Monday, November 30, 2009

Photocards Giveaway!

Thanks to Christi, I found another give away. (This morning I won a humidifier thanks to links she sent me.) Check out the give away here!

Thanksgiving, chapter 1

It was a wonderful five day weekend filled with more events than you can imagine. Since this week will be relatively dull in comparison, I'll just take my time re-telling the events of the holiday.

Wednesday we drove to Waco and spent the day doing a lot of nothing. We enjoyed the fact that we could rest and not be stuck with a to do list. About 3:30 we realized that while we usually spend the day baking so we'll be ready for the big feast, we had done nothing but snack on the cheese ball and sit around talking. I take that back - I ate a LOT of ham. It was yummy and the stupidly put the tray right in front of me. I nibbled while we talked and laughed and next thing we knew, all the ham was gone. (Sorry you didn't get much Dad! Should have come home sooner!)

Around 3:30 we started to bake the cornbread for the dressing, but didn't feel terribly motivated. So we went back to talking. We might have played a game or two. Because of our laid-back attitudes we were up until 1:30 or 2:00 working on pies and bread dough and other assorted and assundry delicious things. We were tired, but we loved it.

When we finally went to bed D.J. and I crashed. Hard. I can't remember the last time I slept that hard on a pull out sofa. Sadly, it was not to last. At 5:30 in the morning I woke up with a raging bladder infection. I haven't had one since I was four, so I had no clue what was going on for several hours. I just knew how much I hurt. At 8:00, we busted out the iPhone and did some research. We decided it was either a bladder infection, I had an STD, or I'd stuck the bar of soap too far up my Whoops-a-Daisy! (Yes, really. Those are the three most common answers found on Google when you ask why it hurts when you pee.) We quickly ruled out the last two options and decided that I needed anti-biotics fast. I haven't been sick since moving to Forney, so I called the clinic I went to when I lived in Waco. Amazingly, the doctor on call was my old doctor who knew me VERY well. He called in an anti-biotic and something to help with the pain. It turned out that this "pain pill" was formerly used as an industrial dye. Somewhere along the line, some genius decided to ingest the stuff and discovered that it made his bladder stop the painful spasms associated with infection. It also turns your pee the color of a neon sign. Over the course of the next few days, every single member of the family joined me in the bathroom to see the amazing, glowing pee! It was truly delightful. The fact that I was taking an industrial dye proved to be the source of quite a few jokes and interesting conversations. Who decided that it was a good idea to swallow bread mold? Or to cook the white thing a chicken poops out? Or to drink the stuff that shoots out of a cow? Seriously?
I'll end chapter one here. To sum up, no sleep. Lots of talking and laughing. One round of industrial dye. I love family time!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm sorry...

I just got off the phone with my mom and it seems I've gotten my dates mixed up. The Black Friday shopping really began the year that my brother eloped and spent his first Thanksgiving away from home. My grandfather was weeks away from passing away and we were all a little strained. That means that my mother, in her insanity, let a 15 year old dictate the family traditions. Don't do it people! Your family will never be the same again!

Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines!

In my family, Thanksgiving hasn't been a one day holiday in more years than anyone can remember. Over the past decade or so, our holiday has transformed into a 4 or 5 day marathon event! My parents are on their way even now to pick up my grandmother from Austin. My sister is taking off work early tomorrow to partake in the festivities. We're leaving at the crack of dawn to head to Waco so we don't miss a second. Oh Thanksgiving, how I've missed thee!

Wednesday is filled with pre-baking. Cornbread for the stuffing. Pies for the dessert. Boiled eggs for various snacking and recipe needs. Mashed potatoes for bread and potato pancakes. You know the drill...

Thursday is, of course, the big sha-bang. Dad puts the turkey in the oven around 3am while he's on his way to bed. (What a trooper dad is!) The rest of the day is filled with smells and sounds that make the heart soar with joy and happiness. We set up two tables in the living room and dining room, spread all of our tablecloths and finest china across them, and sit down to a bountiful harvest! While we sit, groaning, with our pants unbuttoned someone always pulls out a game. With the tryptophan flowing through our blood, we get goofy fast. It's such a delight. Somewhere in the madness we spread out the sales ads. They cover every flat surface we can find as we sort and plan and plot.

