Monday, December 31, 2007

Dissolving the Resolves

Wow! Another year is drawing to a close. Just seems like we began 2007 and now in a few short hours, we will be ringing in a brand new year.

Some of us will actually see the first minutes of 2008 and others (like myself) will dream about it from the comfort of our beds.

However you bring in the new year, I challenge you to take a moment and reflect on the trials, tribulations, joys and sorrows of 2007 and remember how they've shaped you in to who you are today.

I'm resolving this year to dissolve my New Year's resolutions.

Who really keeps them completely anyway? It's kind-of like when my Dad paid me $10 to stop biting my fingernails ($1 for each finger) and after I got my money, I returned immediately to biting my fingernails (this was back in elementary school).

Or how I resolved in college to not procrastinate on studying so much only to find out that spring semester that I procrastinated more than ever.

Truth be told, I'm not very good about keeping those kind of resolutions. Instead, I'm going to focus on my God, my health, my family and my friends this 2008 and resolve to be better for them.

Oh wait...was that a resolution?

Happy New Year everyone!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Can we roast hot dogs on it, mommy?

Well, the fun times of the winter season are upon us. The air is chilly, my hibernating extincts are setting in and the perpetual cough/runny nose has settled in my little D-Man.

Husband says not to worry (I have him listen to D-Man's chest almost hourly) that it is normal for kids to have a cough/runny nose and so we continue the nightly ritual of Claritin.

But, this mama has some other weapons in her arsenal that she decided to pull out last night...The Humidifier. I put it in D-Man's room before he went to bed, so he didn't see it. But, rest assured that he saw the smoke billowing this morning.

The first thing he asked when I went in to get him is the obvious 2 year old question, "Whas' that, mommy?"

To which I replied, "That's a humidifier, baby. It helps your cough."

To which he later told Husband, "Thats a 'fier daddy. It helps my cough."

Fier...Humidifier...tomato...tomato (as in the ma in mama)...who's to say how it is really said.

Let's just hope D-Man doesn't start roasting marshmallows or making smores over the 'fier. Then we'd have problems.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Trusting in Him

For many weeks now, the main CD that D-Man has wanted to listen to in the car is one that was given to him by one of his sweet little friends for his 1st birthday. It is the Max Lucado series featuring Hermie and friends. The particular one that we have is about obeying the rules, R-U-L-E-S, rules...oh my...been listening a bit too much.

Anyway, the basis of this CD series is to teach kids scripture through songs. It uses catchy music so that memorization of the book, verse number and actual verse come easier.

D-Man has a particular favorite that he asks for each time we get in the car. It is number 2 on the CD and he can sing almost every word to it. It comes from Proverbs 3, verses 5-6. The NIV version of these verses reads as follows:

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in
all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."

I cannot begin to tell you how happy it makes a mama feel when I hear my sweet 2 1/2 year old singing about trusting in God.

Isn't this what we all need to remember? Trusting in God in EVERYTHING that we do knowing that he will do what is best for us?

Hard to do, I know. I'm probably the world's worst about not trusting in him and holding on to my problems, anxieties and fears in hopes that I can make them ok. But, in reality, I can't. These things are far bigger than I and can only be solved by God.

Just like a child trusts his parents to keep them safe, feed them and make them happy, so our Father wants us to trust him.

Thank you, D-Man for singing these sweet words and helping mommy to remember daily to trust Him.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Veggies Anyone?

Ok, so I admit, I just couldn't stay away for more than one day. I need to feel connected with all 2 of you who read my blog and so I'm back today, the day after Christmas, to catch up on what's going on in the world.

We survived the holidays! It was so great not having to travel this year.

This was the BEST year yet with D-Man, except when he wanted to take everyone else's toys away.

And also when he let me see his green bean casserole up close when he spit it into my hand.

Oh and also when he gagged on the broccoli casserole, at the dinner table, with all my in-laws watching. A mom's got to push those vegggies every now and then, you know?

Anywho, let's dish on what great gifts we all got this year! Was it anything like what is in this box?

Well, that's all for today. I'll probably be back with more tomorrow.
In the meantime, you should be waiting with giddy anticipation until my next post...

Monday, December 24, 2007

And to all a goodnight (for a few days)...

Well, I've rewarded myself for weeks of posting with a little "typing" vacation. This means that this could be my last post for a few days. Well, ok, maybe I might need an outlet from all the holiday chaos or may have a blog-worthy story that I need all of you out there to read, so there might be one here and there the next few days. But for the most part, consider me on vacation.

Anyway, before I took a day or two to rest, I wanted to thank all of you out there for embarking with me on this journey for the last few months. I am looking forward to carrying the momentum I've gained into 2008 and I hope that you continue to enjoy what you read.

I wish all of you the MOST BLESSED CHRISTMAS EVER! May Christ be at the center of all that you during this Christmas season. May his love pour out of you to others! For Christ is the reason we celebrate! Let's have the BEST celebration ever!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Please excuse the spacing craziness

There is an actual post below for Friday, but due to spacing issues with Blogger, I'm having trouble getting it to look right.

Please READ ON!

Holiday Yumminess

So today I thought I would help all of you out who might be struggling with the perfect dessert to take to the holiday celebration. I'm revealing two of my favorite sweet treats one of which I make EVERY year to appease my enormous family. It is a given every year that I will be making these and making them in mass quantities.

The first is one I picked up at a cookie exchange a few years ago is as follows:

No-Bake Almond Bark Cookies

1 package white almond bark (may also use milk chocolate chips)
2 cups Rice Krispies
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I substitute reduced fat peanut butter)
2 cups mini marshmallows

Melt almond bark in microwave on 50% heat until melted for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in the Rice Krispies, peanut butter and marshmallows. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper. Let harden, then enjoy!

Doesn't this sound yummy and sinful and too good to be true?

