple Dijon sauce. I've given up on mopping the kitchen floor, I'll just spot sweep. 4:30...pie goes in the oven, and I call Quinn to see if he can swing by the store to pick up marjoram (a spice I've never heard of before) that needs to go in the Maple Dijon sauce (of course, I have to try a recipe I've never tried before on company dinner). I also asked him to pick up fresh broccoli and an extra sweet potato. I cut up the potatoes and put them in a pot to boil and finish tidying up the living room, leaving the vacuuming until just before 6:00. The chicken only needs its sauce and it will go in the oven at 5:30. Time to shower. I'm just about to jump in when BOOM! pitch blackness overtakes my house. Great. Quinn pulls in and we light some candles. I do not get in the shower because I cannot dry my hair with the power off and I must be able to dry my hair. I make the sauce in the dark and hope the power comes on by 5:30. Nope. Quinn suggests we order pizza. That reminds me of the pie, which I had forgotten about because the timer is on the microwave (which is not working because there is no power) and I go look at the pie. It is done so I take it out and it looks nice (by candlelight anyway). We talk about ordering pizza again, which depresses me because of everything I've already gotten ready. By 5:55, I've given up that vacuuming, sweeping, and a much-needed shower will get done. The raw chicken is sitting on the counter and the potatoes are halfway done on the stove. Quinn then suggests that we can grill the chicken! Brilliant, although the chicken recipe is supposed to be baked, I'll take anything at this point. He turns on the grill and then the there's a knock on the door. The Davis' arrive and the men head outside immediately to the grill. Heather wipes off the table for me (another thing that didn't get done) and I inspect the potatoes. Fortunately, the potatoes sat in the water so long that they got soft and I can handmash them. I do not like handmashing potatoes, because I think they taste better when they are whipped with a handmixer. Oh well, I chunk in some butter, brown sugar, heavy cream, salt, and cinnamon (never made mashed sweet potatoes before-again the new recipe thing) and then think "maybe they need marshmellows". Pour in marshmellows and take the pot out to the grill to see if we can use the grill to melt the marshmellows. The broccoli is already in a pot on the grill. Heather and I set the table and get juice boxes for the kids, who are running around screaming and scaring each other with flashlights. I remember, just before dinner, that my Uncle Wayne had given us this ENORMOUS flashlight that has "1,000,000 candle power" a while back, so I lug that out and we have a glaring spotlight in the living room for dinner (thanks Uncle Wayne). At least it's light. Dinner is ready. The chicken is good, the sweet potatoes are eaten only by polite adults, and the broccoli needs A LOT of salt. We should've had bread, but it wasn't in my head for the magic menu, so we didn't have it.

After dinner, the men take all the kids to go look at the "SUPER, FANTASTIC, GRISWOLD-LIKE" Christmas lights at a house in Moody (apparently there was electricity somewhere) and Heather and I sit on the couch and eat pumpkin pie with plenty of Cool Whip by ourselves, talking about how we are too attached to electricity. It scares me a wee bit to think of POOF! not having electricity ever again. What would we do? Anyway, the lights come back on just before the men get back and the kids play upstairs and we eat pie and sit and talk. It was great. Even if I did have on sweats and hair that hadn't been washed since Tuesday. There was no coffee brewing and I had forgotten to make tea earlier that day, but the house did smell good, thanks to the previously baked pumpkin pie and somehow it didn't matter anymore anyway. Good times.

Speaking of, I'm still wearing those sweats and I need to shower and wash my hair that (still) hasn't been washed since Tuesday. Melissa and Ginger are coming over for coffee at 10AM. Maybe I can get it done before they come. I wonder if I should try to mop my floor...

Pop in if you've got the gumption.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thrift Store Madness

Finally! A full night's sleep. With the help of Benadryll, mind you, but still, I needed sleep. Yesterday I was a basketcase. A headachy, nauseated, over-emotional, grouchy pud. Fun, fun, FUN to be with. Ask my hubby. He's a patient man. I had a very nasty morning yesterday. After he left for work, I just sat on the couch and boohooed. Maja called to ask me about piano lessons and I burst into tears. Nice. Of course, she was sweet and gracious and sent me a little encouragement. I talked to Ginger (she told me "Bless your heart") and she came and picked me up and we ran errands (on a side note- I love to run errands with a friend. It makes running into somewhere to pay a bill, go grab something, or ignore children screaming in the backseat so much easier). I did have a headache the whole day, but she bought me a Starbucks (hello, thank you) and in general, made me feel better. We went to the thrift store in Roebuck (Big Saver- the best thrift store in B'ham). Corin needed some jeans and Silas needed a new coat. I found an LL Bean coat for Si for $6.88 and two pairs of Gap jeans for Corin (Merry Christmas kids). I also found some great Stride Rite shoes for Si for $.79 that were in fabulous condition, some brand new, pink kitty-cat, rubber rain boots for my niece for Christmas for 3.00, and the next size up navy Keds for Beex for $.99. There was lots of stuff I had to put back. I hate putting stuff back at the thrift store. I feel almost a panicked sense of "I'm never going to find this for any cheaper". But money is still money, even if you're getting a good deal. I have to ask myself, "Do I really need this?" Nope. Things I almost got, but didn't: A very cool puppet show thing that had a three-way fold and also was a chalkboard, about 4 1/2 tall that looked brand new for 10.00, an Ann Taylor turtleneck with snowflakes (I figured I wouldn't wear it, even if it did have an Ann Taylor label in it) for $1.98, more Gap jeans for Corin (no need for my 7 year old to have more jeans than me), and a J. Jill sweater that I put back for no reason at all, except that I figured I had spent enough. I meant to look for a coat for me, but I forgot. I want to find a vintagy pea coat or trench in a fabo color. I may just need to wait 'til the end of the season and find one at retail for 75% off. Other things I want to find for me at the thrift store: a green v-neck 3/4 sleeve blouse, a khaki, tailored jacket, wool, lined, wide-legged pants, a black turtleneck, and a swing jacket. Of course, there's always the chance to find an unusual purse, belt, skirt, or an interesting pair of shoes. I just like to look and look. It's not a place to take your husband. Mine gets highly annoyed at the thrift store. And impatient. He does like that I find good stuff at great prices, as long as he doesn't have to go with me to find it.

If you're reading this with a yucky look on your face like "ewww, I do not want to go shopping at thrift stores", then we need to shop together. You have to get over the smell of the place and wash your hands when you leave, and I don't recommend the bathrooms, but, WOW, you CAN find good stuff. Last summer, when we were at Lifeline Village, I remember taking one of the girls to find some "interview-for-a-job" clothes. We shopped and shopped at retail stores and she would never find a whole outfit for what she had money for. She did not want to go to the thrift stores, but I tricked her into going one day. We pieced together three outfits, including two pair of shoes and were still under her budget. Good stuff, too from Express, Banana Republic, Gap, and Ann Taylor. I like being a personal shopper. It's fun. I am for hire... or can be bribed with Starbucks or a candy bar.

PS... Virginia posted pictures of her new baby girl, Sabriel on her blog. Her link is to the right. Gotta go break up a fight. Toodles!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Monday Morning Blues

Today I'm Garfield. I'm despising Mondays these days. Somehow, it's so hard to get the kids started with school and the house is always a gigantic mess. The house was clean last night. It's a mess this morning. Darn trolls.

I could clean it, but, alas, I'm still in my pajamas. That means I can't clean it (duh). I wanted to try to go to Kohl's and the thrift store this morning, but now chances are pretty slim for a shopping trip. The baby is very whiny today and he NEEDS a nap. After lunch. He was sick this weekend. I guess he's technically still sick today since he woke up at 4:00 AM with fever, but he's fever-free this morning. Saturday was a vomit day, which is my favorite part of being a mother. Between vomiting I wrapped Christmas presents and watched White Christmas with Missy. I do love to wrap presents. And I love to watch White Christmas. And I love Missy. It made the vomiting not so bad. Although, White Christmas does drive me a little bit crazy. Rosemary Clooney is such a four-year old in the movie. I just want to say to her "Now, Rosemary, why don't you sit down and talk to Bing and let him know what you're upset about? It's really unwise to just leave Vermont and go to New York to sing in that fancy night club without telling anybody just because you're mad. You know you had such a good time singing that "Count Your Blessings" song and dancing with him in the "Mandy" minstril number. Let's just rethink your bitterness and think about what you're doing." If you've never seen White Christmas, then I'm sorry you don't know what I'm talking about. What am I talking about? Everybody has seen White Christmas. If you haven't then I'm giving you an open-mouthed stare. :O You must see it. I wanted to marry Danny Kaye when I was a little girl. He's very funny. And I adore watching Vera Ellen dance. I can dance like her. Well, I want to. She was anorexic, you know. I found that out when I was a teenager. I especially like her dancing in the "Choreography" number. It's my favorite song in the whole movie. Good grief, her feet just fly. And the muscles in her legs are unbelievable. I wanted to be her when I was 10. Kristi (my sister) and I used to take turns dancing to the songs in the movie when we were little. And probably when we were too old to be doing that. Watch it. Let Rosemary Clooney drive you crazy. It's a nice Christmasy movie.

