Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tell me...

So here's a big fat What Would YOU Do for your consideration right here in the down time between Christmas and New Years:

Picture the scene... Mark and I took the two youngest with their Yuletide cash to one of the largest retailers in America on the day after Christmas. To say it was a madhouse would be an obscene understatement. People were everywhere.

In the midst of the chaos, I told one of my children (who shall remain nameless) that it would behoove them to keep their cash in their pocket because pulling it out to stare at it like it was their Precious every 5 seconds would heighten their risk of losing it.

I think it must have been somewhere around the 16th time of repeating the aforementioned warning that I made the firm decision to NOT replace any cash that was foolishly lost because said offspring refused to obey.

We finally finished our torturous shopping experience a trillion and a half hours later when we headed to the equally torturous check-out line. "Child" puts their goods up on the belt thing and proceeds to pull out their cash.

Or should I say: What was left of it.

It was very obvious from the look on Child's face that they realized right away that they were not going to have enough to pay for 2 of the 3 things that they were hoping to purchase. Eventually, all of the pulling of the moolah in and out of their pockets caused some to fall out.

Even though I'd told them so, I still felt like crap, but I had no other alternative than to say, "I'm so sorry, but you are going to have to put back these two things. This probably wouldn't have happened if you'd have obeyed Mama, you know."

The child looked at me with big ol' tears forming in their eyes and simply said "Yes ma'am". Child was naturally disappointed, and I can understand that. Tears rolled quietly as they paid for the rest of their stuff, but they weren't obnoxious about it. After all, it stinks when you are learning a lesson the hard way.

In the mean time... The people who were behind us in line made no bones about the fact that they thought I was a HORRIBLE jerk of a Mom. One of them muttered "that's just wrong" when they witnessed the exchange between Child and me. I decidedly ignored it because I don't have to defend my parenting to random people who don't have a clue what's already happened.

We gathered up our stuff and we walked toward the door. We ended up running into some friends of ours on the way out, so we exchanged the usual greetings and kept on going. We were just about to exit when a woman (who I'd never seen before, not even in the line behind us) comes running up to us holding the items that Child had to leave behind. She looked at Child sympathetically and handed them to her. I said (like a goober) "No ma'am, we didn't pay for those things." But she motioned that she had and then she put her hands up as if she wouldn't take them back and then walked off.

I was stunned and humiliated, and then I got M-A-D (all in the time span of about a minute). We got to the car where I had to explain the whole thing to Mark, who had been helping the other Child and didn't know WHAT in the free world was going on. Then HE got mad, but at that point, neither of us knew what to do about it.

So, I turn the question over to you, bloggy friends. Now, go getcha some leftover Christmas cookies and a large drink, and then tell me.... If this little scenario had happened with you and your child (and random strangers), what would YOU have done?

Thanks. And a Happy New Year to you!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My All-Time Favorite Gift

I can honestly say that I received one of the best Christmas presents ever this year. It put the biggest smile on my face AND it made my heart melt.

About the time that the kids were halfway through opening their gifts on Christmas morning, Julianna stood up and handed me this:

You see, her Mama never did get around to taking the poor baby and her little brother shopping this year the way her older brothers got to do. I know. I stink. So she was forced to go on her own resourcefulness:

It doesn't get ANY better than that, I promise you. Even the gift card to my favorite restaurant with free babysitting didn't hold a candle.
But that's just my $.20 worth,
P.S. I hope every single one of you had a Mare Crsmes.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Questions Answered

Hi there. I can't believe how long it's been since I've posted! Anyway, here is a little Christmas meme that I found for your viewing boredom on this Christmas Eve. Hopefully I'll be back to yapping (typing) endlessly real soon...

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

Well, if I had my druthers I'd throw everything in Walmart bags and put them under the tree. But I don't. Have my druthers that is. What are druthers anyway? Whatever. I don't have them. And we wrap our gifts.

2. Real tree or Artificial?


3. When do you put up the tree?

If I'm on top of my Holiday game, it's up the day after Thanksgiving.

4. When do you take the tree down?

Usually on New Years Day. I can't stand to have it up much past that.