The second recipe is the one that I make every year for my family. The recipe is as follows:

Peanut Butter Balls

1/2 cup of soft butter
1 box powdered sugar
1 cup peanut butter (I use reduced fat peanut butter)
Mix all of the above together and make into balls. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour.
Then melt together 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/4 oz of paraffin (I normally omit the paraffin and the recipe still comes out fine). Dip the peanut butter balls into the melted chocolate and place on wax paper to cool. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Handmade with Love

A couple of Sunday's ago, Husband and I went to pick D-Man up from Sunday School. I always love to pick him up because the smile he gives when he sees up would make even the most gray sky blue. He loves his friends and teachers, but he really loves his Mommy and Daddy.

Anyway, when we pick him up from Sunday School, his teachers Mrs. Mary and Mr. Don always give us the report on what they have done that day. They usually tell us how energetic D-Man is (because he has bounced around all morning keeping them in check) and we get his bag of goodies for the day. The goodie bag always contains his lesson for that day and any crafts he might have made.

This particular Sunday, I was overjoyed when I discovered that in the goodie bag was the first real ornament that D-Man made. An ornament made with only a round base that resembled a donut topped with green crepe paper (and lots of glue); but one that made me smile.

Just the first of many I know he will make an annual part of our Christmas tree trimming. This ornament is the first of many stories and the first of many smiles we will share over the years as we remember when they were made. He doesn't yet realize how much love he showed his Mommy and Daddy when he gave them this ornament, but we hope someday we will be able to convey that message to him. We love you D-Man!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Walking Away the Pounds this Wednesday

My entry for today's Works-for-me Wednesday is how I walk/jog away the pounds (or try to). A year or more ago, my best friend The Queen B ordered the "Walk Away the Pounds" DVD series by Leslie Sansone. There was a DVD in the collection called Walk/Jog. The Queen B knew that with me having a young child, getting outside to exercise was sometimes difficult, so she has been lending me (yes, I still have and told her just this past weekend that I would give it back whenever she needs it) the Walk/Jog video.

It is a 30 minute tape that combines walking and jogging and in the time it takes to complete the DVD, you have traveled 2.5 miles in the comfort of your own home. Now, I am a runner by heart (I've completed 2 half-marathons in the past 3 years) and so I change the routine up a bit and add more jogging than needed. I even used this video during this time last year as I trained for a half marathon.

I would definetly recommend it to anyone who wants to exercise during the winter (and even in the warmer months when the weather doesn't cooperate outside). It keeps me feeling better about myself (especially after I eat that 2nd piece of pecan pie during the holidays).

For more great tips, check out the posts at Rocks-in-my Dryer.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Titles on Tuesday: The True Story of Christmas

Today's Titles on Tuesday book is called The True Story of Christmas and was written by Nell Navillus, illustrated by Allan Eitzen. I purchased this book this year to add to our Christmas traditions. With D-Man now 2 and able to understand even more the true meaning of Christmas, I found this book to be an easy read to my 2 year old while still depicting the true reason we celebrate the season.

This is what my favorite page in the book says, "God had sent his only son, Jesus Christ, to be born in a manger in Bethlehem. Jesus would save the world from sin and offer life everlasting to people everywhere." How wonderful that is!!!
A Bible passage from Luke, chapter 1 verse 14 sums up the book, "And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth."

I hope each of you have special Christmas books that you read your families each year as you celebrate the season. God bless each of you.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Tour of My Home

Today is finally here. I've been waiting with giddy anticipation for this day. The day that I reveal to all of blog world my house all decorated for Christmas. Thanks to BooMama for her sweet invitation to be a part of the Tour of Homes. So grab a cup of hot cocoa (with tons of marshamallows in honor of me), sit back and enjoy!

Let's begin by imagining you are walking unto our porch, preparing to ring the doorbell. You are greeted by this wreath of wonderfullness designed by a sweet woman whom I'll call K.

Isn't it just lovely?

Next, pretend I have opened the door for you (and greeted you with a season's worth of happiness and joy) and the first thing you see are these four cute nesting boxes that convey the reason for the season so well: PEACE, HOPE, LOVE, & JOY.

The nesting boxes sit next to our entry table which is decorated with a festive bowl of red & green Christmas balls.

To the right of the entry table, you will see one of three trees inside our house. It is our "Santa" tree. Husband and I were married 8 1/2 years ago and I have been collecting Santa ornaments since we were married and I've finally collected enough to make a 7 1/2 foot tree not look bare. K also helped decorate this tree complete with candy cane drops, beautiful red berries and real feathers. I've highlighted the top of the tree so that you can check out all the coolness that Mrs. K added.

Now, you've fully entered the living room and can smell this candle in Canelle. Although it is not designed to be a Christmas scent, it has the perfect blend of sweetness and spice and goes great this time of year. You might also smell this or this on any given day as I do love me some good smelling candles.

You might also hear the Christmas sounds of this group filling the air. They hold a special place in my Husband's family's heart because they have known this group personally for many years. How wonderful it is to sing praises to Jesus Christ this time of year and they really get me to singing (although singing might not be the best word to describe what comes out of my mouth).

Our living room is filled with the sights of Christmas. We have 2 nativity scenes proudly displaying the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We want this to always remain the focus in our house of what the Christmas season really means.

This one Husband and I bought the first year we were married. We were seniors in college at the time and didn't have a lot of money for elaborate decorations, but somehow this has come to mean so much to us.

This one was given to Husband and I by my Granny a few years ago.

This plate is a new addition I added this year from a local shop here in our town. I really appreciate the message it displays.

Next you will see the 2nd of our three Christmas trees which has also been decorated by K. It bursts with my favorite Christmas colors of red, gold and green and comes alive with a wonderful topper that K whipped up.

And here are our stockings purchased and monogrammed here.

D-Man also has a nativity set in his playroom. It is one of these complete with this set. His NaNa RAD and PaPa Doc gave it to him for his first Christmas. Just the other day, Husband and I were picking up the house after D-Man went to bed (Yes, believe it or not, Husband is a huge help to me).

