Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What New year's eve looks like at our house

It's pretty quiet...Popcorn, homemade Pizza (my side is the pretty one- fresh tomatoes, sauteed onion and bacon with a couple of cheeses, his- hamburger, jalapenos, and plain cheese).
Note the yellow dish towel in the picture... this is one of my favorite gifts this year... the Rachel Ray dish towel with the pot holders at the is wonderful.
Mike didn't get home till later in the evening, one kid is at a sleep over and one went to Main Event till 8 p.m....glad she's young enough to think that it was ok to be home by 8... and I'm glad she's home to hang out with.
The goodies I got for New Year's have been a HUGE hit with my kids!

I said I was glad the big girl was home but, she has been torturing the dogs with the noise makers and masks. Elvis really doesn't like the blowers...He's over the whole New Year's thing...

New Year's Eve thoughts

My tree is still up, I hate taking down the tree.

My last week off is flying by and I haven't gotten anything accomplished.

I love being home and not getting much accomplished but,

My family is messy.

My dogs are messy.

It was 80 degrees here yesterday and today's high is 40.

I dusted twice yesterday. Sad, just sad.

I took the girls to the mall yesterday, not my favorite activity but they had gift cards and money burning a hole in their pockets... funny to see the difference in them even in things like that. The big girl spent every dollar she had plus a few of mine. The little girl spent $3.99.

They are roofing a new house next to us and it is making my kids and dogs fuss a lot.

I planned to never leave the house today... to get the tree down, clean up after the messy people and dogs, etc., but now big girl has plans with friends and I have to take her and pick up. Wonder if she would care if I did that in my PJ's? Wait, I know the answer to that....

When we got home from Dallas I had a fun package on my doorstep. Now we have fun, shiny goodies for tonight!
Have a wonderful New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas time

The girls and I drove to Dallas on the 22nd. Jennifer arranged for several of my friends to go to the Melting Pot for dinner and it was absolutely my favorite evening of the holidays. We were there for about four hours eating and drinking and visiting... I loved it! I felt like we ran full speed the rest of the time we were there. I had another friend in town I didn't get to see and just hated that, there is always too much to do and not enough time!

We ran between my family and Mike's doing Christmas. We love the big get together with Mike's aunts, uncles and cousins. Every year I'm amazed at how big our kids have gotten and we that soon we'll be at the 'old people table' while our kids are the young adults... These first cousins have had their picture together every Christmas since birth... the last couple of years we have documented who has the most hair left...You know there always has to be a few odd moments in every family get together. Mike's mom invited his dad (divorced 30ish years) over for Christmas day... we rarely see him and he always brings us a random assortment of gifts. This year he gave me a lovely faux wood, mantle clock with the Lord's super on it. I guess knowing I go to church, that seemed the obvious gift...Look out, you to may get to enjoy this as I feel sure I'll need to re-gift that...

Christmas eve morning Mike's uncle passed away. I was just sick that he didn't live till after Christmas but the family really had such a sweet evening together, we all went to church together and I decided maybe it wasn't so sad he died at Christmas... we were all home, we all got to be with his wife and kids and what a peaceful time of year... what better time for him to go home to Jesus than at Christmas.

My kids had never been to a funeral with the body there so this led to many questions... after the visitation we went to dinner with a few friends which included the funeral director, I was afraid the girls were going to quiz him at dinner....after the service and burial was over the little girl talking about Mike being a pallbearer commented that "... the graveside service really isn't necessary... I think they just want someone to come carry the casket..." She isn't going to be short of opinions!