5. Do you like eggnog?

I sure do! And I'm pretty shocked that each of my kids do, as well.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

I'd have to say the year I received my Cabbage Patch and Care Bear together. That was a GREAT year. :)

7. Hardest person to buy for?

My boys, but only because I don't understand all of those "boy" things that they are into. I guess it's because I'm a GIRL. However, I am married to an overgrown boy who always knows exactly what they want, so no one knows how clueless their Mama is. I will say that I am the one who surprised everyone...and I do mean the Overgrown Boy included....with a Wii this Summer, so that bought me some serious gift-giving points.

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Julianna. <----girl.

9. Do you have a nativity scene?


10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

Pffft. Neither. I've released myself from Christmas Card Bondage years ago. Freedom is amazing and you should try it. Actually, nevermind, because if you heed my advice I won't love my mailbox as much as I do this time of year. Moving along...

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

In advance, I must apologize to my Mom for revealing this terrible lapse in judgement, but the horror happened somewhere around the 5th grade and it was at the hands of the woman who bore me.

It was this denim shirt thing with pink leather tassels ALL over it. Dear GRA-CIOUS. It was truly heinous. TRULY. And she really could not understand why I wasn't wearing it and then begging for her to wash it so that I could wear it again.

I didn't want to hurt her feelings because she was SO happy about this gift, but I probably still need therapy over that little nightmare of Christmas past.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

Ummmmmm.... Grinch? Frosty? Rudolph? All of those old kid's movies. LOVE. THEM.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I'm not consistent enough from one year to the next to say when I traditionally do it, B.U.T. since I've only mentioned it 768 times, it bears repeating that I've jumped on the Black Friday bandwagon. The benefits continue long past that day because I have been done shopping since then and it feels amazing. ~happy, contented sigh~

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?


16. Lights on the tree?

Do people actually refrain from putting lights on their tree? Weird. Well, I guess it could be a fire hazard, but I've never heard of such.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Oh Holy Night. ADORE that song.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?

Stay home, fo sho.

19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Probably, but I don't want to,

20. Angel on the tree-top or a star?


21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Morning! I'm so excited for the kids, too!

2. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Honestly, I've got a bit of a Grinch reputation because all of the materialism grates my nerves, but it's Christmas Eve, and I'm feeling pretty festive, so I will respectfully decline answering this question with my usual diatribe.

23. Favorite ornament theme or color?

Handicapped ballerinas

24. Favorite food for Christmas dinner?

What the heck? Didn't we cover this already on number 15?

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?


:~: Have a wonderfully blessed and MERRY Christmas, dear friends! :~:
Much love,

Friday, December 12, 2008

And the Winner IS....

#36 ~ Javamamma! How incredibly appropriate is that?!

Enjoy your coffee, girlfriend! Just email me your address and I'll get it right out to you. Thanks for playing, everyone. I can't tell you how much I loved reading all of your drinks of choice. :)

P.S. This is the website I used to generate the number if you ever need one:

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

O Christmas Tree...(and a mantle for good measure)

Sara over at Butterville is having a Christmas carnival and I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. Because I'm a bandwagon jumper, you see. Well, that is unless it's a bad bandwagon.....if it's a bad bandwagon, then I'm not jumping....

So without further discourse, this is our tree:

There is a star at the top, but for some reason it seems to blend into the picture. Rest assured, it's there, though. I just knew you might lose sleep if it weren't, so I wanted to be quick to point it out. I really do care, folks, and it's the least I can do. Really.
Since Mark has an allergy to pine, we've never had a real tree. Honestly that's perfectly alright with me since it's less work. And I'm pretty consistently all about less work.
This next picture is of our mantle. We are huge Nutcracker fans around here and I found 2 of these fellas at Old Time Pottery on Black Friday for only $4. I was ecstatic because it made my mantle. And since my mantle is made, I find it important to share that with you.

Next up is my favorite part. It's our collection of handicapped ballerinas. We are all about being P.C. around the Westie abode, so just because a ballerina loses her extremity is no reason for us to chuck her into the trash.
This poor gal below has really had it. She even asked me to shoot her in less than stellar lighting because she's such a shell of who she once was. Bless her heart, she's sadly been reduced to a seated position rather than hanging, which is the bottom of the barrel in Ornamentland.

Well, that was fun! I have many more decorations that I could share with you, but since this is really a carnival about Christmas trees, and I've already cheated once by showing you my mantle, I'd better stop. Plus, my laundry is threatening to overtake me.
For more Christmas Tree Bling, head here, and if you didn't get the chance to enter my contest for free Starbucks, you can go here. You've got until Friday!