Quinn and I watched "A Christmas Carol" this weekend. The boys and I went to see it at the BJCC's Children's Theatre last Thursday, too. It's my favorite story by Dickens. Well, perhaps I should say, the only story I've finished reading by Dickens. He intrigues me. When he was a little boy, he was abandoned by his family because they had to go to a debt work house (a place families had to go when they owed too much money) and he was old enough to work in a factory. I think he was 10 years old. He lived by himself for three months and went to work in a factory "glueing labels on bottles of black goo". This time in his life so dramatically left an impression on him that he would constantly include a character of this type in all of his books. Knowing about that makes him more real to me. I want to read more stuff by Dickens now.

Well, I've wasted forty-five minutes now on this very important post. If you haven't watched the White Christmas links yet, WATCH THEM NOW.
If you want to, of course. I don't want to be too pushy. It's not like me to do that. Watch them now, please. Thanks.

I'm so needy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Conversation Whiplash

Tonight I went on a girl date with Kim and Crissy. It was fun. We went to PF Changs and Target. I tried on lots of shoes at Target. I really wanted to buy some red, patent-leather ballet flats that were $10, but somehow I always think that I'm sinking backwards if I'm wearing flat shoes. I don't like to wear flat shoes. I feel short. I don't like to feel short. I like to feel tall. I like to pretend I'm 5'7. I love patent leather. I like to smell them. It's a nostalgic smell. When I was little, we would get new black, patent-leather shoes for Easter and I loved to smell them.


Quinn went hunting. I don't like sleeping by myself.


Felix is loving the Advent candles. He calls them Happy Birthdays. He also likes holding Little People plastic cars over the flames. We moved the Advent wreath.


I can't find the remote.

I got out my winter clothes yesterday. I usually do this in September. I got rid of most of them and a lot of my summer ones. I want to buy more clothes. I made a new link to a great site called What I Wore Today. I like her style most of the time and the things that she does are totally doable. Maybe I'll go to the thrift store tomorrow.

It's cold and I don't want to get off the couch.

I'm sleepy.

I guess I'll force myself up.

Goodnight random viewers...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sweeney Sisters

It's time for Christmas and you know what that means... Christmas Medleys!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dainty

My friend Jennifer told me last night that she thought I was dainty. Isn't that sweet? No really, she did. I really am. Well, kinda. I found myself inwardly chuckling my evil laugh and thinking, "YES, I have fooled her! Mwa, ha, ha, ha... She has perceived me as I hope to be perceived! She is under my spell, mwa, ha, ha, ha, ha!" I think what I actually said to her (with my evil eye) was "I am pleased with your perception." Maybe my hands were placed chest-high, with my fingers tapping (evilly), I can't remember. Then all of my friends laughed and told stories about me. Thwarted again. Curses!

I went to our church's cookie swap last night. It was a blast. If you missed it, then you missed out! We revealed secret pals, which was fun. Kim Poston was mine, and I was hers. She gave me stuff all year from the Candy Store in Leeds. Yummalicious. Can you say "Dark Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans"? Can you also say "WIRED"? I had five cups of coffee, five glasses of water, and an embarrassing amount of cookies. And, yes, it was after 6:00PM. The guilt was overwelming as I brushed my teeth before bed. I've GOT to exercise this week.

Well, I need to get ready for church. Today is the Advent Candle of Bethlehem. Remember the Promise of a Savior!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

My Christmas Playlist

So I didn't make a Christmas playlist on Project Playlist. I actually tried two different times, but got so frustrated finding songs that I gave up. I've been trying to figure out how to share what I've been listening to and Voila! new link list. (I feel like a computer genius).
My Pandora playlist will play all day. It's fabuloso. A lot of variety and different sounds than the typical Christmas radio station. Virginia e-mailed it to me and I've been in love ever since. The link has three playlists that you can choose from: The Barenaked Ladies (horrible name of a band, great music) is the first station and the second is the Transiberian Orchestra Playlist. The third is an Over the Rhine Holiday station which is more acoustic sounding. What Pandora does is allow you to pick the genre of music you like by entering a favorite band and then they choose music that you may like but may have never listened to. If you don't like a song, then click on the song and a thumbs up or thumbs down thing will pop up and you won't have to listen to it (or songs like it) anymore. Christa e-mailed me about Snow Angel yesterday and I love it. I really loved Over the Rhine's older Christmas album, The Darkest Night of the Year, but I don't know how to share that with you (maybe not so much a computer genius). Listen and enjoy, friends!

BTW, my Rachel posted... check her out!

Okay, for my mother's supreme enjoyment, I've created a fourth Pandora radio station called the Michael Buble Holiday station. Now you may choose from four stations. Also I just noticed an option you may select called "quick mix". This allows you to choose multiple playlists to play from, if you so desire. How cool is Pandora!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ta Dah!

Finally, the Christmas tree is decorated. It looks pretty. I did something different this year. I used white, blue, and copper instead of my normal red, gold, and copper. It looks pretty cool. Last year I felt like my red, gold, and copper tree looked too warm in this oceany, cool, blue house. We have two trees (Big Saver thrift store two years ago, $7 a piece) and the boys' tree is at the top of the stairs, where they were allowed to decorate freely this year. Felix kept trying to destroy everything and Silas is a tad bit free-spirited, so Corin was the one to try to place the ornaments so they looked right. He did great! I would take a picture, but my camera broke in Florida (still under warranty, thank goodness).

Anyway, I'm pleased with my pagan tree. Oops, did I let a tiny bit of cynicism slip in? My bad. I did have a wonderful time with the men in my life; hot chocolate was consumed and Over the Rhine's SnowAngel played instead of Burl Ives. If you're looking for something different to listen to, I highly recommend this CD by my most favorite of bands. Just click on the title and it should play. OTR is playing it this month on their online record player. It has become a favorite (I listened to it for over three hours today).

Have a good night!

Missing my sister...


I cried as I put these pictures together. I couldn't help it. I missed her voice this morning when I got up. Connor didn't come out saying "Kimmy, I wun Cheeos". Which means that he and Felix didn't sit on the stairs sharing the cups of "cheeos" and spill them everywhere. The children didn't come bounding down the stairs like a herd of elephants. I didn't hear them whisper to each other about whether or not it was light enough to come down (the first morning they all woke up at 5:45 AM; which constituted the rule that they were not allowed to get up until they saw sunlight). There was plenty of hot water for showers this morning, and there wasn't a ton of laundry to do. There was no pre-adolescent crying over, well, everything and fewer arguments about school (I still have two here, you know). Fewer tattling, fewer messes, fewer whining... Yesterday, we didn't have to take two cars to go to Walmart and there wasn't seven children to look after. I miss it. Felix is going through Connor withdrawls; he asks about "Conna" all day. "I ride Conna's van, Momma?" "I sleep in Conna's bed, Momma?" "Where Conna go, Momma?" "I ride bikes with Conna?" My personal favorite (and the most pathetic) is where he growls and says in his demanding, scary voice, "I wan Conna!" Poor baby.