We got home about midnight last night, we still have stuff everywhere and the girls are fighting over gifts as usual, fighting over who gets the drums or the microphone... home sweet home.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Cooking, canning, and cleaning

That's my day today... I put up candied jalapenos for gifts, I'm baking a few treats for the neighbors and trying to get all of our clothes clean before we go out of town.
I love to bake and really try to not use mixes but that was until... Jennifer told me of her new love of the Magic bar mix. I've made these from scratch numerous times but I decided to try the box and guess what, it is from scratch, they just package up all the ingredients into one handy package...yep, I'm sold on this. What other conveniences are out there that I have shunned that would also be great??? I have to admit, getting them that easily may present a problem for me, knowing that they are there and only take a few minutes to whip up... not a good thing! Thanks Jennifer, thanks a lot.
and today's post at Pink Paper Peppermints was good reading... check it out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

A very Christmas evening

The girls danced at a local park in a very cute neighborhood. All the houses were decorated, two miniature horses pulled a lit up carriage, Santa was there but my girls informed me they were to big to sit on Santa's lap. I was so sad!! The dance was good, the atmosphere was so nice and winter like, I love it! We came home, warmed up and enjoyed the tree... even Elvis, he sat and stared at the tree for the longest time...he's quite the funny dog...

Monday, December 15, 2008

A little Christmas visit

Boomama is hosting the tour of homes. I love seeing other peoples Christmas decor. I didn't decorate as much as usual. We are going out of town and I didn't do the usual several trees, village, etc. One tree, that's all we have this year...Here are some of my favorite things this year.

I love my wreath on the front door. It's really cuter in person.
This is the bar between the kitchen and den, my paper whites are sprouting and I love this cross that Jennifer brought me from Guatemala.
She also brought me new nativity from Guatemala, my kids call it the big head nativity.
On the mantle, one of my favorite things is the kissing sisters pictures on the right.

I need a new tree skirt! That's it this year, wish there was more to show. Dad and the little girl are wrapping presents in the other room... I had a LONG day of shopping and I'm almost done!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Two sisters fighting and a gingerbread house

I have such control issues it is very hard for me to do projects like decorating with my kids... I want to let them do it and it not be perfect. I really do, but it is really, really hard...
my oldest has some of those issues also... So, today when I got out the gingerbread house and told them they could each decorate one half of it, the oldest almost couldn't do it... she really felt like both sides should be the same.

I was very proud of how good I did. I poured out all the candy, didn't fuss as I heard pieces of it hitting the floor and didn't clean up till after they were done. It was hard, very hard but in the end we have a lovely house to admire, the dogs got some special candy treats and we all survived. Their dad took them to Walmart later this afternoon and they almost didn't survive that! I guess he forgot that there would be pushing and shoving and name calling and fighting over buggies. And I mean just our kids, not with the crowd. They just don't shop well together....
Tomorrow I am going to try to do the majority of my shopping tomorrow... wish me speed and low prices!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Oh, weather man, you are so funny....

Snow, you promised me show... 70% chance, 1-3 inches... guess what we saw? Maybe two stray flakes from someone else's show storm...we had the clouds but not a bit of snow but man is it cold!!! I had to stay home with a sick kid today and was so looking forward to the day, the snow, the fireplace.... only one thing missing!

Monday, December 8, 2008

on the 7th day of Christmas

last night I took a church group of 6 middle school kids on a video scavenger hunt. It was really quite the adventure... I had one who folded her arms and wouldn't participate because the things we were doing might be who couldn't quit talking. Really. He couldn't quit. and 4 other pretty fun kids...
We serenaded people as they pumped gas, at the ice cream store, stopped strangers to play baby Jesus in a manger scene and more fun things. It was a good time!

there is a chance of snow tomorrow, I can't believe it! I'm praying for an unexpected blizzard! Right now a "wall of dirt" is moving across town with high winds the weather man just said...Love me a good wall of dirt! This is what was out there during the wall of dirt....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Better late than never...

The weekend after Thanksgiving I started this and got it almost completely finished... then I kept forgetting to go back to finish it or didn't make the time... so on day six of December I completed the Advent calender...

And on the sixth day of Christmas I started my shopping... I usually have a plan and have most of it done by now but this year not so much... I need to get busy but I'd really rather stay home by my tree drinking hot chocolate and such...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I love all things winter and Christmas! I love nothing better than spending time at home with the tree lit and I am getting a bit of that right now.