Friday, December 5, 2008

No Longer a LOOOOSER! (Giveaway at the bottom)

I had a post all planned out about "A Few of My Favorite Things", but it'll have to wait until my camera finds it's way back home from the wild blue yonder with Mark and Ty. I'm just hoping that my sieve-like brain will retain the info. It is questionable, you know.
HOWEVER. Something pretty awesome has happened to me. Something that usually....well....doesn't. That something is that I, Gayle, actually won, not one, but TWO contests in a 24 hour period this week!!
Are you kidding me? I never (and I do mean NE-VER) win anything, so when I saw this post at Holly's, I nearly peed myself. .....Ok, not really, but you never know when you are dealing with a Mama who's birthed 4 children.

Just look at these plates y'all!

Aren't they absolutely gorgeous?!

And this verse is is so powerful...

I must confess, I totally stole these pictures from Holly. Nice, huh? She gives me this beautiful present and I swipe something from her. Some people, I swear....they just take and take and take....

Anyway. If you like-ah what you see-ah, head on over to sweet Lindsee's, the creator of these Most Beautiful of all Plates. There are plenty more to choose from. What awesome talent!

Ah, but the story doesn't end here, because remember, I won not one, but TWO things!
I was barely able to stop squealing from Holly's prizes, when Linda posts this! GET.OUT! Not only did I JUST post about my rekindled love for fiction, but now an autographed copy of this book is showing up at my doorstep!

I love prizes. I really do. And these two things made my week. SOOOO, I've decided to share the contest love. Y'all know I'm all about Starbucks, right? And you definitely can't do Starbucks without a friend.....well, you can, but it IS better when you can sit and chat.....

Anyway, you can enter to win a $10 Starbucks gift card by leaving me a comment telling what your drink of choice is when you're lucky enough to be there. And since Friday is my FAVORITE day of the week, I will leave the comments open until next Friday, December 12. Then, I will do one of those Random Number do-hickeys to choose the (hopefully) happy winner.

Happy drinking,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

1,2,3 GO!

Donna, over at Way More Homemade just tagged me for a meme that I can totally do in 5 seconds flat.

The directions for this meme are: Find the book closest to you, turn to page 56, then type in the fifth sentence plus a couple more after that.

Okey doke.

"In that moment Jesus turned to him and said, 'Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise' (Luke 23:43). I expect to see that man in Paradise. Not because he could come down from that cross and be baptized. Not because he could come down from that cross and take communion. Not because he could come down from that cross and give money to charitable work. Not because he could come down from that cross and live a good life. He had been a wicked, godless man, but he was saved by the tender mercy and grace of God."

Oh my stars, people. I swear that wasn't planned! It comes from a little devotional book that used to be my sweet Grandma's that I keep on my dresser (which is right next to me now). It's called Breakfast With Billy Graham. And yeah, I went a little further than a couple of sentences more, but with text like that, I wasn't stopping. I just know God means to use that for someone today.

Anyway, I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you want to do this on your blog, please feel free... just let us know so that we can come and see. Actually, I'm going to ask you to do it rightthissecond and put it in the comments. I thought maybe we'd get a good laugh, but now, I'm not so sure we won't be blessed too.

Ok, you're up...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday

I swore I'd never do it.

I thought I'd be on the news.

But at 4:30 a.m., there I was, standing bleary, but wide eyed at our local Walmart. It was per my die-hard husband's request that I obliged, but only with the promise of extra strong coffee and enough bail-out money in the account should anyone shove me or something at that wicked hour.

We circled the store, amazed at the calculation and prowess of the Seasoned Shoppers. It seemed that they somehow knew we were rookies without a plan (as evidenced by the MAP we were given upon arrival). We were feeling a little overwhelmed and perhaps a little inadequate when all of a sudden, something instinctive surfaced within me. I asked Mark to follow me as I handed him the buggy and took all the back roads to get to the 700 mile long line for something that I can't mention.

Then, all of our unique gifts came into play. I stood there, in the endless line, deciding upon our next important move (think chess) while Mark went and flawlessly carried out the mission. By 6:30 a.m. we were sitting at Cracker Barrel recounting the morning while the angels were singing at our $250 savings. Amen.

Consider this chick converted. I was blind and now I see. Did I love having every person within a 200 mile radius packed into one store, violating every fire-code there is? NO. Am I am person who deeply values personal space? YES. But, when I look at the savings, the awesome-awesome savings, I can deal with the possibility of perishing or bad breath for 2 hours once a year.