Anyhoo, I said to Husband, "Did you set D-Man's nativity scene up this way?"

To which he replied, "I haven't messed with it today."

To which I said, "Come and see this." He came into D-Man's playroom and all of the peopel (Mary, Joseph, 3 Wise Men, Shepherds and the Angels were all lined up in a row looking at Baby Jesus who was in the stable. A rush of warmth and joy spread over me as I realized that maybe, just maybe D-Man understands.

D-Man also has his own little Christmas tree in his playroom and he loves having it turned on each morning to enjoy all day.

In my kitchen, you will find a centerpiece that I came up with (I feel I did pretty well for an amateur). I took the bottom piece of this and added a green wreath. I then intertwined gold shimmer fabric and added a hurricane in the middle filled with red and gold Christmas balls. I always have a centerpiece on my table that is easy to move, but still looks good and this served it's purpose.

I also liked to feel like I drink fancy hot cocoa sometimes (even though I really don't) and so I found this cute little red tray this year and added some Santa mugs that I had gotten last year after Christmas and paired them with some fun, fancy hot cocoa. If you come to my house, I'll probably not break open the fancy stuff because then I'd have to buy more (it wasn't cheap).

I also have a fun fruit bowl (yes, those are my stash of red and green M&Ms in the fruit bowl), my Knoxville trip plate that I found at Crackerbarrel (did I tell you that there are 332 Crackerbarrel resturants between here and Knoxville)along with a few more cute mugs (with cocoa in them that you can drink) and 2 fun "SNOW" canisters.

And finally, our house has much Christmas cheer outside that glows at night, but you must imagine what it looks like because I couldn't get the picture to look good.

I hope you have enjoyed my tour because I really enjoyed having you stop by. If you liked what you've seen, please leave a comment. Consider it your Christmas present to me.

Be sure and check out all the other great tours at BooMama's tour of homes!

God bless each of you; and remember without Christ, Christmas would not be a season that we could enjoy. Remember Christ in all your holiday celebrations.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from our house to yours!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is your head broken?

D-Man has learned many things from his parents in only 2 short years on this earth (some good and obviously some not so good). One of them is so darn cute, though, I can hardly contain myself. Recently, when I had a headache, he asked me if my head was broken (meaning did I have a headache). When I replied, "Yes," he immediately ran and got his Daddy's stethoscope and told me that Daddy would fix it. precious!

The doctoring by D-Man doesn't stop there. His cousin, J-Lee Girl, spent the day with us last week. And Dunn decided before she could play that she needed to be "medically cleared" for admission to his playroom. He checked her vitals (all with the stethoscope) and told her she was "all better."

What, don't you get your shoulder checked with the stethoscope when you go to the doctor?

Enjoy your weekend! Be safe!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Rain, rain go away, let me go here to play

This is a shot from the beach in Cancun, Mexico. We took a trip there Pre-D-Man with my little sis, J-Girl. She had just graduated from high school and my husband had just graduated from medical school. It was a great time of relaxing and enjoying the beauty God has created. As we embark on day 5 of rain, I think about this and it gets me through.

Anyone going on any neat vacations/trips over the Christmas holiday?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lifting a Family up in Prayer

In this busy time of year, please take a chance to remember this family as they endure the loss of a child. We know that God is the ultimate healer and comforter and we pray his will be done.

It's all in the bowl, the mixing bowl, that is

Today's Works-for-me Wednesday tip is about my favorite mixing bowls of all time. The Queen B introduced these to me in 2004 and I haven't been the same since then.

They are the Williams-Sonoma Melamine bowls. They come in a set of three in several great colors. Apparently these bowls are really popular because the internet shows that they are currently not available online. I actually purchased my bowls (I say this like they are an exclusive-to-Amy bowl) at a Williams-Sonoma store in Dallas.

They are dishwasher safe, microwave safe and Amy's-in-the-kitchen safe. They have a nice rubber ring on the bottom to keep them from sliding around on the counter and also feature a handle making it easier to utilize the pour spot featured on them.

If you see them, I would buy them because you will much enjoy them! Thanks Queen B for the great tip!

For other great Works-for-me Wednesday tips click here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Titles on Tuesday: Christmas Cookbook

Today's Titles on Tuesday book is actually a cookbook, Christmas with Paula Deen. There are many yummy-to-my-tummy (oh my, am I a mother to a 2 year old or what) recipes. One of my all time favorites is one that the Queen B made last year for the Christmas celebration our immediate family has together each year. It is called Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup (and Praline topping) and oh my, it is to die for! This recipe is definetly one to eat when you ARE NOT watching your waistline (or your are watching your waistline expand).

There are many other great recipes in this cookbook that could become part of your family's Christmas meal. Enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The month in a nutshell

This holiday season has been made even more special for my family and I because we are living close to our family again for the first time in 8 years. Yes, that means for the first time in 8 years, we won't be packing up the car with our suitcases as well as our gifts and driving them at least 1 1/2 hours away to spend the holidays with our families. How blessed we are this year to live only a mile from both sets of our parents.

So, as I was thinking about how great it is to be close to family during such a special season and my favorite time of year, I began reflecting on what this season means to me.

There are so many traditions that come to mind that make me so happy and joyful during this season. I love to decorate the trees and sit in my living room with all the overhead lights off and bask in the illumination all those twinkling lights give off. I love to shop for the perfect gift for everyone on my list and I'm just bursting with excitement and anticipation as I wait for the day that they can open them. I love family and friends and the time that I spend with them throughout the holidays. And most importantly, I treasure the time that Husband and I get to spend with our son talking with him about the true reason for the season. "Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus" he says when asked what we will sing on Christmas morning. That one phrase coming from the mouth of a 2 year old is the best Christmas present he could give me.

My friend, A-Mac, sent me an e-mail story recently that really sums it all up for me. It is called The Greatest Gift and info about the organization that sent it can be found here . If anyone would like a copy of this story e-mailed to them, contact me at The story is a bit lengthy, but bare with it. I promise you will truly treasure it.