While Jennifer was here we both made a 'December book', (hers was much cuter than mine) and I have come to decide I am not cut out for anything I have to do daily. I uploaded the pictures that need to go in my book but can't seem to remember to go pick them up... I had idea's of posting a picture of the book everyday but doesn't look like I could be that organized... so here are the pic's for days 1 and 2...

Mike bought me this Nativity for Christmas last year, I was very excited to get it out finally.

The big girl had a choir concert last night... very cute little musical!

Day three, nothing happened. At all. Nothing.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A quiet Thanksgiving for which I am thankful!

It is just us and Jennifer (who completes our family) for Thanksgiving this year. This is the first year we haven't been at someone else's house for Thanksgiving day and while we miss being with those family members, we have really had a good day... It's been so relaxed! Here are the highlights

  • Jennifer told me she wasn't coming till today but showed up about 10:00 last night to surprise me!
  • I cooked everything and it all turned out good and was all ready at the same time
  • the big girl helped clean up after lunch, a thanksgiving day miracle
  • Biglots was open and had some fun scrap booking stuff
  • CVS had a bunch of free stuff today
  • a couple of hours after lunch Mike took a nap, one of the girls was looking for him and I hear "has Dad been in the bathroom every since lunch?"
  • Jennifer seeing a snow dog Christmas decoration and the man's real snow dog around the corner... she thought it came to life... funny if you were there...
  • we're going to see Four Christmases in a little bit

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What to do...

We are staying at home this Thanksgiving. Jennifer is coming sometime Thanksgiving day but she is not a fan of any Thanksgiving foods and she passed on that odd trait to my oldest daughter... So, here's my dilemma-- I have a couple of favorites that I like for sides at Thanksgiving but I am the only one in my house who would eat them...which means I would eat all of them, every bit, all by myself...not a good thing...
here are the two favorites I prob. won't be making...still deciding...

Cranberry Salad

1 lb. cranberries, ground in blender or food processor
1 orange peeled and chopped
1 can crushed pineapple
1 lb. lg red seedless grapes, cut each grape in half
1 pt. whipping cream (you don't whip it, just pour it in)
8 oz cream cheese (freeze for a while and then cut into very small pieces)
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 cup pecans chopped
2 cups sugar
Mix all in large container. Let set in fridge overnight. Mix well.
Note: freezing cranberries before grinding makes them easier to grind.
This is my very favorite fruit side ever! You should make it...

Tex-Mex Salsa Cranberry sauce/dip

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 12 oz pkg fresh cranberries
2 tbs. dried cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1 green onion chopped
1 tsp lime juice
Bring water and sugar to a boil over med. heat. add cranberries and return to boil. Gently boil 10 minutes without stirring. Pour into med. bowl, add remaining ingredients. Place plastic wrap on sauce. Cool at room temp, then refrigerate.
I love to have this with left over turkey sandwiches or qusadillas....

Off to watch a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My favorite thing about winter in Lubbock...

I never gave a lot of thought on where birds that migrate went... until now... looks like a lot of the geese come here...who knew...I just love looking at them, my kids, not so much... every time I say 'let's go feed the geese... or... look, there is a whole field of geese... or guess what is in the field by my school' they respond with something along the line of "QUIT talking about the geese" don't know what they have against the geese.
the little girl went running at the group of them which made them all fly in the pond

I love this picture... look at the little ducks in the back with just their bottoms up in the air....