Friday is our newest tradition. We shop. We save. We seek out deals that make the head spin. We're not the freaks in the stores at 3am but we do shop nice and early to get the early bird deals. We started it the year my grandmother died and mom was at a loss about what to do. In her grief, she allowed me to call a few shots. (Don't ever let an 17 year old make decisions. It could change your family forever!) We were at Target at 6am that year. Then we saw the line that wound around the building, across the parking lot, and all the way to the highway. We've never done that again but we still shop each year and love the time together as we elbow our way through crowds. (Last year, Michael's opened on Thanksgiving at 9. We went for the Cricut fonts. At one point I was literally crawling on the floor, laying between some poor woman's ankles, and I grabbed the fonts that fell on my head. Yes, we're crazy. And I can't wait to do it again!)

Saturday we put up the tree. And the Santas. And the reindeer. And the Nativity scenes. Oh, how we decorate. We sing Christmas carols and laugh and giggle and remember Christmas' past. We eat Thanksgiving left overs and re-live the merriment of it all.

By Sunday, we're exhausted and ready for a vacation to recover from the events of the Thanksgiving break. It's wonderful! We love it! It is, by far, our favorite holiday.

So today I am going to clean. And pack. And gather all the dishes we need for the feast and carefully wrap them in newspaper. I need a nap, but I'm way too excited about what's to come.
Ladies and gentlemen - start your engines! And let the merriment begin! Turkey anyone?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Fun stories

My sister is currently living with my parents and their 75 lb beast of a dog. (I love that dog!) Last night as they prepared for assorted and assundry family members to descend on their house for a gluttonous feast commonly known as Thanksgiving, they had quite the little adventure. I literally laughed until there were tears in my eyes when mom and Megan first told me about it. I could never hope to tell the story as well as Megan does, so you'll have to surf on over to her blog to read all about it.
(Look Brandi! Another successful link - and all thanks to you!)
Happy Thanksgiving! Yeah for turkey!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Bug's Life

NOTE: I know this is my second blog of the day. Some stories are just so funny, you've got to share them right away!

Today, I have become the family exterminator. I hate bugs and am terrified of going near them, but today I have killed a record number of them. But before I can share that story, you need a bit of background information. So let's go back to my childhood... Come with me, will you?
My mom has always said that fire ants will come from 5 counties away just to take a little nibble on my ankle. I've decided that there are several reasons for this.

1. When I was born, my parent's couldn't afford to pay the entire hospital bill so the doctor invoked the dreaded "Fire Ant Clause". This clause makes your sweet newborn simply irresistible to fire ants.
2. When I was a baby, my parents prayed that my family would love me - especially my aunt. God just got the aunts/ants mixed up.
3. My dad has always said I'm the sweetest thing this side of the Mississippi.
4. I am a blond. (This is no secret.) I am therefore oblivious to my surroundings 99.9% of the time.
5. I am always barefoot. I have been since about the age of 3. Seriously - I hate shoes and am always barefoot. Always. (Well, unless I'm about to walk out the door.)

Thus, when I was little I often got covered in fire ant bites. While my friend standing next to me would get one or two bites, I would walk away with hundreds. Seriously. Hundreds. Sometimes I sat in the ant bed. (Thanks mom! That was a great game you decided we should play!) Sometimes I ran through them. Sometimes I stood in them for a few minutes before I realized what was going on. I can remember no fewer than three times (in the same summer) when I couldn't wear a shoe because my foot was so swollen from the bites!