Black Friday no longer black-balled,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

All the rest

I am sitting here throwing back some Limited Edition Candy Cane Oreos (thanks to Linda's shout out of these most blessed of all things) and I started thinking about how this ol' internet has done wonders for bringing out the inner-foodie in me. The cuisine in this household prior to the world wide web and Food Network was lackluster to say the least. But now....oh now....I've reached new heights in my mediocrity.

I can barely think of making something before consulting and I can't even speak of how much I idolize The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Incidentally, never have I made anything from either of these two places that I didn't completely adore. In fact, I'm changing up my side-dishes a bit for Thanksgiving this year, and I realized that many of my recipes are coming from either of these two sites.

To prove this, I give you my menu:

Deviled Eggs - Mark and the fam love these things.

Apples and fruit dip

Veggies and Ranch dip


Stuffing - remember, we're born and bred Yankees around here.

Stuffing balls - this is some crazed family tradition on my Mom's side that everyone raves about. But me? Not so much. However, this is coming from somebody that thinks Whoppers are the most disgusting candy ever made, so I'm willing to be the weird one. It won't be the last time I'm called that, for sure.

Mashed Potatoes with the Works

Whiskey Glazed Sweet Potatoes - I know, I know, the recipe calls for carrots, but I want to try sweet potatoes with it. It's purely experimental, so we shall see. Plus, if it bombs, we can medicate with the leftover alcohol. Just kidding. Kinda.

Green Bean Casserole - I have tried and tried to change up this archaic recipe, but it usually causes full-scale revolt, so this year, I am leaving well enough alone. Durkee onion, here I come (gagging, but nevertheless....).

Gail's 7-layer salad - Oh my word. PLEASE try this. I don't know who Gail is, but she rocks a 7 layer salad, y'all. (One thing I do different, though, is spinach in place of iceberg, and black beans instead of pinto...just personal preference)

Cranberry Sauce - I grew up with the canned stuff, and I still like that, oddly enough, but this...this, is worth forsaking my roots. The only change I make is that I add orange juice (just cut back on the water) instead of an orange. The peel can make it a little bitter.

No Knead Rolls - Julianna and I will work on these tomorrow.

2 pumpkin pies - using a pumpkin puree that Julianna and I made in mid-October. Cross your fingers.

2 pecan pies

1 apple pie - sinfully delicious recipe that my Grandma used to make. Seriously, it should be outlawed because of all the calories, but so should calorie counting on Thanksgiving, so there.

All of these will have homemade whipped cream to go with it.

Lots of sodas, cokes, pop or whatever you call them, iced/sweet tea, and Mulled Cider (a.k.a. Wassail....makes the house smell good AND tastes awesome).

See what I mean? That's alot of links, people! I love me some internet food. :) Hope you all have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving. I am certainly counting YOU as one of my blessings.

Much love,

P.S. I can't tell you how much your comments in the last post ministered to me. Thank you, sweet friends.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fanning the Flame

As I'm sitting here trying to fan this teeny little hot ash into a flame in our fireplace, I am getting frustrated. I have been here for about 45 minutes working to get the remnants of last night's roaring fire to burn brightly again so that I can have some desperately needed warmth on this frigid Saturday before Thanksgiving.

I've tried just about every kind of kindling that I can think of; paper, pine straw, extremely dried out branches and a good dose of prayer with some matches, but nothing is making this fire really ignite. I've blown on that little ash and on the lit pine straw until I am, quite literally, dizzy, but it keeps dying out after only a minute or so.

What in the world am I doing wrong? I am half tempted to just give up and walk away because it seems useless, but my stubbornness won't let me. I know that this little ash is capable of creating a massive fire, and I also know that if my pyro hubby were to walk in here and blow on this same little ash, we would all have to stand back because of the heat.

And then I start to cry.

Not because I am some big wimp who can't take not being able to get a measly fire started (after all there is gasoline in the shed if I really wanted to prove my fire making ability....and don't put it past me). It's because I just cannot escape how this is a perfect analogy of my walk with my Father lately.

It seems that no matter what I do, I can't fan my little ember into a badly needed flame. I'm stale, I'm weary, I'm distracted, I'm overwhelmed, I'm miserable and I'm weak. Among other things. I'm trying to give those over, but I have a tendency to snatch them back and roll in it a little more.