Friday, November 21, 2008

A yummy treat

I check the year of crockpotting blog on occasion and this week I was happy to find this (Jennifer B. you need to fix this today):
Pumpkin Spice Latte
2 cups milk
2 T canned pumpkin
2 T white sugar
2 T vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup really strong brewed coffee
garnish with whipped cream (optional)
The Directions.This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot, but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla.Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again.Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon.
(I heated it on the stove instead of the crockpot)
Yummy, Yummy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

several movies later...

the big girl has been sick all weekend so we have done a whole lot of nothing at our house but watch movies... I rarely watch a movie, I just can't seem to sit still that long or something... but this weekend while the big girl has been laid up in the living room with movies on I've watched more movies than I've ever watched in one weekend... we've watched Elf, Night at the museum, Evan Almighty, 27 Dresses, part of Hairspray and now Mr. Bean's Holiday (am I glad we didn't' spend money on this one in the theater). (edited to add Matilda and The Chipmonk Christms movie...I don't know if I can make it through the Chipmonk's was bad enough the first time in the theater... Elvis the bulldog doesn't like the chimponks either) I've done a crafty project or two and million loads of laundry...have dinner ready to go in the oven and made fresh bread....
off to fold laundry, serve up more advil and ginger ale and finish the misery of Mr. Bean's Holiday...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Teaching the next generation the important stuff

Today, on this beautiful fall day the little girl and I made Chicken n' dumplings...You know I often think about how much I wish my mother could have known my children but today as I taught the little one about fix'n dumplins I knew my mother would have been thrilled...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Buddy the Elf, what's your favorite color?

It is been chilly and windy outside today... we went to Walmart and they have a huge Christmas tree right inside the door...the big girl sang me the Christmas songs they are working on in all of this led to the girls and I snuggling up and watching Elf is one of our favorite movies, we know all the lines and still laugh and laugh every time! Elvis the bulldog doesn't like the elves though...Wonder if Mike would kill me if I put up the Christmas tree this weekend or if that would make him an angry elf?
Son of a nutcracker, I have to go check on the little girl, she went to get a snack and hasn't returned, hope there isn't a bowl of spaghetti with syrup and candy in front of her...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm married to an old guy

Mike turned 46 yesterday... that's only 4 years from 50 the kids reminded him. That comment really bothered me instead of him. I don't want to be married to someone who's almost turning 44 in a few weeks really sounds much younger than 46... still sounds old I'll admit, I'm not really liking it, but at least it's not almost 50, YET...
I really think I'm still 34... that was a good age, I could do that one again and again and again...oh well, maybe 44 will be just as good - but I'll still be married to guy who is almost 50!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Today my sweet Aunt turned 88. She is my dad's sister... they were born on the same day 9 years she tells it, her cousin was the bus driver and driving her home told her she had a big gift waiting at home...She is the kindest, sweetest, most gracious, southern Christian women you could every meet. She is still pretty sharp to be 88....except... she knows exactly who I am when I call, said she was just talking about me yesterday as a matter of fact, remembers my husband and kids names, but then later in the conversation asks "now you're Charles' daughter right?"....
Every time I talk to her it makes me so sad that I never get to see her (she lives in Alabama) and she is just precious to me. We had a long talk about how she can't believe how long her husband has been dead now, and my dad, and even her parents... I guess the empty spot you have when you loose a parent never goes away.
I ended the phone call with such a longing... a longing to see her and knowing when I do get to it may be the last time...a longing for my dad...
Poor Mike, I wonder how many times I've cried these same tears on his shoulder over the years...he's always sweet... he even paused Saving Private Ryan for me...

Saturday, November 8, 2008

oh, the pain and suffering

Today as I was driving the little girl to a birthday party we passed cotton fields in full bloom. While she was at the birthday party I ran and bought them matching shirts and ribbon for their hair and upon arriving home announced to everyone that we were going to take Christmas card pictures in the cotton field today. There was much grumbling, fussing, crying and fighting over bows in the hair. Surprisingly it was the little girl giving me the most trouble, it's usually her sister's job to do that! After getting them all there, it was a beautiful sunset and made good pictures. There was some talk about why I made them put on clean clothes to go sit in dirt...

The little girl's first Christmas we had pictures made of her sleeping in a wrapped gift box with the big girl kissing her head. Every Christmas since I've gotten a picture of the big sister kissing the little sister. Each year this is met with more resistance...see for yourself...
Notice only one kid with bow...