Now that you understand my history with fire ants, you can begin to understand my situation today.
I had just gotten dressed and was on my way out the door to Curve's. I was letting the dogs out one last time and stood on the patio in an attempt to stay dry and still make sure they did their business. Suddenly, I felt a stinging and crawling sensation on my ankles. I looked down to realize the patio was COVERED in ants and one shoe was already solid black from the ant colony! I screamed and kicked my shoes off right away. In an attempt to get them off my ankles, I managed to rip both socks on the pavement. I pulled them off, tossed them in the trash can, and attempted to rake the ants off of my tender skin. There are several things about fire ants you should know. First, they are covered with tiny little hairs that hold oxygen. Therefore, they rarely drown. This is why the rain didn't help me in my ant-ridding quest. It just got me wet. Second, they make super glue from the stuff on the bottom of an ant's feet. They will not let go. Never. You can't beat them off your shoes. You have to pick them off one by one.
Therefore, I found myself covered in bites on my ankles and hands. I'd ruined my socks and my shoes (as well as myself) were soaking wet. I attempted to cover myself in Benadryl, but discovered that a few ants had survived the incident and were, in fact, crawling up my pants - nibbling all the way. So I did what any decent person would do when you find yourself with literal ants in your pants. I stripped down naked and threw everything in the washer.

As I was working to get everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in the washer and trying not to get any more bites, I discovered a cricket had made a home in the laundry basket. I hate crickets. They're one of God's more annoying critters, don't ya' think? So I'm standing in the laundry room (naked) and now I'm freaked out by the cricket. I managed to get the vacuum plugged in and sucked the booger up. However, I'm slightly paranoid about sucking up live bugs. I'm always convinced that they'll crawl back out of the vacuum and go on a rampage in my home.

So, the ant laundry is in the washer. The vacuum is in the garage. I've had a scalding hot shower to kill any remaining ants and I'm covered in Benadryl once again. Oh the joys of being home alone all day!

All in a day...

Yesterday I had two very grouchy puppies on my hands. Maybe they knew the weather was changing. Maybe they are ready for some vacation time. Maybe they didn't sleep well the night before. Maybe they, too, were stressed by the dinner delay when I ran out of milk and my husband had the debit card safely tucked in his wallet while he was in Ft. Worth. Whatever the case, they fought all day long. It's like having kids! (Except you can't reason with them, talk to them, or punish them. 'Cause they're dogs.) I do know Marley was anxious to be outside:
and not very happy that I wouldn't let him out for the 652nd time that day...
Therefore, my heart soared and I grinned like a fool when my husband heroically arrived home with a gallon of milk and these:

Gerbera daises are one of my favorite flowers of all time. These look just like 5 rays of sunshine sitting on my table!
This one is streaked with orange. I've never seen one like it! It's so beautiful!
The center also has a stripe across the bottom part of it and the black changes to brown. It's weird, but I love it. I wish they would last forever! They're amazing!!!
This one is all yellow and all sunshine. Doesn't it seem to smile and say, "Have a happy day despite grouchy puppies and crafts that don't work out!"

This one hasn't even finished opening up yet. That means I have lots of loving left! Woo hoo!
My husband is fantastic! Don't you think? Adding to his wonderfulness, he puts up with my four-year-old melt downs. When I get tired - I mean really tired - I tend to have melt downs similar to a small child. Last night I started crying when I dropped an M&M on the floor. I kept crying because I wasn't a good puppy momma and therefore would never be a good human mommy and I was mad that I had run out of milk in the middle of making dinner and I wanted time with my husband and hadn't had any and I didn't have a job and my toe nails weren't painted. Like I said, I melt down like a child. My amazing husband puts up with it all. (Sometimes I wonder if he wonders why he married me.) He stopped me in my tracks when I started spouting lies (like I wasn't a good puppy momma) and held me while I sobbed over the lack of milk and toe nail polish. He then let the dogs out and put me to bed. I fell asleep in a record breaking 3.4 seconds and slept through the thunderstorms, whining dogs, and alarm clock! Like I said, my husband is fantastic!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Just in case you were wondering...

There are only 8 days until Thanksgiving.
There are 36 days until Christmas.

This fills my heart with joy and makes it beat to the rhythm of "Baby It's Cold Outside"! True story: The other day I was doing my regular grocery shopping extravaganza at Wal Mart and wandered dangerously close to the Christmas section where they were cheerfully playing Christmas carols through a small boom box. My heart beat faster, I got very excited, I had a small case of the shakes, and a goofy grin spread across my face from ear to ear. The rest of the trip I found myself humming (loudly) and dancing down the aisles. Hopefully I'll never be forced to see the security tapes. But I'm sure I gave someone a good holiday laugh!