Do I believe I will come up out of this pit? Do I know that my little ash has tons of hope attached to it? You betcha. Remember, I'm stubborn and thankfully, so is my Father's love. I know where He wants me, I just have to get there, one puff of air at a time.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lotsa Life

Yesterday was one of the busiest days I've had in awhile, but poignant in so many ways. Yesterday I celebrated friendship, the birthday of an 83 year old matriarch, and a beautiful wedding of two people who are young and in love. At around 11 p.m., I also celebrated the comfy warmth of my blessed bed, but that's beside the point.

My day started off with brunch at a really yummy restaurant with some really sweet friends. Annie (far left) came in from Nashville to see the Reba concert with Robyn (far right) on Friday night. And since we all think Annie is awesome, Sophie, Lora Lynn (+Willa), and I met up with the Reba-stalkin' duo to throw back some delicious food and to chat about every random thing under the Alabama sun. I had such a great time with these girls who can make you laugh your head off one minute and amaze you with their passion or strength the next. I snapped this picture right before I had to run (almost literally) out the door.

I had to run because I was l-a-t-e. I was supposed go home, get changed and pick up the Crew to head to my Grandma's little place because yesterday was her 83rd birthday.

It ended up that there would be no way for us to pull that off and get to the wedding on time, so my Mom and the kids went on while Mark and I headed to the church. It all turned out much better when it was all said and done because we were able to stop in to see her by ourselves after the ceremony.

My Grandma has this sweet little room-mate and between the two of them, we stay in stitches. By the time you are in your 80's, I guess you are done caring about the apropos things in life, which is an attribute that makes Mark and I adore spending time with the elderly. Sadly, I forgot to take my camera into the home when I went in. It might have had something to do with the fact that it felt like 60 below zero outside, so I was more concerned with avoiding frostbite than being a shutterbug. BIG bummer.

Earlier in the afternoon, though (and when the temps were much more bearable), we arrived at one of the most beautiful little churches in our area. It was made even more picturesque with the brilliant foliage that surrounded it. Take all of that and mix it with a crisp, sort-of-overcast Autumn day and you've got a set-up for a lovely wedding.

And a lovely wedding it was, indeed. There isn't much in this world that compares to young love. There is so much to be learned, so much to grow into, and so much prove when you make a giant step like marriage at an age when you should only be concerned with college and impending careers.

But sometimes, against the grain of society, God brings two people together before all of that is completely figured out....

And sometimes.....

....dare I say, many times, it all turns out a thousand fold more beautiful than the best laid plans of another.

Married at 19 to that guy in the last shot,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fiction Readers Anonymous

Guess what I've been doing? Reading. Reading what, you ask? Books. Real, live books. I haven't chilled out with a good work of fiction in at least a year, but last weekend, I decided to make a nest on my bed and dig in. ~Oh the forgotten bliss~ It was the last 2 books in the Annie's People series by Beverly Lewis and they were really good. Yes, I said "they", hence the reason I never read fiction: As soon as I get into a story, you can hang it up on me being worth a flip until I'm done...and Lord help us all if it's a series. I'm talking full-boar binge.

It's incredible the lengths that I will go to in order to not put the book down. I eat with it, bathe with it, and of course, it's the first thing I wake up to and the last thing I fall asleep with at night. I can even flip pages with my toes when absolutely forced to use my otherwise occupied hands. The worst part is that you can usually find me closetly heartbroken when I've read the last word. It's that bad, people.

Obsessive, you say? Yep. Analyze it, and you will probably come up with the solid truth that I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl, but you'd better stop up your ears if you make that statement too loudly because I can assure you, you'll get a booming agreement from my family. I try to be mindful of my "issues", which is why I have to go an entire year between my reading stints (this doesn't apply to non-fiction, by the way).

However, we are coming up on the holidays, when I will have some blessed down time (read: NO school! Holla!) and I would like something to read. It's all need to call in an intervention or anything, I can totally handle it this time around, I promise. SO. What's a must-read in your opinion? OR, if you share my fiction issues and have to s-l-o-w-l-y back away from the books, tell me. Perhaps we can come up with a 12 step program together or something.

Hi, my name is,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go Carrie, Go Carrie...

Hey! I've got to hurry with this, but I wanted to come over here to ask you to click this link to vote for Carrie from The Gremlin Wrangler for Funniest Homeschool Blog. It will seriously take you less than 10 seconds. I have no motivation here except I want her win...but I guess I could motivate you by offering free Starbucks or something....