Even though it was crazy, it was so fun and I would love to do it again. I miss my sister. Maybe next month...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Times

Well, it's 4:30 AM. Maybe I should say 4-stinking-30 AM, because I want to be asleep. The heater running in the winter always makes my nose stopped up and I don't sleep well. Some would say (my husband, perhaps) that maybe I should just lay in bed until I go back to sleep. Therein lies the weirdness of me... I woke up at 3:50. This is too early to get up so I lay there in bed with my stuffy nose until 4:30, which is not too early to get up. Why is 4:30 not too early to get up? Because it is close to 5:00, which is an acceptable morning time to get out of bed. So I'm up. It's the same with lunchtime. 10:00 is too early to eat lunch, but 10:30 is okay to prepare lunch because it is close to 11:00, which is (of course) an acceptable time to eat lunch. Don't even talk to me about dinner. Breakfast and lunchtimes are precise (6:00AM and 11:00AM) but dinnertime doesn't matter because I don't like to eat after a certain time (6:00PM). I will eat after that time if there is a special function or I'm going out to dinner, but I prefer not to. I will eat supper at as early as 3:30 in the afternoon (I actually prefer to do that), or skip it altogether if I deem it "too late to eat". Now, if we are with other people I do eat, not because I'm overly hungry (I've been doing this so long now that I'm actually not ever very hungry in the evening), but because I do not want to explain that "6:00 PM is too late to eat dinner" when most people I know do not actually eat dinner until 6:00 PM. 6:00 PM is an acceptable time to eat dinner. So is 5:00. 3:30 is not an acceptable time to eat dinner, but somehow I don't care, even though I care very much about breakfast and lunchtimes. Let's talk about the word "acceptable". I keep using that word. I usually eat breakfast and lunch by myself or with my kids. Who cares about the time we eat? Who are these times acceptable to? I do not know why I do that the way I do.

Enough of the crazy.

Thanks to everybody for the encouragement to me in our beloved Christmas season. Quinn has been a great encouragement to me; just reminding me of the gospel and showing me different stuff about Advent. My mom had some great activities for crafts and I'm thinking next Tuesday is craft day at my house. Takers? We've been talking about Matisse in school lately and he did a lot of interesting things. He was one of the "Fauve" artists which means "wild beasts". The art critics called them that because they would paint a picture using bright colors (paints the sky red instead of blue) to describe the way they felt. Critics didn't like that. Anyhoo, Matisse also did Decoupage with different color tissue to create some of his art and I would like to do that with the kids. Maybe even something Christmasy. Let me know. Or make Christmas ornaments.

My sister is leaving tomorrow. I'm sad because we've had a great time together, even though there have been mass amounts of children in the house. Actually, that hasn't been too bad. The laundry has been insane. But I am a little weird about laundry (imagine that). The kids have gotten along very well and have thoroughly enjoyed each other. I'm sad to see them go. My brother-in-law arrived yesterday and we all (minus the kids) went out to PF Changs and Cheesecake Factory last night. Emma and Katrina kept the kids. It was a blast. I like being friends with my sister.

So this is a broad post. A little crazy, followed by a little Christmas, followed by a little sentimentality...

Now it's 5:20. I'm hungry but I can't eat until 6:00. Maybe I'll make coffee. There are no mental times on coffee.
Let's talk about mental for a minute...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Conflicted

My tree is out of the box. It's still not decorated, even though it's been there for 5 days now. The kids keep asking about it. "hm, later guys okay?". I'm just not into it. Virge sent me a link to her Pandora Christmas station and we've been listening to that a bit, which I like, and I've been listening to my Over the Rhine Christmas CD, which is good, but.....

What are we supposed to do? Modern traditions reek of commercialism and "Holiday Cheer". Even the Christian Bookstores are all about some money. Who wants a "Christian" plaque for Christmas? What does that mean? How many presents are my kids supposed to open for it to be a "good" Christmas? Because after the fourth or fifth one, a glaze washes over their eyes and they start asking for more. They're only five and seven (and two, but he hasn't cared yet-this year he'll be the one yanking other toys out of other children's hands) and yet I'm tired already of having the greedy conversation with them every year. Don't get me wrong, I've yet to not make a "Christmas Wish List" (thank you Service Merchandise catalogs for that lovely jargon) and I do love to give presents (and get presents, by the way- that greedy glaze has passed over my eyes just about every Christmas that I remember), but I'm just over it. Why DO we buy and buy and buy? I'm an affirmation junky and I love praise and adoration, even from my kids. And Christmas gift-giving is "all fair", i.e. "We've got to give so-and-so something, they always give us something", or "he got eight presents and I've only gotten seven!" Both of these thoughts have caused me to overspend a lot.

Today is the first Sunday in Advent. Today I will teach my four and five year old Sunday School class about the prophecies in the Old Testament. We will light the first candle in the Advent Wreath at church and at home and talk about the prophecies in the Old Testament and why they are important to our faith today. God has and will always keep His covenants with His people. Should there even be a balance between modern commercialized Christmas and Christ?

So here I am, on my soapbox. Guess what? I will buy presents this year. I will send Christmas Cards. I will wrap presents this year (I do love to wrap presents-there are no ends to my need for affirmation). I will decorate the tree, with Burl Ives playing and hot cocoa being sipped on by all (how's that for modern tradition). My confliction lies in the balance or the lack of balance: "Oh yeah, it's the celebration of Christ's birth, by the way."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Moss Rock Preserve


Yesterday, Kristi and I took the kids (and Sarah and Annika) to the Moss Rock Preserve in Bluff Park. It was very cool. And full of laughs. I especially liked the part where my sister was exceedingly annoyed with me for taking the picture of her when Kamryn fell in the water. The longer that I'm a mother, the more I see how much children can survive. Corin climbed a rock wall to show me that he could and Felix and Connor really made it the whole 2 miles without too much fuss. Well, Felix's foot got wet and the whole way back to the car he told me that his foot was wet. Persistent little booger.

We had a good time. It's fun having my sister here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bah, Humbug.

Okay. I've looked at everybody's very Christmassy blogs and I think " Why isn't everybody grouchy about Christmas like me?"
I don't know why I'm grouchy about Christmas. Except that my kids don't need more crap. Maybe that's it.
Quinn said to me last night, "Should we take out the Christmas tree this week?" To which I responded with a shrug, "eh."

I do love to do Advent.

And my house does look pretty with the tree up and the Advent wreath on the table.

I'm very annoyed about Christmas music on the radio.

If I hear the Carpenters sing one more song I think I'll toss my cookies.

What a poop I am!

http://www.scroogeyourself.com/?id=9616556404

Okay... I had to do the elf one, too... First my sister's kids...
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9616854486

And then, of course, my kids...
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9616901279

And then, I couldn't resist...
http://www.scroogeyourself.com/?id=9617064507

And, lastly, my sister and me...
http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=9617088878

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bubba Gums, Momma?

I'm watching my two year old eat ice cream.

Now I'm watching him pick ice cream off the carpet and pop it in his mouth.

He's poopy.

"I's poopy, Momma."

He has a giant spoon.

And he's covered in chocolate.

He's driven me nuts today.

He's asked for "bubba gums" all day. It's cute. The first five times three weeks ago.

While I was teaching piano lessons, he bugged the crap out of Angie Wilkes and she ended up giving him three pieces of "bubba gums".

Then when we got home he ate three pieces of "bubba gums" out of my purse. He was chewing it really fast. Oh yeah, like that's going to help.

He's a very persistent hugger. And kisser. He makes other children cry.

Now, he's trying to take off his diaper.

I'm sure it's not uncomfortable to walk around in poo.

Now he's eating ice cream off the floor.

That would be the carpeted floor.

"NO, DON'T TOUCH ME!"

That's my sister, yelling at my chocolate covered two year old.

Yeah, like her kid is clean.

Oh yeah, he is.

Time to bathe him.

......BTW, he managed to get the poopy diaper off before I made it to him. lovely...

Now he's clean and smells like baby shampoo. Now I remember why he's so cute.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Flight Of The Conchords - Jenny

My Uncle Randy introduced me to Flight of the Conchords on Thanksgiving. Hilarious.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Day Fun!


Things I loved about yesterday:

Making crafts with the kids. We made Indian costumes and Thanksgiving Day thankful cards.

Making butter. We've done this since I was a kid. The mothers usually end up finishing it though, which we did.

Eating my favorite foods. Pecan Pie is my favorite.

Sitting outside, watching the kids play and chatting with my cousins and Aunts and Uncles.

Watching Youtube and laughing hysterically with my Uncle Randy and Dylan.

Eating more pie.