But that's not the point of this blog. The point was to create a list of things I'm thankful for. So here we go:

--I'm thankful for grace I don't deserve.
--I'm thankful that God put me in a loving, healthy, happy, family that raised me with a passion for the Lord and for others.
--I'm thankful for a husband I don't deserve.
--I'm thankful for a wonderful home that I get to care for.
--I'm thankful for two puppies that keep us thoroughly entertained.
--I'm thankful for a "mature" friendship with my mom and sister.
--I'm thankful for 7 nieces and nephews that fill my heart with joy.
--I'm thankful for a brother and sister who have always loved and encouraged me - even if they did it with tears streaming down their face as they laughed at my milk bath.
--I'm thankful for inside jokes.
--I'm thankful for my best friend who has never left my side in over 22 years.
--I'm thankful for a new family that adopted me when I fell in love with DJ.
--I'm thankful for TWO holiday celebrations full of love and joy.
--I'm thankful for a dryer that will get the job done, even if it takes all day.
--I'm thankful for opposable thumbs.
--I'm thankful for bleach.
--I'm thankful for allergy medications.
--I'm thankful for crafting blogs.
--I'm thankful for friendships - some old, some new, some very very odd!
--I'm thankful for stainless steal pots and pans.

That's just the tip of the ice berg, but it'll do for now. I wonder - what are you thankful for?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


There is a large part of me that refuses to blog unless I have a glorious story to share. Well, maybe not glorious. Inspiring? No. Amusing? Not always. A story? Not even then... Anyway - on to the blog. Which really doesn't have much of a story today - glorious or otherwise.

Things seem to happen in spurts around here. Monday was filled with 6-7 hours of pre-holiday shopping. I went all over the big city (and by big city I mean Mesquite) and priced holiday gifts so we could budget and watch for sales to find the best deals. I love shopping on Black Friday and want to make sure I really am getting the absolute very best bang for my buck. I figured I had plenty of time on my hands so why not spend 6 hours window shopping? I take that back - I did buy some ribbon on sale for 40 cents and a ton of can goods for 45 cents. Big spender, I know.

Then, Monday night I got two e-mails about interviews for tutoring positions on Tuesday. Suddenly, Tuesday seemed jam packed and stressful! However, one of the people I was supposed to interview with ended up in the hospital with pregnancy complications. The other interview was quite odd and un-organized and I seriously doubt anything will come of it. I found myself all dressed up with no where to go. So I sat on the couch and worked on some towels. Then I sorted M&Ms by color. Then I ate them. Then I made a meatloaf. Thrilling day, huh? So - it's back to Craigslist to hunt for more jobs! (I'm still contemplating selling my crafts. The details are all so very fuzzy...)

Marley has discovered how to whine. He whines when he's hungry. He whines when he needs out. He whines when he's bored. I've seen him whine when he's sound asleep. I understand that the pup doesn't have words and only has three forms of communication available to him. But the constant whine that never stops is no fun at all. Constant. No fun.

While shopping on Monday I discovered a coupon in my purse for dog food. So I trotted over to Petsmart only to discover that you had to buy a minimum of 15 pounds and they only offered our brand in 20 pound bags. Our dog only weighs 9 pounds and eats a half a cup a day! After a little fancy math skills I figured out it would take $52 to buy 20 pounds of food in the 5lb bag we normally purchase. I got 20lbs for $25. It's a great deal! It's like getting 2 bags for free. But now we have 20 lbs of dog food that I'm not sure what to do with. It doesn't all fit in the tub and is piled on top in Ziploc bags the size of the dog herself. Why did we think a dog with a diet of a half a cup a day needed this much food? I can tell you one thing - she'll never need to go hungry! She'll have food until our first child is 9 years old!!!

That is, of course, unless I find a cute dog food craft...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Promised Pictures

I promised some pictures and never delivered because:
1. I forgot.
2. I wasn't feeling well.
3. I got lazy.
4. My second grade teacher was Mrs. Brown.
5. My dog belches like you wouldn't believe.

So here are some of those pictures you've all been anxiously waiting for...

Marley got neutered. Since he's Licky McLickerson, he became the proud owner of the cone of shame. He did not like the cone of shame.