Nah. That would be cheating. Sorry. How 'bout this....Go vote because methinks this is an election we can WIN!! :D

Alright, gotta run. OH! If any of you have been nominated for something over at the Homeschool Blog Awards, let me know in the comments and you'll have my vote, too.


P.S. You don't have to have a blog to vote...

Friday, November 7, 2008

I'm an idiot

Just so you know... I am in the fetal position barely able to breathe because I've screwed up my template. This was not intentional and I am praying with everything in me that the amazing Trista has saved my beloved template.....

Back to rocking,

BIG FAT SHOUT OUT to the Awesome Trista over at Pumpkin Patch Creations!!! She did my design 2 months ago.... I can breathe again. Go check her out because OBVIOUSLY she's amazing!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Talking Turkey

Ok, let's move on to something a little less grim, shall we? Thanksgiving is only a mere 3 weeks away, and THAT is sweet music to my gluttonous ears. I can't begin to tell you of my affection for this holiday with all it's yummy goodness.

Mark and I have always hosted Thanksgiving in our home from the first year on after we were married. I'll never forget, as long as I draw breath, when I had 5 hungry sailors who couldn't go home to their Mama's cooking, and one vegetarian girlfriend, who all decided that GAYLE needed to make a turkey and all the fixings.

Have I ever told you how insufficient I was in the kitchen for the first few years of our marriage? Let me just put it to you this way, the folks at Golden Corral totally knew us by name in Virginia Beach. And I STILL have a scar from my first feeble attempts at making a chicken breast. Plain, with no sides, thankyouverymuch.

Then there was the time that I thought I'd go all FANCY and make chicken enchiladas (notice it was only our fine feathered friends that I'd even try), but instead of using a few drops of pepper sauce as the recipe called for, I chopped up half the jar of the hottest, yellow peppers on the planet, seeds and all. My SWEET, smitten Mark acted like he wasn't internally engulfed in flames for as long as he could.... He probably still has a part of his tongue that's been permanently seared, God love him.

Anyway, they wanted ME to make the most important meal of the year, and there was no getting out of it. One of them went to the store and bought a bird that would have dented steel with it's massiveness, and plopped that bugger right down on my counter, hoping for a miracle, I guess.

I had no choice but to go Head to Severed Head with this thing, so I did what any newly married young girl would do, I winged it (and who could avoid a pun like that?). But guess what? It totally worked! Mind you, these were the days without internet, so I couldn't simply "Google it". I just figured that it would need something to seal in the juices, so I rubbed that bad boy down with butter and then gave it a drizzle of oil before putting it in the oven at the temperature that the directions read. I did, however, neglect to take out the...ahem...extra parts that are stuffed in it's "cavities". But who's keeping track?

I remembered my Grandmother basting her bird several times during the cooking process as I was growing up, so I had Mark run to the grocery store in front of our apartment, to get one of those "squirty do-hickeys". Funny, but he knew exactly what I'd meant. So I basted that bird every single hour on the hour until the little red button popped up. The meat actually rested before Mark carved it, not because we knew to do that, but because we were both so freaked out about it that we just stared at the thing forever.

Eventually we all gathered around with our Walmart china and dug into the Stove Top stuffing, canned cranberry sauce, and that blessed bird. I want you to know, that was one of the moistest turkeys any of those boys ever put into their mouths, by the sheer grace of God. It was nothing but dumb luck that I did all the right things that day to make that turkey turn out the way it did. And I haven't strayed from the original way of doing things with my turkey from that point until now (well, except I stuff it...and I remove the parts). I've added a few spices and things, but, that's it.

So tell me, do you make your own turkey on Thanksgiving, and if so, what's your way of doing things? Soon, we'll talk Sides....because that's a whole 'nother Paradise.

2:27 a.m.

Let me just say right out of the gate, regarding our election; My feelings are strong, my convictions run deep, and my heart is absolutely broken.

Not over the man, and certainly not over the color of his skin (let me scream that in the ear of anyone who even wants to go there), rather, it is broken over the deep, dark place that we, as a nation, have headed morally.

I had to teach my Kindergarteners about the origins of Thanksgiving yesterday. I taught them of all the unimaginable hardship that these Pilgrims had to endure just so they could get to a place where they could serve their Father, my Father, in freedom. America was founded on deep conviction and immense desire to bring God His due glory, and look at how He's blessed us for generations because of it.