Watching the guys play Boccie Ball and football.

Visiting, visiting, visiting...

Staying up til 11:30 (that's right) playing Mexican Train with Uncle Wayne, Quinn, Cari, and Nick. Mom played Michael Buble's new CD while we played. Awesome!

Had a great day!

Coming home tomorrow....

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good times with my family...


Two slideshows in one day! Just wanted to post some pics of our happenings and good times. My parents live next door to my mom's sister and her family and they have a beautiful backyard that they share. We frequently will all go outside to play and chat. This is one of my favorite parts of coming here. The weather here has been gorgeous (Florida in the winter is always beautiful) and so we have had to opportunity to do this almost every day. There is always lots of laughter. I'm enjoying spending time with my family!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we are about to do some crafty things (I love when other people plan crafts) and some bakey things with my mom and Grandma Jessie. More pics later!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Day with Joy!


I spent the day yesterday with my very first college roommate, Joy. We had such a beautiful time! She lives two blocks away from downtown Winter Garden, which is THE cutest downtown. We sauntered downtown for lunch, pulling the little ones in a big, green wagon and had a fabulous lunch at a pizzeria and then ice cream at Downtown Brown's (I had coffee ice cream with dark chocolate chunks- um- yummo). After lunch, we walked it off (probably not) and spent the afternoon in the back yard. There was a huge tree with giant Tarzan vines wound around it that the kids could swing on. And they did. For hours. When her husband, Jim, got home from work, we cleaned her girls (Lily-4 & Emmy-2) up and went back downtown for family pics, which was fun. I haven't seen Joy in two years and we haven't spent much time together since college. We talked about the gospel, children, Africa (they lived there for almost a year), concussions (she had a number of wooden giraffes in her house... eek!), and, in general, laughed ourselves silly. A day with a good friend leaves a pleasant taste in your mouth. I smiled the whole way home.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Anyone? Anyone????

Would anybody be interested in cleaning my house tomorrow (or Friday?)

These are things that need to be done:
Dust
Vacuum
Clean bathrooms
Clean Kitchen
Sweep and Mop kitchen and bathrooms
Wash sheets in the baby room (where my sister will be sleeping)

Not baseboards or anything, just a tidy clean-up.

We could do cash or barter (piano lessons or whatever you think I'm good at that you want me to do). It would be so nice to come home to a spotless house. Let me know!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Don't Wanna

I am dressed to exercise and I don't want to. I feel like I need to, mostly because I'm WAY OCD, but also I eat like a cow when I come to Florida. There's always something good to eat. My sister made some White Trash the other day and it is divinely delicious. What is White Trash you say? It's regular M&M's and peanut M&M's, pretzels, and cheerios all stirred into melted white chocolate and then broken up after it hardens. Addictive. I literally cannot have one bite. I almost ate the whole bag yesterday. Hence, exercise is necessary. I've also had some that consists of peanuts, pecans, raisins (none for Ginger-weird non-raisin girl), Rice Chex, Pretzels, and maybe other stuff stirred into melted dark chocolate and then shaken in a bag of powdered sugar. Also addictive. Yesterday I also had Pumpkin Cheesecake (yumm-o) and a piece of chocolate cake. And a burrito. And a bowl of cereal. I'm mentally tallying up calories as I type, almost in a panic. For real, my hands are sweating. Hello food issues.

I also am not wanting to educate my children. School is out down here for the week (extra Hurricane days- go figure) and so I'm feeling lazy. We were supposed to go on a field trip today to a swampy place where there are lots of alligators, but my sister is sick. Maybe we'll go to the park and walk. I'm always a little nervous about this park because it is on the lake that is heavy laden with alligators. No one seems to worry about the alligators here, but I have had nightmares twice since coming down here about the baby not being able to get away from one. I think it is strange that there is such a casual atmosphere about alligators. I'm not sure I like it. I must have lived out of the state too long. I don't ever remember worrying about alligators when I was younger. I probably would've been a nervous wreck if we would have gone to the swampy place. A friend of my sister's lives there with her family in an old cracker house. Her husband works for the state, testing water and surveying the wildlife on the swamp. When the hurricanes went through here a couple years ago, their land flooded and she could hear alligators croaking outside of her window. Um, no thanks.

Well, I should get going. To the alligator park. To run and worry about my children getting eaten by alligators. We'll run fast. Are alligators fast runners?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Baby Andrew


I got the opportunity to visit with my best friend from childhood, Kelly, yesterday. The last time I saw her was at her wedding in 2004. She and her husband have been trying to have a baby since they married and have at last been blessed with a son. It has been beautiful to look back over this process and see how the Lord has truly used this experience to show His sovereignty. There were several miscarriages and the heartache of month to month infertility. How my heart ached for her! On the drive to her house yesterday, I could hardly wait to see this little legacy! Perfect and beautiful was he as he lay asleep, still curled up from being used to being in the womb. How wonderful is the God whom we serve!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Brain Waves

I'm missing my husband today. A lot.

It's weird blogging on another computer. I don't like it.

It's like my creativity is blocked.

(Lofty English accent) "Oh, my creativity is blocked! Oh, oh, oh! Um, tally-ho then."

Hmmm, maybe I'm just being lazy.

Nah, that cannot be it because I'm certainly NOT lazy.

Yawn...

Maybe I need a muse.

Felix is amusing...

Bwa, ha, ha!

Yeah, I'm sleepy.

Today I took my Grandmother to the dentist.

Fun times.

I also looked for a pair of shoes. Black, pointy- toe ones. Yes. I'm aware that I have lots of black shoes. But I don't have non-patent-leather-pointy-toe ones. Very important. Also, I did leave one of the black heels I did bring to FL on the driveway in Alabama. I do LOVE shoes. I bought nine pairs this summer for $5 a piece. They were cool. No black, pointy-toe ones that aren't patent-leather though. I want to find a really cool pair that are like, Nine West or something for $5. Maybe that's why I haven't bought any yet. They don't exist. Actually, I live in the thought that they DO exist and I WILL find them. I just have to keep looking. So what usually happens is I think, "I should get a pair of black, non-patent-leather-pointy-toed heels!" (Ding.) So I go to the thrift store (always look there first, rich people don't have foot fungus- NO FOOT FUNGUS STORIES), they're not there anyway so hush. Next I go to Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's. These places usually have what I want, but they're over my "price-range" ($5). So then I go to Payless, Cato, Target, and Walmart. But these shoes are also above my "price-range" ($5- in case you forgot) and I liked the ones at Ross, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's better. So now I'm in a canundrum. And I'm confused. Should I just go to Saks Fifth Avenue and buy the ones for $300 that I saw in a magazine? No, I should just get the $50 dollar ones I saw at Ross. Hmmm, why can't I just get the clearance cool, strappy ones at Ross for $11.99? Remember? They're above my "price-range" ($5).

I didn't but any shoes.

I need to go make a cake.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Drive Down

I woke up at 1:30 AM on Sunday morning and groaned inwardly. Why? Because I knew it would be next to impossible to go back to sleep. You see, in my brain I had already planned on getting up early so whether that was at 3:30 (which is what it I had planned for - didn't even have my alarm clock on) or 1:30 I knew I would BE awake at whatever absurd hour I woke up at. 1:30 it was. I forced myself to just lay there for two more hours and I did doze for a couple of minutes here and there, but in the end I finally got up at 3:30 to take a shower and get ready for the day. The kids all got up relatively easily (they are my children, after all) and we ate breakfast, packed up the car, and were on the road at 5:30. Great!

The first half of the trip was pretty uneventful. When the kids were awake, they would ask how many hours until we get there. Every 10 minutes or so. Starting at Pell City. At about Anniston, I told Corin to watch for the little green signs that had the cities and mileage to get there on them. He loved that. We'll probably learn how to read a map while we're here. I think I was about Corin's age when Mom taught me how to read a map. I was obsessed (still am) with knowing how far we were away from our destination when we traveled. Atlanta was a breeze. I took everybody's advice and avoided I-285, which was fantastic. So I am just sailing along, really hoping to see a Starbucks sign because, by now (9:00 AM), 1:30AM is starting to catch up with me. I keep on plugging, stopping at a rest area just north of Macon to go to the bathroom and get Cheezits and a juice box. This was at 10:00 and I am pleased because this was our first stop! Man, are we gonna make good time or what! I am sure I have passed a Starbucks at this time, but decide to just keep driving on to Tifton which is a little more than halfway to our destination. And there's a Starbucks. My estimated time of arrival to Tifton is 11:30, which is perfect because we can get some lunch while we're there. Bam!