The Greatest Gift

Once upon a time, it was almost Christmas morning as the little brown-haired girl tip-toed into the living room to "spy". Every year she "spied" and every year it was the same; a pine tree sparkling with hundreds of multi-colored twinkle lights revealing a vast display of beautiful ornaments. Some ornaments were soon-to-be collectibles purchased from the local card store and others were handmade by family members; tiny treasures passed down for many years and although worn and even tarnished, held great value to the family.

The sleepy-eyed little girl took a minute to find her favorite ornament and remembered putting it on the tree herself, "with great care," she would add, to make sure it didn't break. As she quietly stood there, the smell of fresh pine mixed with smoldering embers in the fireplace combined to create the wonderful and comforting smell of Christmas.

As her eyes slowly made her way down the tree, she "spied" packages of all shapes and sizes; brightly colored wrapping paper with beautiful ribbons are scattered all around just waiting to be discovered with the morning light.

Taking great care, she tip-toed through the sea of paper carefully looking at the tags to discover what surprises might await her. It was then that she noticed a package with her name on it. A small box wrapped in beautiful red wrapping paper with a small gold bow on the top and a tag that said her name! She was shocked and excited at the same time! Upon careful inspection, she saw the small words"open while spying!" A gasp caught in her throat! She had been discovered!

Curiosity getting the best of her, she carefully unwrapped the gift and slowly opened the box. Inside was a simple gold cross. She recognized it immediately as being the cross her mother wore every single day! She picked it up and held it in her hands, the metal cool in her palms. As she did, her hand brushed a letter at the bottom of the box. She picked it up, opened it and read:

My darling girl- Merry Christmas! I knew you would be up "spying" so I decided to give you this gift early! I know you already realize this is the cross I wear everyday without fail. As I have prepared for Christmas Day, I asked God to show me the "greatest gift" I could give you!
I love you so much and I want to give you everything I possibly can in life. The Lord gently reminded me what the "greatest gift" I could ever give you was and no, it is not the cross.
As you can see this necklace is old and worn. In fact, you probably don't know this, but the necklace isn't even mine. It is simply to be a reminder of the "greatest gift!"

In a few hours, you will open all of the other gifts we have for you and I know you will love each and every one of them. However, the "greatest gift" is not something that is opened and played with. The "greatest gift" I can give you my child, is to live my own life to honor God. I want to show you that loving God and remaining a faithful follower of Jesus Christ is a wonderful and sometimes painful journey, but ALWAYS worth it!
I want you to see me standing in my love for God when my legs want to crumble beneath me and I feel I can't take anymore. And when times are good , I want to always remind you to WHOM the glory truly belongs. You see, when I was your age, I was in this very room "spying" when I saw a beautiful gold package with a small red bow. That was the Christmas my mother gave me her cross and the "greatest gift" she could ever give me. She asked me to wear the cross everyday to remind her of the gift she was daily giving me.

I can honestly say after receiving many packages through the years, her walk with Christ was the "greatest gift" she ever gave me and I pray that it will be the "greatest gift" you ever receive too! If you would put the necklace on and wear it everyday, it will remind me that each day I live my life following hard after God, I'm giving you the "greatest gift" I could ever give.
Now, tip-toe back off to bed and I'll see you in the morning. Love, Momma
Slowly, the little girl took the necklace out of the box and placed it around her neck. When the sun rose and the family woke up to receive the morning, the little girl came bursting through the door with the gold necklace shining around her neck! As she ran into her mother's arms, she whispered, "Thank you for the "greatest gift" you will ever give me!" The End

I want to be that light for Jesus Christ. Mary in the 1st chapter of Luke says it best when she says, 46)"My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47) And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour." Let's rejoice in our Saviour this Christmas season. Let's remember him in all aspects of our celebrations. And let's strive to give the greatest gift we could ever give someone by glorifying and honoring the precious name of Jesus each and everyday.

Merry Christmas Baby Jesus!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Soup Anyone?

So today BooMama is hosting a Soup-Tacular. What is this, you might ask? Well, it is basically a way for all of us out there to share our special soup recipes (perfect for these cold winter months) with the rest of the blogging world. I decided to participate because there is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup with fresh cornbread on the side when the weather outside is frightful...and the fire is so delightful...and since we've no place to go (sorry, sidetracked)...let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Anyway, the recipe that I am sharing is a minestrone soup recipe. Earlier in the week I shared one as a Works-for-me-Wednesday post. This one that I am sharing today has a few more ingredients, but is still just as easy and d-e-e-e-licious.


1 lb ground beef or turkey (browned)
1 can rotel (for those who are unsure what this is, it is a combo of diced tomatoes and green chilies)
2 cans of ranch style beans
1 can of Campbell's minestrone soup

I combine all the above ingredients in a crock-pot and cook for a couple of hours on low so that the flavors have a chance to combine and make a yummy soup! I serve with sweet cornbread muffins (the sweet really balances out the spicy of the soup). This recipe came from my mother-in-law, RAD, and is one of my husband's favorites.

If you would like more recipes, check out BooMama's site for even more yummy tips!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mom, is there something in my nose?

This past weekend our small, rural Arkansas town held their annual Christmas parade to kick off the holiday season. This was D-Man's first time to experience this event and what made it extra special was the fact that he got to stand between his favorite uncle, J-Man and one of his cousins, Goose-Man.

What more could a boy need? Favorite people on either side, candy being thrown your way and mom taking a bazillion pictures to capture the moment. Priceless....

So, do we think that D-Man has had too much candy or is asking for his sweet mother to dig something out?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Recipe that works for me in a pinch

Today's Works for me Wednesday topic over at Shannon's blog is the "The What-do-I-Fix Edition?" Basically those out there in blogging land are letting us in our their quick-fix, in a pinch, all time favorite recipes.

