Turkey Times Two

Tomorrow is our second Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I have a full plate of kitchen duties ahead:
  • Make gluten free brownies and pumpkin bread. (I made this pumpkin bread last week and it was a big hit. So moist and delicious -- every gluten free dieter must try it!)
  • Bake gluten free bread for a stuffing casserole.
  • Put together a new recipe for candied sweet potatoes to pop in the oven tomorrow before we leave.

And in between all this tackle some laundry, play with a toddler and possibly shower. Enjoy your weekend and I'll post photos of our weekend Monday.


Check Your Local Listings!

I remember when I was a child my dad would get out his stash of Orville Redenbacher popcorn, warm up the kettle's oil and get ready to pop a batch of fresh popcorn -- never that microwave stuff, trust me, there is a difference! My mom would get out the reused yellow butter tubs and my brothers and I would pop-a-squat in front of our family room's TV and watch numerous Christmas specials like The Grinch, Rudolph and The Peanuts Gang. How many of you cried when Frosty melted away? I know I was traumatized for days!

I have carried this tradition on to my family, but I admit using microwave popcorn this time around. Come on, it's just easier! And what an inexpensive way to celebrate the holiday season and make lasting memories. Here are some of ours already:

For more inexpensive ideas on how we make our Christmas season fun CLICK HERE!

Wordless Wednesday: What Am I Thinking?

Stephanie and I at our recent bloggers tea party.


Poker Alice

After reading my last couple posts, I completely forgot to mention how much fun we had with Steve's family Thanksgiving Day. (We will celebrate Thanksgiving again with my side of the family this Saturday.)

Every holiday with my in-laws requires a game or two of some type of casino card game -- like Texas Hold'em or regular poker. Here's a glimpse of one in action. It's as if we are speaking a different language! See if you can follow......


2 + 2 + 6 = 10

In between catching up on House and Heroes there is one show that I love to watch: Jon & Kate Plus 8

Does anyone else love this family as much as I do? (And if we had eight children, Steve and I would bicker a whole lot too.) If they can get through a day, then so can I!


A Cup of Tea

Saturday morning was too much fun! Sheryl @ Peanut Butter & Jelly Boats was in town for Thanksgiving and Steph decided to hold a surprise blogging friends baby shower for her. After having 3 boys Sheryl is due with her first girl in April. YAY! Girl time mixed with yummy breakfast eats is nice, but better than that, witnessing Sheryl being drenched in love. It felt great! Here is the line up and make sure to visit each blog to read more about our time together:

(Top pic is of Steph and Sheryl. The bottom is of Happi and I -- we've been friends since high school.)


Busy As an Elf

Signing off until the stockings are hung, our Nativity is set and the pine needles are vacuumed. Plus, I felt adventurous and conquered some Day-After-Thanksgiving sales. YIPPEE!!

UPDATE: We are set for the holidays! Photo to come....


Wordless Wednesday: I Give Thanks

Today I am thankful for my family. Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and be grateful for all of your blessings!


Oprah, You Let Us Down!

At this very moment I am chatting with my gal pal about Oprah's "Favorite Things" special. Bottom line: we need to refocus, people!

Are things nice to have? Sure. I enjoy having my DVR and HD TV. The internet is a wonderful tool as well as an iPod. But these are temporal. You can't die and take them with you. To witness an audience going all gangbusters over so much stuff was almost sickening. Haven't we said over and over again that Christmas isn't about things, but rejoicing about Jesus being born and being with families? What message are we sending out here? I guess we are getting off to a rough start this holiday season, huh?

What did you think? Sound off!

Oh, and I almost forgot, today I am thankful that I can choose life over stuff and I hope my boys are getting that message too.


Tooth #4

Matt's other front tooth was hanging down and it started interfering with apple biting and waffle chomping. Friday night he requested Mommy Dentist to pull it. It was loose enough, so I felt comfortable.

Today I am thankful for Matt's bravery. (Mark's is a different story.)


MOPS @ 9am

Today I am thankful for my community of believers that surround me and keep me on target. You know who you are. Thank you!


He Was Born In A Small Town

Most of you have listened to John Cougar's song "Small Town", right? Well, that describes Steve's childhood neighborhood to a T. There isn't a 10 minute drive to Target or ample choices of where to eat out -- like Chilis or even a McDonalds. Steve and I were married a year when the town got a Burger King (attached to a gas station) and a few years later they were blessed with Subway.

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are coming soon. Traffic will get frustrating where we live. Shops are crowded. Parking lots become a boxing ring as individuals fight for that premium parking spot. It's enough to drive any person crazy and I realize this time is getting closer and closer. Ugh. I am already trying to remind myself to put on the character of Christ, but it gets difficult.

Thanksgiving Day we spend our time in Steve's hometown with his family and relatives. I absorb the quiet drive out there in the middle of corn fields and farms. I appreciate the courtesy most drivers give at a 4-way stop. For me it's a time to rest before our holiday schedule makes our whole family tired.

Today I am thankful for small towns (especially Steve's) and the simplicity they bring. I look forward to next Thursday. What are your plans?


Wordless Wednesday: Sunday Morning Breakfast

Today I am thankful for gluten free blueberry pancakes and the joy it brings my boys before heading to church.


Parents' Party @ 8pm

I have said over and over again that my boys' early bedtime saves this mommy's sanity and I know my marriage benefits from it as well. In our home that time is 8 o'clock, which leaves a few hours to watch TV/movie, make a late night DQ run (shhh, don't tell our boys) or read some magazines while Steve is engrossed with "American Chopper". Peace and quiet -- a really good thing!