At about 10:50, I hear Silas calling me. I couldn't hear him so I turned down the radio and asked him to say again. "Momma, I think Felix is throwing up."
I frantically turned the rear-view mirror on to Felix and, sure enough, throwing up is what he is doing. NO, NO, NO! Why must my children have the most excellent gag reflexes known to mankind? Felix starts asking me for a napkin, when what he needs is a good hosing. So, like a good mother, I keep driving on to Tifton. It's not going to hurt him to sit there for 25 more minutes. And I'm just a little bit mad at him for throwing up. Rational thinking is not one of my strong points when I'm sleepy. We do get to Tifton, where I pull into the Starbucks parking lot and strip and clean up my baby, who is very hungry and happy by this point. "Eat, Momma?" Did I mention that I parked right next to the drive- thru where a big truckload of men are watching me strip and clean up my child? Oh, and laughing. Thanks. We trudge inside, I order my triple-shot of espresso- capuccino and ask for a garbage bag from the guy with mo hawk, go to the bathroom, and then head back to the car to go to Sonic for lunch. It's noon now. We eat lunch and then head back on the road at about 12:20. And then Felix throws up again. Grrrrrrrr..... Stop at Adel and clean up second puke mess, which is a LOT more messy and causes the car to really smell bad, fill up car with gas and get the kids back in the car. I'm irritated because we're behind schedule and I hate cleaning up puke (surprise, surprise). I'm also mad because somehow we manage to bring a stomach virus or some other disgusting disease to my family when we come down to Florida. I'm tearing up a little (serious self-pity going on) when Quinn calls me to see how I'm doing. Now, I haven't spoken to him for a few hours and the last time I had talked to him I was ahead of schedule and looking for a Starbucks. I'm crying on the phone and he is being sweet and sympathetic because he's a good man. We hang up and then my mom calls and is sweet and sympathetic, telling me Felix is probably just fine, just a little carsick. He IS congested and he always throws up when he's congested. So, we keep on trekking and the rest of the drive is uneventful, except for my nervous habit of watching Felix in the rear-view mirror which is now permanently fixed on him. He's fine for the rest of the trip.

We get to my parents house at 4:30 in the afternoon, which is an hour past the time I thought we'd get there, but I'm so relieved to be there that I don't care. I am greeted with love and hugs and my children start immediately running around the yard. There is a birthday party for two of my cousins' babies and my uncle, who live next door to my parents and the evening passes with laughter and good times. It is good to be with my family, despite the drive down. Looking forward to a good time!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Nervous Grumblings

Well, it's the Friday before I leave for Florida and I'm relieved. Today is the last co-op day (woo hoo), Children's Choir is taken care of, I'm packed and nearly ready for our trip on Sunday. The bazaar (Virge, bazaar is now your word- I think your name when I spell the word- every time) is tomorrow and I'm ready for that, too. Great. Fabulous. Except...

Today my children woke up with runny noses. This is not a big deal, everybody has runny noses this time of year so we just deal. However, it seems like everytime we go to Florida we take illness with us- and spread it to my family. And how fun is it going to be driving for 9 hours with whiny, runny-nosed children? I'm nervous about driving anyway. I've never driven by myself to Florida before. I shouldn't write that, it'll make Quinn nervous. I think he's nervous about me driving, too. I dislike driving in Atlanta VERY much. And I drive slow. It doesn't bother me that people pass me a lot (probably giving me the bird and cussing at me), I just keep on going. It probably doesn't bother me because I'm talking my head off to somebody and am not paying attention to the fact that I'm dring 65 mph in a 70 mph zone. But, I don't have anybody to talk to, eeeeeeh! I am nervous. I've always got to find something to worry about.

Well, I guess I'll Zicam up the boys and myself and hopefully knock this cold out by tomorrow or Sunday. If you've never tried Zicam before, it is the most amazing product. I am a walking commercial for them. The boys even know it: "Momma, are you gonna zicam me up?" It's the medicine I always have in my medicine cabinet, right next to Motrin and Benadryll.

Don't Forget! The Christmas Bazaar is tomorrow! It's going to be great!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

A Request

Marsha, her link is to the right, runs a program to help pregnant teens in the area where her and her husband live. She is looking for extra copies of the book "What to Expect When You're Expecting" to give to these girls. She needs twelve of these books! If you have an extra copy of this book, she will be in town this weekend. If you are coming to the Bazaar this Saturday, you can bring it then. There is more information on this ministry on her blog. marshahmusings.blogspot.com Check it out!

Thanks!

My Candy, Momma


I was standing at the front door this morning saying goodbye to Quinn when it occurred to me that I hadn't seen Felix for a few minutes. "Felix!" I called to him inside the house and got no answer (he usually comes running), so I stepped outside and called him as Quinn was driving down the driveway. I didn't remember seeing him go outside. I stepped back inside and called him again, a little more frantically,"FELIX!". This time he came running, with his mouth barely closing because there was so much candy in it. Peanut butter candy, of which he is allergic to. I immediately pulled it out and threw it in the garbage, hoping that it wouldn't cause him to break out. I went into my bedroom and saw that he had been hiding on the opposite side of the bed, sneaking candy. The little sinner. I shook my head and was relieved about my candy decision.


The candy left in a big bag this morning to go to the church with Quindy dindy do. Thank goodness. For some reason, every year I desire to go trick or treating for an hour to two hours so we can "stock up" on candy. I do achieve this goal. And then one week later, I'm so sick of seeing the candy that I want to throw it away. I'm also tired of every 30 minutes to an hour the boys asking me for more candy. Felix doesn't ask; he demands: "My candy, Momma" or "I need candy, Momma!" He tries to sneak it all the time. Stinker. Lately he's started this new thing of trying to force his way upon me by looking at me sternly, doubling up his chin and telling me in a deep (baby) voice what he wants and pointing his finger at me. It's hard not to laugh. Anyway, I am generally tired of waking up feeling like patootie because I ate so much chocolate the previous day. I'm ready for it to go. To the church. Where I'm at almost every day. Hmmm, maybe not such a good decision. Anybody want some candy?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Christmas Bazaar

Hey Ladies! Come one, come all to the Community Presbyterian Church Christmas Bizarre this Saturday, November 10 from 9AM to 7PM. Admission is Free (unless you want to contribute to the "Kim wants a new pair of jeans- not from the thrift store, but from a real store- before she goes to Florida- fund... I take checks and cash). Bring cash, there probably will not be any debit thingy things there. Get a chance to support local crafters and artists and get something unusual for your family there for Christmas.

Vendors you may know:

Virginia - Famous for her beautiful work in stationary and scrapbooking; she will be hawking her wares.
Michelle and Abbey - Christmasy stuff and cool, crafty things they know how to do.
Maja Clayton - GORGEOUS, handmade stockings that will make your eyes pop.
Jessica - her photography is second to none!

There will be handmade pottery, fabulous artwork, and beautiful handiwork that you'll just have to see. Come and check us out!

We are in Moody. The address of the church is: 825 Oak Blvd. Moody, AL 35004

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Themes

The concert was fabulous last night. Workplay is an excellent venue for small concerts. Now if we could get Over the Rhine here.... I did not realize that Sandra McCracken would be playing with Derek Webb (they are married). She was great and had such a unique voice. It was such a good time. We got there very early to be able to get good seats and got to chat with the Littles and the Soileaus. The Sharps came, as well as the Boykins and the Morgans. It was so nice to be all grown-up(y). I enjoyed riding in the car with my husband without the kids. We joked and laughed and told stories. Sometimes I forget how good of friends we are. He is gracious and kind to me and makes me feel pretty and unique. He is always speaking the gospel to me. I adore him. We've been having a hard time this year (eight years hit us like a ton of bricks) and it's been painful to reevaluate and see how selfishly I think about things. Learning how to communicate with someone you thought you knew how to communicate with is difficult. However, I see how it is helpful in our relationship and will be healthy for us in the coming years. We definitely don't have it all figured out, but will we ever? I wonder if there will be marriage in heaven; it would be nice to have a perfect relationship without all the infallibility that goes along with being in this wretched skin.