My in a pinch recipe is a minestrone soup that has 3 ingredients and can be assembled, cooked and on the table in about 20 minutes. The recipe is as follow:

2 cans of ranch style beans (drained and rinsed) or any other bean of your choice

1 pkg of a kilbosa style sausage (I prefer the Healthy Choice Turkey Sausage)

Prepare the soup according to the package directions, adding the beans and the sausage while the soup is cooking. Serve with cornbread (sweet cornbread is a nice flavor to add with it) and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Titles on Tuesday: Special Edition

Today's Titles on Tuesday edition is actually a throw back to all those wonderful Christmas special shows that we all watched as kids. As a kid, my brothers and sisters and I especially loved these shows because we only got 3 channels on our antenna-assisted tv (4 if we were lucky) and so when Christmas rolled around, there were a lot more options for us.

Anyway, a Christmas show that I find very special is the classic A Charlie Brown Christmas. It actually played on a local station on Monday night and I got to see how exciting this show was to D-Man. He made himself a pillow pallet on the floor, got his blankie and camped out for most of the evening as he savored all of Charlie Brown's Christmas spirit.

What Christmas shows do you out there hold near and dear to your heart?

Monday, December 3, 2007

If looks could keep you out of the church directory...

So, my sister, A-Girl, and I were chatting a few mornings ago about her family's recent church directory photo. You know, the ones where every photo in the directory looks the same, the ones where you get a free 8 x 10 and a directory just for playing and the ones that they take those "extra" shots of you and your family in hopes that you can't tear yourself away from their computer screen before you have written a check out of your child's college fund just to have another 42 snapshots of your darling family.

Anyway, A-Girl and her family (J-Man, Goose-Man, & niece, J-Girl) all get dressed and ready for their photo shoot.

Let me preface all of this my telling you that my niece, J-Girl, has just recently started liking me, her FAVORITE aunt, the one who lovingly adores her. Let me reiterate that last statement for you, she is 18 months old and she just recently started liking me (and that is only when her mom or her NaNa aren't around). If one looks at her wrong, she might give the evil eye or burst out in tears. If one picks her up, she might burst out in tears. And, if one takes something away from her that she shouldn't have, she might give the evil eye and burst into tears. Needless to say, this photographer had his work cut out for him.

Now, don't get me wrong, J-Girl is the most adorable little thing you have ever seen. She sports a fashionable wardrobe daily and when she smiles at you, it melts your heart. But, she is a drama queen through and through.

Anyway, back to the photo shoot. They arrive and start to have their pictures taken.
Apparently, the photographer looked (yes, just looked) at J-Girl which sent her into a tearful sulk that was displayed on her face for almost all of the photos. When my sister began looking at the photos, the photographer stumbled over his words asking her first to pick her favorite one (wasn't one), then asking her to pick the best for the directory (wasn't one) and NEVER, I repeat, NEVER does he ask her which photos she wanted to purchase.

And, it wasn't just J-Girl making these photos so photogenic. Oh no, Goose-Man had a look all his own. Let's call it, the I-just-saw-a-big-brown-bear-playing-my-playstation kind of look. You know what I'm talking about. Eyes as big as saucers and about to pop out of the sockets.

So, the photographer finished up the session by asking my sister if she wanted to have the photos touched up a bit (for a cost of $20). My sister replied by saying something to the effect of she really didn't think they could touch up an entire face, the photographer agreed and they left.

A-Girl's husband commented as they left that their family photo could lead to the demise of the ENTIRE church directory.

Photoshop anyone?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Oh wear are my eyebrows?

The Queen B has tagged me with the seven randon things meme. Yes, that means today you are going to learn 7 things about me that I'm sure most of you don't know (and probably really don't want to know). So, hang on and enjoy the ride.

1. After a "near death" plucking incident in high school where one eyebrow (I'm not telling which one because those who know me and see me often will be staring at my eyebrow instead of my whole face next time you see me) was almost completely lost, I nnow have to fill-in (I mean major fill in) my eyebrows. Nice, huh?

2. My OCD plays into this one a little too much. Ok, so I need to have all my light/ceiling fan switches going the same direction. So, if for instance you go into a room and flip on the light from one end, I really need you to go back to that end and flip the switch off instead of using another switch. Can we say, therapy?????

3. I'm not really a collector of anything except the mail we receive that needs to be shredded. Instead of shredding anything I don't want (that contains our mailing information) as soon as I receive it, I put it in the special "shred" drawer until that sweet, little drawer gets so full to the brim that it is screaming for me not to open it again. It could have been so full today (because it hasn't been emptied since we moved into our house at the end of June this year) that it actually screeched when I opened it.

4. Husband had to help me with this one. He reminded me that most people DO NOT pluck their eyebrows in the car, but apparently I do. This could have led to the demise of my eyebrows from #1.

5. Husband also pointed out to me that not many people clean their cars with their swiffers while stopped at a stoplight. A clean car is a happy car, right?

6. Ok, this could be my OCD kicking in again. I don't like rattles/noises in the car. If a cup is in a cup holder and not situated properly and it makes a noise, it drives me crazy. I need to get to the bottom of all noises/rattles IMMEDIATELY and take care of them. Are you seeing any OCD tendencies????

If you have a weak stomach, I would stop now.

I warned you...weak stomachs, DO NOT read #7.

Last Chance...

Ok, here goes...

7. If you have made it this far in my list of random facts about myself, let me assure you that I have saved the best for last. Growing up, I lived on a farm. A farm that raised horses, cows, pigs and an occassional batch of chickens. We also had various other animals from dogs to cats to goats to lambs. You name it, we probably housed it in some form or fashion on our farm. Well, on a farm, when you have male cows, sometimes they have to be "cut." The result of this cut is something called a mountain oyster. These "oysters" are actually eaten and I will admit that I have consumed them. NOW LET ME JUST SAY THAT I DID NOT ENJOY IT AND I HAVE NOT EATEN ONE SINCE I WAS VERY YOUNG! Trust me, when they say it tastes just like chicken, sometimes they lie.