Saturday goodness

  • It was clean sheet night last night
  • When I woke up it was approx. 50 degrees in my bedroom because
  • It is a beautiful fall morning
  • Pumpkin Spice coffee creamer
  • Quiet while everyone else is sleeping

Friday, November 7, 2008

the weekend again already

This week flew by. Is it me or does life just get faster and faster as we age?
We have no real plans for the weekend. As usual, I think Mike will work all weekend - so I plan on doing some crafty things and hanging out with the girls. I want to go to the apple farm again but can't get them excited about it...hopefully I'll be making apple butter again and I have a sewing project I want to start and haven't done any sewing in ages...
Mike is home, not working for a change and we are enjoying a quiet Friday night, watching this week's Boston Legal we taped, (VERY funny), bulldog snoring on the floor beside me... it's a good night.

1 Timothy 2 1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Ramblings of the weekend

Does everyone look differently at the people getting on a plane with you after Lost? or is just me and Jennifer? We text each other every time we're waiting on the plane while assessing if these are really the people we want to be on a deserted island with. The group on the plane heading back this afternoon would not have been the ideal group, there was a line of at least 5 wheelchairs for pre-boarding... then there was the large, slipper wearing, heavily tattooed man standing in front of me in line, some girl came up and asked for his autograph... he gladly signed her napkin.... Now it's just going to bug me because I don't have a clue who is was...
I made the most of my 48 hours in Dallas... I saw as many friends as possible and that was wonderful! I so miss my friends, even little short visits are such a treat! I can't tell you what a sweet blessing that was!
Jennifer was so sweet to get me where I wanted to go! We did some shopping and spent good time together. I stayed at my sister's house, always a little family craziness to enjoy there, but her bringing me coffee in bed every morning more than made up for that.

I really wish I had been able to take pictures of a couple of random things I saw this weekend....

  • a truck pulling a camo painted trailer with "Hunters gone wild" painted on it in big red letters
  • a man riding a bike pulling a buggy with his Pitt Bull in it,riding on a major street in Dallas
  • the man who gave his autograph at the airport so someone could help me figure out who he is...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's worse than being sick...

What's worse than being sick, felling like death and defiantly looking like death? Being the only other person in waiting room at the Dr's office with the pastor of the church you joined recently... I'm beginning to see the "small town" side of Lubbock... If I know someone most places we go, it is a small town! So, looking like I need to die I got to sit and visit with our new pastor. I looked up, smiled looked back at my magazine giving him the opportunity to not acknowledge if he knew me or not, but no, he's nice, he recognized me and started a conversation...Hope I didn't give him the walking death! I guess I didn't look bad enough though, he offered up no prayer for my misery there in the waiting room or even the obligatory "I'll being praying for you and that barking cough..." and if that weren't enough, the cute, young receptionist asked what school I worked at, when I answered she told me she had gone to that elem. school... oh, and her mom is a school nurse I work with... small town, a big small town...
Flying to Dallas tomorrow afternoon for the weekend... I'm getting to spend some family time and see some good friends I'm needing a dose of!
Dad has to take care of the trick or treating, getting big girl to a couple of places and keeping up with the other girl...Hope he's up to the challenge and hope my head doesn't explode on the plane...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

a little halloween fun

We carved a pumpkin, wait, she carved a pumpkin for the little Halloween party we had... I wasn't allowed to help. I love that she wants to do it herself but of course I would have loved to offer my opinion on how it should look...I'm getting used to no one wanting my opinion anymore! But, you know I'm just happy for a reason to decorate for something!

Daisy (Jennifer's dog)seemed to like the tiara, Ellie not so much!

And Mike, don't think he even noticed that he wore it during part of a football game...

Then the kids arrived...the boys didn't dress up because I had a no scary costume rule so apparently that eliminated their choices...The girls looked cute, the boys danced, none of the girls joined in... Oh, to be in 7th grade, NOT!
There was bobbing for apples, smores, scary stories and someone busting in through the gate during the story to make them all scream! Just what they requested!

Someone hated dressing up, she refused to move...
A good time was had by all!