On a completely different note, I changed my playlist. Something about romantic crooners seems very November to me. Early evenings and good smells in the kitchen remind me of this kind of music for some reason. It's interesting thinking about Queen Latifah singing a Nat King Cole song, but give it a listen. She's got an amazing voice. And really, Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr. make me think that I should be in a red dress with strappy high heels with my hair up, dancing on a rooftop somewhere by candlelight. Somehow the baby is chasing me in that vision, telling me he wants to eat. Shake it off. I really would love to take dancing lessons someday. Norah Jones and Rosemary Clooney have completely different styles, but both seemed right on the list. There are old standbys, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole and Perry Como, and Nina Nastasia doesn't really belong, but I loved that song. Squirrel Nut Zippers and Over the Rhine are on every list for some reason and I've been in love with George Michael and Sting since I was 13 years old. That Miles Davis song is, um, very nice. I've noticed that I really like themes. I love a tidy little box with matching things in it. I spent three hours making that playlist yesterday and I loved every minute of it. Enjoy my love songs; I am.

Friday, November 02, 2007

TGIF

I'm always so relieved on Friday afternoons. Today especially. Let me be more specific. I am wallowing in laziness on the couch, having just finished a lovely smoked bologna sandwich (Lebanon bologna from Maryland-WOW) and am now feeling the lovely Alabama breeze and blogging. What could be more perfect? Oh, did I mention that I'm munching on some delicious dark chocolate raisins? Mmmm, perfection. They are from a little candy store in Leeds (that, btw, has candy half the price of that one in Homewood - same candy) and they are DELISH. The lady that owns it is very sweet and so generous. I am devoted to keeping her in business. (How unselfish of me).

I'm very excited today, because Quinn and I are going on a true, bonafide date tonight. And not to Mickey D's either, but to a Derek Webb concert and maybe coffee later. High heels and lipstick baby! Well kicky boots, anyhow. Love me some kicky boots. I probably should take a little rest, since I am unreliable to stay awake after 10 PM. There will be lots of people we know at the concert, so it will be a grand time. If you've never listened to Derek Webb, then Google his name and listen to some of his stuff. He's fantastic and loves to break the ideals of what American thinks a "Christian" singer is supposed to do. He makes me think outside the box, which is sometimes very painful (and convicting), and is always a good brain exercise.

And now for something completely different.
A list of things I like about today (I told you I like lists):

1. I have good hair today (it's dirty, but it's good).

2. I have so much chocolate in my house and I'm loving the variety.

3. Co-op is nearly done AND I don't have to plan for next week. (hello, class party)

4. I have on dangly earrings and I like to listen to them dangle.

5. I'm getting fried chicken at the grocery store for supper.

6. The baby is taking a nice, long nap.

7. It feels SO good outside.

8. I love to have something to look forward to. ie... date with my husband.

Let's not think about unpleasant things. Laundry, dirty dishes, more laundry, cleaning house, lesson plans, and uncomfortable feelings about how long it has been since I've mopped are not things we are thinking about today. Just one more eensy, teensy handful of chocolate covered raisins. Ah....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Fun times on Halloween Night!


Things I loved about yesterday:

1. We woke up and immediately put on costumes. Corin was an escaped convict, Silas was a police officer, Felix was a cowboy, and I was (ahem) a pirate.

2. We went trick or tricking at Food Giant and downtown Leeds with Virginia and her babies. Good times by 12:00 PM.

3. We came back to the house and had frozen pizza and let the kids play forever.

4. I made white chili and bleeding finger cookies for the Potluck. (bleeding finger cookies- sugar cookie dough rolled up like a snake, press fork on for knuckles, cook for 9 minutes, let cool on wire rack, put a bit of red icing on the end then press a sliced almond on the end, very cool)

5. Crissy Sharp came over for a bit and we laughed at the Airline Poop entry.

6. We got re-ready at 4:30 for the big night.

7. Left for a little bit of trick or treating, then went to the church for Reformation Celebration. Had a great potluck (Presbyterians aren't known for great potlucks, Baptist potlucks are better).

8. Trace Donahoo did a fabulous job on talking about the reformation and what it means to our faith. He talked about what Martin Luther did and reminded me of what a great history our faith has. Awesome. My favorite part of the whole night!

9. Rushed to clean up and then went trick or treating in the Nold's neighborhood, which was fantastic because not a lot of people were trick or treating there. It was fun going with several families; we just watched the kids and laughed and chatted with each other.

10. I loved watching Felix and Ansley trick or treating. They were absolutely fascinated by the process. Sprinting from house to house. They were adorable. Felix kept dragging his heavy pumpkin bag on the road. Ansley came from every house yelling "I got two candies!" It was fun.

11. Came home, put babies to bed and konked out on the couch. What a great day!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Airplane Poop-- Cute with Chris #138

This is my new favorite thing to watch on Youtube. He is very funny and his faces are priceless. If you have lots of extra time, like me, click on some of the related clips after it's done. "I Love You Stranger" and "I Hate My Name" are also very funny. I have LOTS and LOTS of extra time to watch things on Youtube. MUST DO WORK NOW. Happy Halloweenyness. Will post pics later.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Making Jack and Jim

Last night we made our Jack o' Lantern. This is one of our favorite things to do every year. We look at books for weeks and decide what we want to do. This year I checked out a Better Homes and Gardens Halloween book and we found our Jack o'Lantern idea right off! I usually don't do jack (pardon my pun); Quinn carves the pumpkin and makes everything look just right. The boys watch him the whole time, just waiting for him to finish. Then we turn off the lights and light him up!



Since we had so many pumpkins this year, thanks to Old Baker's Farm, we wanted to do something more unusual. We decided to carve two pumpkins and stack them. Corin sat with the first one that was already carved while Quinn started on the second. It was a doozy. The skin was very tough and it took almost an hour to carve it.



Finally, the face started to appear.







Then, Quinn fixed the top of the first one so that the tall, skinny one could sit on top of it. They appear to be looking at one another. Silas and Corin stack themselves with their pumpkins.






We loved the results!




Sunday, October 28, 2007

Grandma and Papaw come to visit!


We had a great time with my parents this weekend. Again, it made me think how nice it would be to live closer to family. The boys just ate them up. Felix would absolutely not leave my Dad alone. "Papaw, I wanna ride big traccor", is what he said ALL WEEKEND. They left a little while ago and now Felix is pouting on the couch, muttering "I wanna ride big traccor". I don't know why he got in his head that Daddy has a tractor, unless he is confusing Papaw (from Florida, who lives in the suburbs) with Papa (in Mississippi, who has a big tractor). Either way, he wanted Papaw to hold him (and he's no lightweight) or to be with him wherever he went. Mom and I got to go shopping yesterday and we got to eat out quite a bit. We tried Red Robin yesterday, which was good (great onion rings and all you can eat steak fries), but a little on the pricey side (8.99-9.99 for a hamburger). Friday we went to The Whistle Stop Cafe, which has been on my mother's "list" to eat at for a long time. It was good and the prices were ok. Friday night was Sol Azteca and you can absolutely never go wrong with Sol Azteca. We went to the one in Vestavia, which has the best atmosphere and it was packed. The best salsa around! Saturday were Soccer Games and then the Moody Fall Festival. The festival was fun, but I think it's absolutely REPULSIVE the way people charge for stuff. A pony ride was 5.00 per person and some jumpy thing was 10.00 (WHAT!) per kid. To jump on all the other jumpy things (unlimited- but not on the first jumpy thing, which was separate) was 15.00 per kid. Needless to say, my kids didn't get to do any of it. Pump It Up in Trussville is cheaper on its play days (5.00). I'm not paying what it costs to get into Disney for a day (or an hour and a half) at the festival. Fortunately, they handled it well (I guess they know I'm cheap). All the booths were handing out candy, and the Christian Motorcycle Association booth was giving away spooky cupcakes (very cute) and coloring books. I love free. They even let the kids sit on the motorcycles, which was better than a jumpy thing. The kids were content with their bags and tummies full of candy and cupcakes. The music was, um, karaoke-like and I kept thinking how much I would love to hear Stokes, Connie, Adam, Wayne, Jessie, and Elizabeth jam (praise team from our church). Maybe next year. All in all, had a great time and am looking forward to going to Florida on the eleventh for two weeks. Woo hoo!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

C Diddy rocks classical

This is the air guitar clip I showed the kids. The girls were fascinated by his Hello Kitty, um, shirt.