Yet, in the last 40+ years, we have done everything we can to shove Him down and to push Him out. We've taken Him out of our schools, out of our judicial system, and it's even in the works to take Him off our money (and those are just a very few instances). America has made it clear that they don't have any need for the God on which this nation was founded. But God is just, and there isn't a single time in the Word, that I'm aware of, when He doesn't eventually remove His Holy hand of blessing and protection over those that are bent on evil. Why should we be any different? There's some change for you.

BUT, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. He is our Shepherd and we will fear no evil because His rod and his staff, they comfort us. He is just and we are His.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Let me tell you a little sumpthin about me: I'm not into politics. In fact, I kind of hate them. More specifically, I hate the continual back and forth maliciousness, the lies, and the mind-games that go along with them. But that's just my personal preference.


This election has my attention. Perhaps it's age or a softening to the aformentioned unpleasantries.... OR maybe it's that I believe that we are at a crucial time in our country's history. It is my opinion that, spiritually, we are at a crossroads. Not necessarily between two candidates, per se, as much as in the moral direction that we, as Americans, are decidedly going to take.

The bottom line is that we need to let EACH of our voices be heard tomorrow. I know that the lines will be long and that it may seem useless to some of us, and maybe you even triple h-a-t-e politics as much as I do, but I BEG you, go to the polls tomorrow. Your voice does count.

Have mercy, Oh Lord.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Slow Down... I Need to Get OFF

Hello my poor, neglected friends.

Can someone please tell my why this time of year is so ridiculously busy? Honestly, it's cramping my lazy, computer-loving nature. I am so deeply unnerved that I've scarcely had 2 minutes to blog, twitter, email, comment, and IM over the last few weeks, that I think I've developed a nervous twitch.

PLUS, I have had so many blogworthy things happen (i.e. an unapologetic farting lady who sat directly behind me during a conference?!....yeah.), but I haven't had time to write it all out in such a way that wouldn't make you look at me like a confused dog. By the way, if a dog ever gives that look in my presence, there is simply NO containing myself.

Today, I am about to finish up school with the kids, and then pack for a weekend-o-fun at my girl, Leisl's house. Incidentally, she lives only about a half hour away from the most beautious beach around, and since I didn't get my desperately needed beach trip this year, I'm a little over the top with JOY! Well that, and the fact that we love the heck out of them. ;)

Anyway, hope y'all have a great (and hopefully not busy) weekend...AARG!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What the....

I have to concur that there is something psychologically WRONG with me when I wake up singing the Hee-Haw theme song.

Monday, October 20, 2008


7:30 a.m.

Me: Jake?

Jake: Yes ma'am?

Me: I need you to wear your good pants to school today.

Jake: Why?

Me: Because it's pretty cold outside and all of your long pants are still packed away.

Jake (who's not into looking "fancy"): Awwwwww, maaaaaaan. Do I...

Me: YES.

~ Exit Jake to change out of his p.j.'s into the dreaded "good" pants. ~

8:00 a.m. (heading out the door)

Me: Jake?

Jake: Yes ma'am?

Me: Don't play football after school today.

Jake: Why?

Me: Because you have your good pants on and I don't want you to get them grass-stained.

Jake: But Moooooom, I promise, I won't get them sta...

Me: NO. No football today.

Jake: Awwwww maaaaaaan.

1:30 p.m. (home from school)

Me: JAKE! What the heck happened to your pants?!

Jake: I dunno.

Me: What do you mean you don't know? Were you playing football?

Jake: Yes (staring at me CONFUSED)?

Me: But I TOLD you NOT to DO that!!

Jake: When?

3:53 p.m.

Jake is almost finished cleaning his room (I suppose he got desperate during his imprisonment). Mama needs a sure-fire way to get out grass stains. Anyone?

Love my boys (even though they are going to be the death of me),

Saturday, October 18, 2008

For the Love of Chocolate

Moving right along...Do you remember when I said several posts back that during the Fall I get certain cravings for carb/sugar loaded heavenly goodness? Well. I am about to give you a beautiful example of such.

As I type, my man and 2 of my male offspring are surviving deep in the woods on a camping trip with the Cub Scouts. I am usually right there with them, but because I couldn't teach my Sunday School class last week, since I was in the hospital with my Grandma, I needed to be there this week. So, I am just coming and going. You know, getting all the benefits of the campfire experience, yet sleeping in my nice warm bed at night, and getting my nice warm PRIVATE shower in the morning.