Last week we finally got to take it off. He was so very happy!

We tried the cone of shame on Cua. She was not very happy. But, the white background provided the perfect opportunity to see her face! This does not happen very often!!

Because of the surgery and the cone, Marley couldn't be groomed. He now looks like one of those cartoon characters with no eyes. I feel sorry for the boy. Someone should do something about his blindness...

Last week I felt very crafty! I even blogged about how crafty I felt. I decided to do something about it. I found a cute idea on one of my new favorite blogs. Here is my creation:

I'm quite proud of how it turned out!! I'm already working on three more. :- )
In other news, Happy Birthday Chaselyn! It's her very first! What a big day...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I've seen several blogs recently that contain something like this:
I found this idea "here".
Here is in blue and when you click on it you are magically transported to another website.
I'd love to learn how to do that. Does anyone out there know how? Please help!! Honey? Do you know how to do it?

Feeling crafty...

Lately I've been feeling crafty. Not like I want to be mean to others, but I want to craft and create and paint and the like. I want to work on something and be proud to hold the results in my hand. I've always wanted to be one of those people that others admired for their artistic/crafty ability. (Kind of like my sister! No, a lot like my sister.) But lately, the feeling has been overwhelming. I think part of it is that I'm a little bored. But part of it is just a crazy feminine desire to create!
Now my friend Christi has introduced me to crafty type blogs. I'm very thankful to her. And very mad at her. Now I want to craft even more! I could easily fill our home with home-made crafts. I would sew and paint and create until my heart felt content. Part of me thinks I could easily sell stuff on etsy or the like, but I'd have to actually spend money up front to buy the needed supplies.
Thus, I have to wait and make myself content with Thanksgiving countdown paper chains. And sweeping the kitchen floor. And making new recipes like lasagna. And attempting to do laundry with our ghetto-tastic dryer.
Oh how I long to be crafty...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I took Marley to the vet. The vet let me know that the stitches I was told would dissolve in 10 days actually dissolve somewhere around the 6 month range. He also let me know that my super power dog had managed to un-bury one of his buried stitches even though he has worn the cone of shame since his surgery.
Thus, the vet pulled and tugged and made Marley cry until BOOM! Out popped a teeny tiny pokie little knot that was in no way dissolved. I guess that's why Marley kept trying to gnaw at his incision and why he looked so relieved when the whole ordeal was over.
However, the incision bled (and bled some more) and Marley gets to spend 2-3 more days in his cone!
The good news is that now that the annoying stitch has been removed he is back to his full energy self. Now when he plays with his toys he bangs them against his cone and the cone bangs against his tags and his head. Combine all of that with the growling that accompanies each play session and we have ourselves one noisy puppy!
The cone will come off tomorrow and hopefully Cua will no longer be terrified of him. Hopefully.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh no!

It was pointed out over the weekend that I forgot to tag my little sister in my list of people I wanted to respond to my favorite things post. So here is her very own post - dedicated to her!

Her name is Megan Nicole. She shares her middle name with our niece - Grace Nicole.
Megan has brown hair and brown eyes - just like Belle from "Beauty and the Beast". She's a princess waiting for her beast! Wait, that didn't come out right... She's absolutely gorgeous - even when her older sister prevents her from taking a shower and makes her mad because she thought the alarm was the cell phone ringing.
Sometimes she wears contacts. Sometimes she wears glasses. She's cute as a bug either way.
I call her Meg-a-boo. No one really knows how that got started or why I chose to call her that, but she has her very own nickname that only I call her. She's just special like that!
She just graduated from ACU. When she was in high school she swore she'd never go there because she didn't want to follow in my footsteps. Then she went to the Junior Scholars program. (Again, no one really knows why she did that.) She fell in love and officially became a Wildcat. She didn't follow in my footsteps though. She's an artist. She's way better than I could ever dream to be. She could paint something blindfolded and use her right hand and still do better than my best efforts without the blindfold! (She's a leftie by the way. My dad and I are too. But that's beside the point!)
Megan's dating a guy named Arsu. I can't pronounce his last name but she can. Arsu has a super cool accent because he's from Madagascar. Megan's never been there. Arsu has.
Right now Megan's a part time Nanny to help fill in the gaps of her free-lance work. I wish I had her job. Not the free-lance part. (As previously stated, she has way more talent than me.) The Nanny part. That'd be fun! She gets to cuddle and love on a little baby while her mom works. (The baby's mom - not Megan's mom. Although Megan's mom is at work while Megan cuddles. But that's not the point here either!)
Megan plays in the church hand bell choir. Right now they're using mallets instead of picking up the bells and ringing them. She says it's fun. I think she's cool.
Megan likes to beat D.J. at Solitaire Frenzy. Not that either one of them is competitive about it...
Megan likes to play Guitar Hero. She doesn't own Guitar Hero, but we do and she plays it whenever she can.
Megan has a secret that I can't post on the blog because she'd kill me. But the family knows. Oh, how we know. And laugh. (She laughs too. Most of the time.)
Megan has met some cool famous people. None of them come to mind right now, but I know she has. She's just cool like that. Celebrities flock around her because she radiates coolness.
I love my sister. Her name is Megan. (I also love cheese.)