Air Guitar for Kids

No paper mache. I literally had nightmares after I posted because of the paper mache. I woke up the next morning fretting. My Mom and Dad are here and Mom taught preschool for years. She suggested talking about guitars, showing pictures of guitars, having Quinn come in with his guitar and play something, and have the kids design their version of the coolest guitar. Brilliant. She's always got good ideas for kids. We actually did all of those things and then watched a Youtube video on the air guitar championships. Uh, yeah I know. Funny. So we watched the video and made our guitars and then listened to the Beatles "Birthday" song. It's funny how the boys automatically know how to air guitar. There was sliding across the room, bending over to make it look like they were really getting the chords, and throwing their heads back as they were playing. No jumping off chairs because we would not allow it. Actually, Amy Bowman (of Lance and Amy), after I told her we were going to do air guitar, called out to CJ (their little boy who loves Silas- peas in a pod) "do NOT jump off the chairs today". The girls just kind of stood there, prettily strumming their guitars. Little Isabella really did not want to make a guitar, so she cut out a big heart and played that. When the others told her she didn't do it right she responded (very loftily), "this is the way I wanted it", followed by a toss of her head.
It was very fun. The kids loved it and there was far less mess. And yes, I air guitared, too. Did you have any doubts?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Paper Ma-What?

I've decided that since I have not prepared to teach my class tomorrow, and since Co-op is going to last one week longer than I had planned (they have not increased it, I just don't check stuff) that I'm going to do paper mache.

Crickets are chirping.

In my head.
I have not done paper mache since 3rd grade with an incredibly cool art teacher. So I'm pretty sure that I remember how to do it. Maybe. Actually, I have no clue and I'm really nervous about it, but it's just gloppy stuff and newspaper, right? (more crickets) RIGHT?

I'm planning on blowing up balloons and covering the balloons with the paper mache stuff tomorrow. Next week, we'll paint the balloons and let them dry. Week three (last week in co-op) we'll cut a hold in the paper mache balloon and stretch different widths of rubber bands around it to make a kind of guitar thingy. The rubber bands will be held in place with a piece of paper mache stuff which I will put on after the kids are finished the first week. When it dries, I will cut niches in it so that it makes little ridges (kind of the way the strings are held in place on a guitar).

So, do I sound like a maroon? Any suggestions?

Jack Handey - A Scarier Skeleton

Love me some Jack Handey...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Marshmellows and Monsters!



Had a Fab-u-lous time at our community group bonfire on Sunday night. It was so fun!

We made Monster Pizzas yesterday. This is so super easy to do, if you get the hankering (yeah, I know I'm from Florida- I just like to throw in an Alabama word from time to time). I used the Jiffy Pizza Crust kit (only .38 each). I used five packages and then split up the dough to make 13 balls (one for each kid and one for each Momma). You certainly could use tortillas as the pizza dough, too! We added pizza sauce and mozzerella and then let the kids go to town with the toppings. Different color peppers are great; we also used mushrooms, pimentos, black olives, and corn. The kids had a blast! I did forget to put flour on the working surface (wax paper) and so we had a hard time getting the pizzas off. Hard time meaning: totally destroying most of the pizzas and having to reconstruct them on the cookie sheets. Then we added more cheese to disguise what we destroyed. Cook your pizzas in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes (probably less time for tortilla pizzas) and then enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Spiritual Mothering...

My mother, in her wisdom, saw that it would be beneficial to both her and me if other women were involved in mine and my sister's lives. My aunts and my grandmothers were huge role models for me and I looked to them and my mother for leadership and guidance. Since I was an obnoxious teenager this was done more by observing them in their various roles. Now that I'm grown I see the wisdom in the way this works. Women were never meant to do things by themselves. We are told otherwise in our society. Look good, be great at whatever you do (mothering, working, cooking, cleaning, being a wife, and, oh yeah, juggling church, sports, PTA, diets, exercise, and your relationship with God- for brownie points), and if you do not do these things then you hide it behind a well-timed wink and a smile; or the mask. Push it down. Swallow another mouthful of guilt and keep on ticking. I am convinced many women are in agony under various forms of eating disorders, guilt, and a central feeling of complete desperation and desolation.

Our retreat this weekend was about Spiritual Mothering; or when an older woman takes a younger woman under her wing. She encourages her in the gospel with every facet of her life. Not with guilt, but with gentle encouragement to give her the confidence to be able to teach others the gospel and to be able to do ministry in the church. I have many spiritual mothers, some of which are only two years older than me. These women have quietly given me the confidence to be able to live the gospel throughout my life. They help me parent my children, they encourage me to love my husband, and they light a fire in me to know the Word. I watch them tirelessly, not only in admiration, but also encouraged that they are not perfect. They sin and have faults, but still live in the gospel. They have lost family members and friends and glorify God in their grief. They hung up their masks long ago and enjoy their freedom of being in Christ with no guilt. There is no false spirituality; why would it be false when there is no one to impress? I am a Princess of the King (Jenny Bartz phraseology) and with Him I need no falseness. He loves me because I am His child. I am nothing without Him; life would be completely meaningless. These spiritual mothers have helped me understand that and have encouraged me in the faith.

I encourage you to be frank. Be honest about your sin. Talk about your struggles. Be realistic with others. Create a safe place; a community of believers who actually love each other and know each other, even with their sin. The gospel is for the hopeless! When I was 27 years old, I honestly thought I would not make real adult women relationships. The mask was firmly in place and I was quietly despairing. Now the gospel has shattered the mask and other believers have shown me a true confidence in my identity.

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and know Him forever. Praise His name forever!

CPC Women's Retreat... Stayed tuned for more...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I'm up early this morning. It's nice to sit on the couch by myself and do nothing. Aaaah....

Today is Thursday and therefore: CRAZY. I don't know why Thursdays are that way. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I procrastinate on everything I know to procrastinate against and have, again, waited to the last minute to do everything. Yes, I believe that's it. I tell myself that "I work better under pressure", but I also don't get as much sleep under pressure, I worry about getting everything done when under pressure, and I totally lose conciousness when I eat under pressure (picture me with a half gallon of ice cream and a big spoon and a big look of surprise on my face).

Things to look forward to:

1. Tonight is our spooky reading. "The Tell-tale Heart" by Edgar Allen Poe read by Glenn Beck. It's really good.
2. Tomorrow-after co-op which I have not prepared for yet: EEK- is when I leave for our women's retreat. It will be so great.
3. Sunday night Community Groups: Bonfire, marshmellows, hotdogs and singing around the fire. How very Octobery.
4. My parents are coming next week to spend 4 days with us. Silas asks everyday "Momma, how many days until Grandma and Papaw come?" Of course, this is followed by: "Momma, how many days til we go Trick or Treating?" or, "Momma I'm gonna be a robber for Halloween, right?" or, "Momma, who's coming over today?" Ding. That's what I always say to Silas after he asks questions. He smiles so big that I imagine his smile dinging a bell. He likes to ask questions. The same ones. Over and over. A-hem.
5. Reformation Celebration at our church on the 31st.
6. Dressing up and trick or treating.
7. The last soccer game is on the first Saturday in November.
8. The last co-op for the semester is on the first Friday in November.
9. Christmas Bazaar at our church on November 10th. BTW- if you would like a booth for anything you make or would like to sell let me know. There is no registration fee. We need more people. I'm responsible for finding them. Help me.
10. November 11th: Leaving for Florida for two weeks. This is especially exciting for me because when I leave to go to Florida, everything that has been crowded on my plate will be done. With the exception of the Christmas program, but even that will be delegated out and I will be able to enjoy going home for Thanksgiving.
11. My sister is following me back up here with her four kids to spend time up here while her husband takes his finals for law school. I'm so excited about this. I will get to spend FOUR WEEKS with my sister. It will be so fun.