Well, that's about all the time we have for today. And let me leave Mandy, Ree & Big Mama with a "tag" you are it. There is no pressure for each of you three lovely ladies to let us get a bit more insight on each of you. Nor am I pressuring you with the fact that 1000's will be waiting on pins and needles to read your list of things (ok, maybe not 1000's, but it sure made it sound better).

Happy posting!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Mom, look what I've got for you

So D-Man was waking up from his nap today and called me in to get him out of his bed (yes, he's 28 months and still sleeps in a crib because this mom can't handle having her baby sleep in a big boy bed yet. Yes, the big boy bed is in our garage, the bedding has arrived, the bedrails are in hand due to a frantic call I made to The Queen B when D-Man went through a 3 day, I'm-going-to-climb-out-of-my-bed stage, but I still can't bring myself to make the change).

He may be in the crib until...I know, I need therapy. It's that whole "he's not going to be a baby forever" syndrome.

Anyway, back to the nap story. I went in to get D-Man out of his bed and he said, "Here's a booger, mommy!" Yes, you read correctly, D-Man had been picking his nose, but instead of finding an alternate way of getting rid of the "prizes" he found, he kept them for me. His Mommy. The one who birthed him. The one who nursed him. And the one that he so sweetly gives his boogers to.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Fall of the Yeast

Ok, so I decided while at the grocery store last week that I really needed to try my head at making some type of bread that involved having to use yeast.

No, I hadn't lost my mind, I was just merely thinking of my family.

I settled on this...

Notice the fact that it is a wheat pizza crust (very healthy, don't you think) and that it is HIGH in fiber (always good for all that comes out in the end, you know!)

Anyway, as D-Man slept this afternoon, I read the directions on the box and determined that I would need to start the dough making process about 4 pm in order to have the dough ready to bake by 6 pm. I did my afternoon chores and at 4 pm, I began the yeast activation process.

Now for those of you who have never made bread before that involves yeast (YES, let me say again that I have never done this process) you must activate the yeast using hot water (around 110 degrees). Well, this trusty baker didn't have a thermometer to measure the temperature (until later when I remembered that I had a meat thermometer that would have worked), so I first used 1 cup of hot tap water to activate the yeast from one of the packets. This didn't work, so I heated the water first in the microwave and then dissolved the 2nd yeast packet in it.

I seriously think they include 2 yeast packets for bakers like my self.

So,the yeast dissolved (or appeared to) and I followed the rest of the directions on the box ending with putting the ball of dough into a bowl that had been greased . The bowl was then covered with plastic wrap and a towel and set in a warm room so that it would have time to rise.

Well, you might ask, how was the pizza that night? Well, it ended with this...

Yes, that's right, a store bought pizza crust. Apparently I had killed the yeast with the hot water from the microwave and so the dough became a big ball of blah that was as hard as a rock and was the same size as when I originally added it to the bowl.

Moral of the story...always have a back-up plan when your yeast goes astray or kills over.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Food for Thought...About Santa

So, my sister, A-Girl, has posed an interesting question that I thought I would share with all of you (in hopes that you can give her some kind of answer that would help her out).

Her son, Goose-Man, asked a very riveting question the other day that caught A-Girl off guard. "Mom, what happens when Santa dies, do the parents just take over?" Hmmmmmmmm.....

A-Girl really didn't think about it at the time and just gave the old, "I don't know, Goose-Man" answer. But, later really pondered it and wants to broach the subject with him again with a more intellectual answer.

On one hand, she pointed out to me, if you say that Santa never dies then you are putting him up there on a pedestal with Jesus and that is in NO WAY what one needs to do. On the other, if you say, yes, the parents take over, will the magic of being a kid and having a mysterious man with a snow white beard dressed in a red suit leave all those things you've been wanting really be there anymore?

I don't for thought. What do you all think out there! Weigh in so that we can help A-Girl give that A-plus parent answer!

Titles on Tuesday with a Twist

Today's Title on Tuesday entry is acutally a music CD title. It is the new Christmas CD by Michael W. Smith called It's A Wonderful Christmas.

I received this CD to review as I prepared for the Christmas holidays.

This is one that is very appropriate to add to your Christmas collection. My favorite on the CD was song #1 called "Christmas Angels." There are many other original songs as well as a familiar favorite, "What Child Is This."

Visit the website and check it out for yourself!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Is there sap in that thing?


Well, the buzz of the Christmas holiday has begun and I am so giddy and so happy I can't hardly stand it! This is my absolute FAVORITE time of the year! Even more so now that I have a child of my own to experience the magic that Christmas brings. To me Christmas is about tradition and family and most importantly about the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ (more to come about this ultimate gift in later posts).

So, I decided that this year I wanted to start some new traditions. We have already trimmed the inside trees (we have to have artificial ones because I love to have them up for too long for the life of a real tree to withstand) and the outside has been decorated. Well, you might ask, what more is there to do? And the answer is, decorate the deck with a real-go-to-the-woods-and-cut-it-down cedar tree. Yes, that's right. No tree farms for us; we have to have the rocks, hills and muddy slop that comes with trekking through the woods for the perfect D-Wold (like Griswold) family Christmas tree.

We set out to find that "perfect" tree roaming the pastures of Husband's parents farm. We drove from corner to corner hoping that we wouldn't have to get out (since it was raining and the temperature was very-near freezing...OK maybe only around 40 degrees, but it felt freezing to me).
Here is Husband and D-Man scoping out our options from the driver's seat (yes, D-Man is not in his car seat because we are driving in the middle of the pasture and Husband wanted him to get all he could out of the experience).

No options were to be found from the inside of the heat-blowing-on-high cab, so into the woods we went.

D-Man wasn't always happy to be trekking through the rainy, wet woods, but he persevered.

And we walked and walked and walked until I thought I could walk no more (well, not really, I just thought it made for a more exciting story). We actually walked just a few hundred feet and then we came upon this (imagine that song from Christmas Vacation is playing and a bright spotlight is shining upon it)...
This tree is what we believed was the "perfect" tree for our deck. Yes, the top is not able to be viewed because it was quite possibly a little taller than we expected.