Wheel of Emotions

I think God put my emotions on a wheel. (Think: the giant wheel in Price is Right that they spin to see who gets in the showcase show down.) Every now and then He gives it a big ol' shove and enjoys watching as my emotions change with each new section. At least, that's the way I like to picture it.
Marley gets his cone off today. (We hope.) While this is the source for great joy, it's also the source of great fear. He's learned to be very dependent in the past 10 days and because I feel so derned sorry for him, I've babied him. Last night I lay in the floor for an hour just to hold a raw hide bone so he would have a chance to chew. (He can't get to his paws right now.)
This morning my husband checked the mail and found a letter from Forney ISD. I didn't get the job. There was a sense of relief that the wait and wondering was finally over. Followed immediately by a deep sense of sadness. Followed immediately by a good dose of anger. Followed immediately by a crushing disappointment. Followed immediately by a long batch of tears. Like I said, God spun the wheel and my emotions flashed from one thing to the other in a matter of minutes.
Last night we had our first round of Starbucks Christmas coffee. We'd been visiting my parents for the weekend and had enjoyed a decidedly high calorie feast for the several days we were there. (No one's complaining. Just stating the facts.) We rounded it out with the high calorie drink. Calories or not, the holidays just haven't begun until you've enjoyed a Starbucks treat. For us, it's peppermint mochas. He likes his with white chocolate. I like mine with peppermint whipped cream. To each his own. There's just something about the smooth flavor, the bitter coffee, the sweet chocolate, and the twang of the peppermint that makes life a little better. I'm telling you people - my tummy actually smiled. I could feel it deep down inside my soul. I was thinking about giving Chick-Fil-A gift cards for Christmas this year but one sip of that peppermint wonder changed my mind. How could you not give the gift that makes your tummy smile? Aw, sweet nectar from heaven! (For those of you like my parents who don't drink coffee, I shall give you a Starbucks gift card anyway and you can make the tummy happy with their steamed milk hot chocolates! Add some peppermint flavor to make your tummy love you forever.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Homeward Bound

For those who were wondering, this evening we will pack up the kiddos (read: dogs) and all their junk (read: plastic cone of shame) and head to see my parents (read: Waco)! After a week that did a lot of biting us in the rear, we are thrilled to have a mini-vacation where there's no cleaning or cooking required!!!
So, all Waco-ites are here by forewarned. My mom, sister, and I will be doing a bit of pre-Christmas shopping on Saturday so it's best if others just clear out. The Three Musketeers are quite the threat!!
Anyone from Grace, we look forward to seeing you Sunday morning!
Waco, here we come!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Brandi asked me to list my five favorite things. Seriously? Only five? Here's my attempt:

My 5 favorite things on-line:
1. Facebook
2. Gmail
3. Blogging
4. Farm Town and Farmville on Facebook
5. Reading other people's blogs

My 5 favorite things about my husband:
1. The look in his eyes when he tells me he loves me
2. His depth
3. The way he continues to pursue me
4. His passion for the Lord
5. His tush (I had to do it!)