Today is first... we actually have a Sock Hop today with the homeschool group. The boys are easy to dress up for the 50's and I'm trying to look like June Cleaver. We'll see how that goes. If I succeed I'll post pictures. Ta ta for now!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weird Things at My House

My children are sitting on the couch watching "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown". (Another weird October thing that we must do. I actually had to buy the DVD because we don't have a working VHS anymore. Had being the key word for my OCDness. I have it practically memorized). Felix's eyes are glazed over with illness and he looks just about as pathetic as he can. I am sitting on the couch, blogging (duh) and thinking about how strange things have been around here in the past couple of weeks. We have had infestations of different creatures.

This occurred to me today when I went to go get Corin some quarters out of our big money jar in our room. It's just an empty water cooler container. We've kept money in it forever. Anyway, I dumped the change on the ground and picked up a couple of quarters. They are nasty sticky and covered with little black things. What in the world? I pick up some more and it occurs to me that the little black things are dead fruit flies stuck all over the change. We've had fruit flies in our room for a few weeks now and I could not figure out where they were coming from. Alas, mystery solved. I guess Felix poured juice in the container a WHILE back. So gross. I soaked the money in bleach water and cleaned out the container with bleach water. He is the king of gross. He's been sick for a few days now and we first noticed he was sick when he threw up phlegm into his Sonic Blue Coconut Slushy and then continued to drink it. Blech! Quinn and I didn't notice until hours later. Double blech!

Our second infestation was something I had never heard of before. Last week when my in-laws came I noticed, not for the first time, that moths were flying out of my pantry everytime I opened the door. I really hadn't paid any attention to it because they were moths. Who cares? And then I heard Laura Morgan talk about getting rid of meal moths. Uh oh, that doesn't sound good. So I call her (about an hour before my in-laws arrived) to ask how someone were to know they had meal moths. Yep, I had meal moths. I found an old baby cereal box in the back of the pantry that was completely infested with meal moth maggots (lots of maggots in my life lately). So I completely cleaned out the pantry and sprayed it with Lysol and wiped everything down with a cleaner and towel. Had to throw away a bunch of food. Doggonnit, I hate to waste food. But I did have a moth-free pantry. For three days. Now I'm seeing moths again. I keep thinking "surely this is the last moth- I'll just kill it and we'll be done". It's been a week and a half and I've killed a lot of moths, and I feel pretty sure I'm going to have to do the whole cleaning process over again. Ugh.

Two weeks ago, we had an infestation of fire ants. How did they even get in the house? I have no idea.

Why the creatures? I have no idea and they sure are making my life a lot more complicated. Today has been tiresome because Felix is ill and grouchy and coughy and pretty miserable. I've been thrown up on three times in the last 24 hours with phlegm. This morning it was right before I curled my freshly washed hair. Nice. The thing is, I didn't even rewash it. I just rinsed out the nasty parts and let it dry. Double nice. I'm tired of chores today. And tired of a whiny two year old who wants to go outside and ride his bike. I sure do hope he sleeps tonight. Hello Benadryll and Mucinex.

Good grief, did I just see a flea jump off my couch? NOOOOO!

Monday, October 15, 2007

10 (or 16) interesting things I want to tell you about me:

1. I love lists. I rarely make them actually, but I love to check things off. Check.
2. I pretend that I can do ballet. At any given moment. I think I'm good. Look for me in the nutcracker this year. That is, my own made-up nutcracker. When I was at Southeastern, I remember one year that a bunch of us went to the Nutcracker (did this happen, tell me if I'm dreaming) and Rachel Cook couldn't go with us. So Michelle Darling and Missy thought it would be brilliant if we did the Buttcracker Ballet for her as a surprise. Malena and I were the evil buttcrackers who were trying to take the saltine crackers out of Michelle's butt. (I can hardly type this because I'm laughing so hard). Missy and Michelle defeated me and Malena. It was hysterical.
3. I was on the cover of Florida Magazine when I was eight. I had eighties barrettes in my hair.
It was taken on a story day at Pershing Elementary School and I looked completely enthralled in the story. (I was, too).
4. Missy and I used to pretend that we were the Black-Eyed Pea Adventure Cops. We had a uniform (jeans, t-shirt, and a flannel shirt either worn or tied around our waists) and we did all kinds of things. Our names were (still are) Orchid (me) and Petunia.
5. I can rollerskate pretty good. Even backwards.
6. I immediately pluck any gray hairs out of my head that I see. You know, cause that will help.
7. I, like Page Dollar, am obsessed with Lord of the Dance. I want to watch it with her and try to dance like they do.
8. I thoroughly enjoy playing evil people in a play. My favorite was playing the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Aid at Southeastern. I got to fly on a vacuum cleaner. Not as easy as it sounds.
9. I love to watch TLC's "What Not To Wear". I always think of people to nominate. Not really. Okay, I do.
10. My baby toe on my left foot pops out of joint periodically. It's pretty painful. I have gotten used to it though and can pop it back into place myself. However, it wasn't always so. I would cry for days and couldn't walk. My poor family. At FBC I remember it popping out of place and me banging on Missy's door sobbing and begging for her to help me. Hello drama queen.
11. I enjoy watching reruns of "Saved by the Bell". You know you like it!
12. I love getting dressed up and wearing high heels. I feel pretty. Oh so pretty. I feel pretty, witty, and gay...
13. I love to watch Quinn doing an Adam Sandler Halloween impression. "Hello, I have a hand for a goatee... give me some candy." It's very funny.
14. I long to be 5'7. I will wear any shoes to make me look 5'7. Magic number I guess.
15. I know a lot about serial killers. I'll make inappropriate comments about them at various times and places. I always get the same look of creeped out and "ookkaaaay...." from the people I'm telling about said serial killers. Ann Rule is my favorite serial killer author. She worked with Ted Bundy at a suicide prevention hotline.
16. I know a lot of useless information but I'm really bad at Trivial Pursuit.

We need to have a blog party. I propose at Abbey's house.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Story of the Pumpkin Patch

Earlier this week I asked my favorite husband if he wanted to maybe venture to a pumpkin patch this weekend. He is in Seminary (in case you didn't know) and we have been in a whirlwind of craziness. He agreed and we decided that today would be the day. I am a natural cheerleader. If we are going to go somewhere and I will build it up like crazy. Woo hoo! Pumpkin Patch time! The kids were so excited. I had to finally threaten Silas so that he would stop asking me if we were going to get two pumpkins. Felix woke up this morning at 5:30 AM, came into our bedroom and banged my leg, saying "Puckin Patch, Mama! Puckin Patch!" Yes, today was the day.
Well, we had soccer games this morning, which inevitably run late and we had a church supper tonight. So we had to squeeze Pumpkin Patch Activity in between our other stuff we had going on. No problem. I knew we'd only spend about an hour at the pumpkin patch so I thought we'd be good on time. We trek on out to Old Baker's Farm, which is in Harpersville: about forty-five minutes from Moody. We pull in and park and everybody gets out, cheering for the pumpkin patch.
Then we stop dead in our tracks at the entrance. It costs $9 a head to walk in (that does include your pumpkin- thanks). That's $45 for a party of five, in case you need assistance with the math. Quinn and I just stand there, dumfounded. We literally just stood there for two minutes saying "$9 a head? Really? That's crazy". The kids are paying no attention to us, just jumping up and down, pointing at stuff and general excitement ensues. Felix is screaming "Puckin Patch! Puckin Patch! C'mon Mama!". I had $20 cash for today, thinking that would be more than enough for two pumpkins and maybe a treat. Quinn had $10. I looked at him and asked what should we do. He asked if I had a check.
So we paid it - with a check. I felt like we had to. We had made such a big deal and then drove all the way out there. I felt like an idiot because I never called and checked it out, or looked online for that matter. I really just didn't think about it. In years past we went to the one in Hayden and it was just so far away, and I thought that one was too expensive (they nickel and dime you to death out there, but at least you can choose what you want to do).
The boys had a great time. Quinn and I grumbled about the price the whole time to each other and I felt guilty about spending so much money. ON PUMPKINS! We did get the best pumpkins in the patch. I would've taken a picture of all the kids with our pumpkins that we chose, but my camera battery died when we were picking out pumpkins. Very annoyed.
We left after an hour and fifteen minutes and did find a faster way home that was very pretty. And we did have a great time as a family. And I did get cute pictures of the baby on his first time to the pumpkin patch. All in all, a great day. Just annoyed about the money. Live and learn, right?