Today I am thankful for my boys' bedtime......and the humor they put into it!


Make a Loop & Pull

Yes, Matt conquered tying his own shoes this weekend. Gee wiz, our family is full of firsts lately! He was dead set on getting these new Sketchers shoes like his daddy, but our one request was if you want them you must tie them yourself.

Today I am thankful for Matt's willingness to learn new things.


We Have Lift Off

Mark said, "Pee pee," while running around naked after his bath last night. I asked him to go to the potty and he grabbed the toddler seat, put it on the toilet and sat. This coming from the boy who hasn't desired to go on the commode at all.

We heard the wonderful sounds of urine hitting the toilet water. YEAH! Praises rang throughout our home.

Today I am thankful that soon we will be diaper free and Mark isn't petrified of the john anymore.

UPDATE: Ditto for Saturday night. Twice in fact!


Smarty Pants

Parent-teacher conferences were Thursday. No surprises really, except we found out Matt tested above average in reading and was placed in an accelerated reading group. My heart swelled with pride and I am sure his teacher caught me holding back a gleeming grin. This sure made my day!

Today I am thankful that my son absorbs education like a sponge and I pray Mark follows in his big brother's footsteps.


Days of Thanks

One thing I have come to appreciate about blogging is when I am having a bad day I can look up a time when I posted about a previous life battle and know that God worked everything out. In the midst of any rotten situation it is hard to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there....eventually you find it.

Thanksgiving is approaching. It is a time to be, you guessed it, thankful. From now until Thanksgiving Day, I promise to post something that I am grateful for -- little or big. And during a future trial I will look upon these days of thanks as a promise that our "God is good and His mercies endure forever."

As I type Steve is at a PTO meeting and will be home long after the boys are in bed. In fact there are many nights Steve works late and I am left home holding up the fort and sometimes dealing with not so happy children. However, I am thankful that Steve has a stable job. It allows me to have a choice to stay home and raise our kids without worrying about monthly expenses. This truly is a blessing.


Wordless Wednesday: Cyclops


Absent Minded Morning

When I asked Matt what he wanted to drink with his breakfast, he replies, "Orange juice." I pour him a glass of milk. "Mom, what are you doing?" I don't know.

I headed downstairs to grab a bag of chips for Matt's lunch, then stood in front of the basement's pantry wondering why I was there in the first place.

Then I approach the refrigerator. Open it. I gaze at the unorganized Rubbermaid containers scattered everywhere. Then realize I needed a coffee filter and I wasn't going to find it there.

If this describes today's morning I fear the afternoon.......


Family Weekend

My Aunt Rani and Uncle Bob from KC were in town. Matt and Mark played with their cousins and Uncle Jeff was Mr. Cool with the kids as usual.

Sunday Steve and I had a night out with his co-workers at this place along with yummy eats -- that's if you're a seafood lover like me. Now Steve wants a turkey fryer and I found out I can't aim at anything!

I will get to my blogroll sometime today, but I can't make any promises since this house lacked attention all weekend. And speaking of blogrolls, our pastor is dipping his feet into the Cyberspace river now. Check it out!


"William Tell" Mom


A New Day

In the past few days many things proved to be true:

  • You can't plan everything accordingly.

  • Worrying can really make you sick.

  • My parents are the best ever.

  • Sleep is healing.

I never mentioned that last week on Friday night Matt came down with the horrible stomach flu. To me that is the worst sickness ever. It spreads and breeds and is so messy to clean up when it happens in a child's bed. Days passed and I thought all of us were in the clear.

Steve was out of town at a school saftey workshop and on his way back Tuesday that dreaded virus hit him. He was able to hold off until he walked in the door. Then Mark complained about his tummy that afternoon. He never threw up, but I was changing lots of diapers if you catch my drift.

So while everyone was dropping like flies in my home, I started to worry about myself. I had to bake brownies for Matt's class party. I was the room mother for Wednesday. Matt was so excited to have him mommy in class and I feared I wouldn't be there. And since my parents' nieghborhood lacks small children, they usually come over Halloween day for a meal and help pass out candy. I had all these plans and my tummy was sick with anxiety that all wasn't going to work out.

I was up all night before Halloween worrying about Steve. Worrying about Mark. Worrying that I could possibly be knocked down sick. Mark slept all night and Steve was fine. I was in knots for no reason! I think I slept a couple hours and woke up with a headache.

My parents arrived so I could leave for Matt's party. That was medicine for my soul. I helped with costumes, organized games and passed out gluten free frosted brownies which the class all agreed were the "best brownies ever." That compliment totally made my day. I needed that! And Matt was prouder than ever to introduce me as his mom.

I arrived back home and in a couple hours it was trick or treating time. Since a few people in this home weren't ready for my menu of meatloaf and tator tot casserole, everyone made their own sandwich. While Steve relaxed with my parents handing out candy, I took the boys out and Mark caught on quickly. You don't have to train a child to take candy, right? After walking around our main street I met up with some neighborhood friends and Matt was off with his buddies while I took Mark home. This mommy was ready to crash herself!

In a nutshell: Matt came back home, the boys took their baths, went to bed at their usual time of 8pm and Steve and I did the same. This morning I feel refreshed and normal again. Mark is eating French toast and I had my morning coffee. It's a new day and all is well again. Throughout this ordeal God reminded me:

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

By the way Matt was Anakin Skywalker with the wise counsel of Yoda on the side.