So, Husband and D-Man set out sawing the tree down.

And they hauled it over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house...oh sorry, I mean they hauled it through the woods and to the truck. D-Man liked the look of Husband dragging the tree and so he walked from behind.

And we (I like to feel I had a hand in things since I was the "official" photographer) took it to the truck only to learn that it might be a little bigger than anticipated (imagine the Griswolds cutting the rope that was holding their tree closed only to find that it completely filled their ENTIRE living room--we had this same feeling).

Now the Queen Mother commented on an earlier post that this might be the ugliest tree she has ever seen (and I admit, looks can be deceiving). But let me assure you that to us it became the prettiest real tree we have ever had (wait, this was the first real tree we have ever had, so I guess we really have nothing to compare it to). Anyway, we brought it home and Husband cut about 3 feet off of it. We put it in the tree stand, brought it onto the deck, decorated it with colored lights and ta-da, we have...

Our D-Wold Family Christmas Tree! OK, so I admit that it isn't the fullest, perfectly round tree that you find at the tree farms or in the tree lots, but it is more about the memories that we made and the fun we had and the experience we shared, don't you think?

***Update-The tree know stands, I mean lays, in a heap on the deck because a big wind blew it over last night. All I wanted was a new tradition of getting a tree ourselves in the woods. Is that too much to ask?????***

Sunday, November 25, 2007

What, we have a Christmas tree in the back of the truck

This is a taste of a journey I will tell you about later in the week. Let's just say that this photo might give you some hint of what could turn into the Griswold's family Christmas. Do you think it was supposed to be this long?

Friday, November 23, 2007

We did, we did it, we did it, YEAH!

Like The Queen B and Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer I am on cloud 9 after the Razorbacks win over NUMBER 1 ranked LSU. Yes, LSU was (let me repeat, was) ranked NUMBER 1 and the Razorbacks, complete with the Wild Hog Formation, Peyton Hillis and the D-Mac/Felix Jones duo (as well as many other talented folks) brought it to LSU and gave the national television audience a game to watch! Go Hogs! D-Mac for Heisman!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

To be truly thankful

This year as Thanksgiving rolls around, I must reflect on those serious (and not so serious) things that I am thankful for.

I am thankful for my family, Husband and D-Man are my world and without them I would have no reason to be me.

I am thankful for my immediate and extended family and family-in-law. How blessed I am to be graced with their wonderfulness each year.

I am thankful that there aren't 10 more pounds this year on my hips. Maybe my New Years resolutions from last year really worked (or did I just buy bigger pants?????)

I am thankful for the friends that I have. The ones who have stuck by me through the prosperity and the adversity and haven't stopped being great!

I am thankful that D-Man, Husband and I aren't packing the car this year to head out on our Thanksgiving Holiday whirlwind adventure because this year we live in that adventuresome little place all ready.

I am thankful for Husband's great job that allows me to stay at home and be with D-Man (temper tantrums, dirty diapers and all).

I am thankful for my health and the health of those who are most near and dear to me.

I am thankful that once again I don't have to figure out how to cook a Thanksgiving dinner all by myself (thanks be to Mom and RADMom for that!)

I am thankful that all of you out there have given me a chance to explore my creative side by hosting this blog. Keep reading and I'll be even more thankful! :)

Most of all, I'm thankful to be a Christian and to have a Father who calls me His own.

Be Thankful, Be Bountiful and be Full this Thanksgiving Holiday! I'm taking a break to be with family and friends and I'll be back on Monday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Unwritten Underwear Rule

Ok, so Husband is in a profession where he emplors lots of medical knowledege. I've been having a slight cough for the past couple of days that was getting progessively more painful. So last night, Husband (and D-Man) pull out their stethoscopes (yes, D-Man has his very own) and proceed to listen to my lungs. Husband decides that after D-Man goes to bed that he wants me to go to the hospital (about 30 seconds away from our house) and have a chest x-ray done.

So, D-Man goes to bed and I head out the door with my x-ray orders in hand.

I arrive at the hospital and am greeted in admissions by a lady who is fighting, I mean fiddling with the printer. She tells me to have a seat and she'll be right with me. As she is finishing up her wrestling (or wras-lin with the "a" sounding as in the word grass) with printer she says something to me about someday she really should print the paperwork before the patient is admitted like she is supposed to. Little does she know that I am one of the wives of those "persons with lots of medical knowledge" who asks for those papers to be printed prior to the patient's admission and when she realizes this is ready to scarf those words back down, crawl under her desk and dig a hole (or at least her look told me this).

Anyway, I get the necessary paperwork completed and am waiting for the x-ray tech to call me back.

She calls me back and on the way to the room asks the most bizarre question I had heard in a long time, "Amy, do you have a bra on?" To which I quickly reply, "Yes." She then asks me to remove it so that the x-ray will not be hindered.

So there we are (the "girls" and I that is) standing there waiting for the x-ray to begin. All the while, my brain is still trying to wrap itself around the question I had just been asked, "Amy, do you have a bra on?"

"A bra on?" Who doesn't have a bra on? Now I must admit that I have been very blessed with an ample amount of padding in the top half of my body and know that I CANNOT and for that matter WILL NOT let the girls go out by themselves! But, even if I wasn't so blessed, the girls would still need some protection in this rough old world and would always have their bra right by their side. So, you see my quandry....

I continue replaying the question over and over in my head as she takes the first x-ray. As she is positioning me for the second x-ray, my mind overtakes my mouth and I blurt out, "Do people really come in here without a bra on?" She smiles at me and says, "You would be surprised what people come in here without. When they come to the hospital and they are sick, they sometimes forget their bra." Whoa!!! Newsflash!!!! People really do walk around on the streets letting their "girls" hang-out in the crowd.

Nevertheless, the x-ray looked fine, Husband has me on a high powered antibiotic to knock out whatever I have and it looks like all will be better come Turkey Day!