BUT, because I love my family and my awesome friends who are out there, and because I had better come bearing gifts after I made the above statement about beds and showers, I am going to bless them with some freshly baked, warm chocolatey love.

Introducing the yummiest Mississippi Mud Cake you will ever put in your mouth.

It doesn't look as pretty as the Mother of all Southern Cooking's version and that's partly because of this:

Jet Puffed make my cake look ugly. Can you see how they were all sticky and squished together into one big marshmallow mess? What up, Jet? It wasn't just my bag-o-minis either. Caroline tried to open up her regular sized ones last night and they were like that. I'm feeling a bit of animosity here, Jet, and I don't want to feel that way. So get it together before campers everywhere revolt.

Alright, I'm off, but before I go I must implore you to make this cake. I promise you, if you run to the store rightthissecond and get the ingredients to make this, your weekend will be better than it already is.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Soapbox it is...

Let me go ahead and say right out of the gate that I am going to be as discreet as possible about the situation that has really burrowed it's way under my skin. Because the bottom line is not about this incident, as much as it is that there is a BIG ole lesson to take away from it.

So the Reader's Digest version is this: Yesterday I was having a conversation with one of my friends when a lady, who I barely know, walked up who fosters and adopts children. We chatted pleasantly for a few minutes about hair (because that's what womenfolk do) when my friend said to the woman that she didn't know how she did it with 15 kids. At that point, I asked her how many children were hers biologically (none of the kids were around).

Let's just pause for a moment so that I can say that I honestly didn't realize that this was an offensive question. I just didn't. Sort of like an American going to Australia and giving one of the locals a thumbs up (don't do that by the way). It's rude, but most of us wouldn't realize that unless we had researched Australian culture. Similarly, I have had no dealings with adoption, so it never-ever crossed my mind that it might be unmannerly.

Now I can see how someone might feel that it undermines their family, as it's explained here, but that's not something that the Average Joe just immediately "gets". I am definitely one who can accept gentle instruction, and I will be more careful from now on because I have been made aware. Please read the link if you are, like I was, going "what's the big deal".

How-ev-er. What I CAN'T handle is when someone freaks out and absolutely goes on the attack when it's completely obvious that the person asking isn't doing so to be mean, or should I say "stupid". Yes she did. Indeed, I was admiring her ministry.

Perhaps you will think poorly of me because I was so insanely mad when she went off like she did, that I wanted to take her head off, but maybe that can be remedied with the fact that I got up and walked away despite every instinct in me. My poor friend was so stunned that she quickly changed the subject with the woman.

So the lesson here is this, and I have thought long and hard about it for 24 hours now: Most of us have something that we feel misunderstood about. And there are probably alot of us that get sick and tired of having to go over it again and again with different people. It stinks, and I know that because feeling misunderstood can fall into just about anyplace that we feel insecure, and I can assure you that I have a second home in Insecureville, people (we won't even get into how pride plays into that).

BUT the answer is not to go slap off on people just because you are sick of dealing with it. I don't think that there's a number large enough to tell how many times I've had someone ask if my older two boys are twins because they look so much alike AND they are about the same size despite an almost 2 year age difference. Does it sting? YES. Do I go berserk? Heck no. I answer them kindly and if they decide to go on and comment about my son's small stature, I usually just come back with how he rocks gymnastics and that he couldn't do it if he were gargantuan. Most people aren't trying to be rude. And even if they are, what good is being hateful in return going to do?

I can also tell you this, when I came home and had a conversation with my friend Caroline about what had occurred, she remembered reading a blog post (linked above) about this very thing, so she forwarded it to me. It wasn't until reading THAT, that I was able to understand. It made sense to me after it was put kindly. I couldn't even begin to sympathize with her because I was so blinded by her hateful words.

The Bible tells us that, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15:1) and I am here to tell you that I experienced this full tilt yesterday.

Now, I will step down again and hopefully let this trusty old box gather up a thick layer of dust. I hope I haven't made any of you mad and, lawsie mercy, if this is your first time here, Puh-lease know that I am usually not usually aggressive and preachy. Because if you do walk away thinking that about me, I will feel misunderstood and I might just snap your head off when I find out about it. Just kidding. ;)

Alrighty, I'm outta here. Have a good day, and for those of you that voted for favorite is raspberry.