Note to self...Always keep the "girls" close to my heart (with a bra!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Titles on Tuesday

Today's title is one that I have just read for a book club I am keeping up with. This book club is hosted by my best friend B and I was fortunate enough to get to meet with them last month. During last month's meeting, B introduced us to our newest book called Be Sweet by Diann Nutt. It is a wonderful book about 2 sisters who were raised by the same parents but lead completey different lives as adults. They come together and learn the true meaning of sisterhood back in the place they once called home as children.

A great, easy read that will warm your heart! I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Bird's Nest

Well, I'm kind-of in a funk today. I suffered a husband-had-to-bring-me-home-from-church-early migraine yesterday and my hair looks like this.

Yes, that is my very own birds nest. On top of my head. For all the world to see.

Here's another view.

Quite lovely, don't you think. If anyone needs my styling tips, please, please, please don't hesitate to ask (or run the other direction!) If my stylist could only see me now...she would be so proud!

Anyway, I'm not really in a blogging mood today seeing as I feel like I've been run over my a mack truck and the only thing I've had to eat in the last 36 hours is a PB & J, some Doritos (because I rationalized that the fat in the chips might actually make my head feel better) and a couple of Triscuits (or hay as Husband calls them). So, join me back here tomorrow for another addition of Titles on Tuesday.

Happy Hair Styling (and one more picture of my hair to keep you laughing throughout the day!) And yes, I took these pictures myself as Husband stared at me strangely.

Friday, November 16, 2007

How sweet it is

After dinner this evening, Husband, D-Man and I went to visit my parents. My brother, Gator, and his 3 boys were also visiting. Well, let me rephrase that, Gator was hunting for hickory wood with my Dad and my Mom was watching all 3 boys plus my little bro. Yes, Mom could be categorized as a our angel and I'll blog about her awesomeness some other time.

Anyway, while we were there, the boys broke out the karaoke machine. Yes, this is the one that my brother, J-Man, got a few years ago at Christmas and the one that my sis, A-Girl, and myself karoked to all Christmas morning. What did we sing, you might ask? Well, that great "Love Shack" Christmas ballad that everyone sings, right??? Sidetracked, sorry....

The boys decided they would all have their turn in the spotlight. The younger ones of the bunch didn't quite no how to "use" the microphone and spent the majority of the time licking it or coughing on it. Can I, can I, can I be next in line to sing into the coughed on/licked on microphone???

The "normal" karaoke songs (if you are 2 & 4, that is) were sung tonight. There was "The B-I-B-L-E" sung by D-Man & "Simple Man" sung by Ran-Man (who says he is going to be a rock star when he grows up). At this rate, they will both be rock stars when they are in their 60's, don't you think?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

And then there were 5

A few posts ago, I spoke of having a little brother 19 years younger than I. He is the youngest of our clan of 5 (3 girls and 2 boys) and is the only one still left living at home with our parents. He is in the 5th grade, plays every sport (that the parents will let him play at this age) and is the coolest Uncle J on the planet. In my eyes, though, he is so much more.

Let me set the stage for you. I am 18 and a big, bad senior (well, not really that big or that bad) in the final semester of my high school days. I was playing basketball, I had a boyfriend and I was headed off to "The University" in the fall. My life felt complete, well-rounded and as full as I really thought it needed to be. Then, the bomb went off.

I had returned home on Valentine's evening from a basketball game (nothing says love and romance like the sweat and smelly shoes of basketball players). Anyway, this is when mom & dad decided to deliver the news of, "Guess what kids, we are going to have a baby!" And these thoughts ran through my head: Oh my goodness, my friends are going to know what my parents have been doing! Our life feels so complete, how can anything or anyone make it any better? This, God would teach me a few months later.

I went off to begin my freshman year of college as my mom began her 3rd trimester. I was beginning a new chapter in my life and back home my parents were about to embark on a new chapter themselves. There I was staying up late to study (well, maybe to just watch tv and eat) and my parents were back home waiting for a new arrival. I got the call, yes the "I've gone into labor call" about midnight in early October and J-Man (or Uncle J as I'll refer to him also) came into the world late the next morning. By the time I got to see him, he was several hours old and from the first time I laid eyes on him, I felt truly blessed. Blessed to be his big sister, blessed to watch him grow and prosper and blessed that I might have a chance to be a shining example in his life. WOW! I grew up together with my other 3 siblings and didn't really take-in what it was like through their eyes. Then, God blessed me with J-Man and there he let me see each stage of life through his eyes, the eyes of an innocent child.

J-Man is now 11 and still a shining light in our lives. I feel now more than ever the responsiblity I have of being a good example for him. J-Man is not only my little brother, he is also the Uncle to my little D-Man (and to 5 others-4 nephews and 1 niece). To them, Uncle J walks on water, he hung the moon and he loves them so much.

One day I hope to be able to tell J-Man what an impact he made on my life. Someday when we are older and more wiser I hope to sit down with him, tell him about how life was before him and them impress on him that life got so much better after he came along. I love you J-Man!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

New Wednesday Tip

Today's Works-for-me Wednesday tip is a simple punch recipe that will dazzle your guests (but not frazzle your hair!) Simply take a can of pineapple juice and a 2 liter of a clear carbonated beverage (Sprite or Ginger Ale work great) and chill them. Mix the above two together in a punch bowl or pretty crystal pitcher and add your favorite flavor of Sherbert.
Mix it all together and serve. This is a sweet treat your guests are sure to come back to for more.

Be sure and check out all the other great tips at Shannon's site!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Titles on Tuesday

Today's title is called Daily Wisdom for Mothers: A 365-Day Devotional by Michelle Medlock Adams. It features short, biblical devotions that are written by a mom. These devotionals are often humorous and provide a sense of comfort and empathy for all of us moms out there. The devotionals are divided into themes (worry, discipline, etc). It provides much encouragement and helps you be the best mom that you can.