My 5 favorite things to do on a rainy day:
1. Scrapbook
2. Curl up with a snuggly blanket (and husband and puppies) and watch a movie
3. Put music on loud and dance
4. Paint
5. Get on-line

My 5 favorite things currently in stores:
1. Fiesta ware (We have purple and red but we're hoping to buy yellow soon!)
2. Scrapbooking supplies
3. Snuggly, silky sheets
4. Books
5. Willow Tree figurines

My 5 favorite things to do on a date night:
1. Go to Red Robin
2. Go bowling
3. Go to the local nickel arcade
4. Go to the movie
5. Go dancing

My 5 favorite movies of all time:
1. 27 Dresses
2. Pride and Prejudice
3. Music and Lyrics
4. Singing in the Rain
5. Hairspray

My 5 favorite colors:
1. Purple
2. Red
3. Yellow
4. Chocolate brown
5. Blue

My 5 favorite foods:
1. Broccoli and cheese (YUM! I think I'll have some for lunch!)
2. Hamburger and fries
3. Salad with chicken
4. Chicken and rice
5. Pasta of any kind, but mostly spaghetti

My 5 favorite games:
1. Boggle
2. Yahtzee
3. Solitare Frenzy
4. Bananagrams
5. Cranium

The 5+ people I choose to do this: (I know not all of these people blog, but they can e-mail me. That's okay too!)
1. D.J.
2. Mom
3. Natalie
4. Sally
5. Mary Katherine (She's told me she's an avid blog reader. I'm testing her!)
6. Stephanie
7. Christi
8. Whoever else is reading this!!!

Brandi, did I cheat?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lessons Learned

1. Marriage is not for wimps! It's hard work but more wonderful than I ever could have imagined! It's an amazing blessing, but takes a lot of effort.
2. Red velvet cake is not my friend. I attempted to make cake mix cookies with red velvet today and they didn't turn out that well. Let me re-phrase that. They were a bitter, finger-staining disaster. I added sugar and they just got sparkly. I attempted to make cream cheese frosting to put on top and it ran off the cookies and coated the platter. So we have red, sparkly cookies with a hint of icing on them and a beautiful fall platter covered in icing. I haven't decided yet if I'll take them to Community Group tonight.
3. When making lemon cookies, if you drop the bottle of flavoring in the batter you should take steps to scoop some of that flavor back out. Assuming it'll be fine results in cookies that make you suck your face in.
4. Professionals sprinkle powdered sugar very gracefully. I do not. Sprinkling said powdered sugar on said suck your face in sour cookies does not make them look like they came from a bakery. It makes them look like you dropped the canister on the plate.
5. God's free gift of grace is overwhelming. He canceled the debt I couldn't pay. Seriously - it brings tears to my eyes.
6. My husband bought me flowers on Monday after our dryer broke. It is, by far, the highlight of my week thus far!
7. When a dog with a cone on his head lays right next to you it is very easy to hook your foot in said cone and fling the dog from here to kingdom come!
8. Dogs steal each other's bones. That's all - they steal bones.
9. Cookie dough is not an adequate breakfast.
10. The black spot on the wall hasn't moved all day. I thought it was a bug. Now I don't know.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Sometimes life seems like it's always one or two steps ahead of you. After a semi-traumatic, tear-filled Curve's visit I decided I would never return. And now, the dryer is broken and emitting a distinct burnt smell.
The good news? God is still God. Marley seems to be in a lot less pain today than yesterday. I have a wonderful husband who loves me. My father-in-law is a master tinkler and just might take a look at our broken dryer. I'll have to feed him meat loaf, but that's okay!

Where to begin?

Lots of "Happenings" have occurred around here since my last post. Let's see if we can get caught up... (Warning: This could be lengthy. I promise to go as short as possible and to not post pictures. Yet.)

--Marley was neutered on Friday. Don't get me wrong - I love dogs and I love that a mommy dog and a daddy dog make new puppies for us to love. I just don't want to take the responsibility when my little "daddy dog" gets friendly with the entire neighborhood! He was already quite friendly with my leg and the table and the couch and the... Let's just say it was time. He is now the proud owner of "The Cone of Shame". When we first put him in it and he was still a wee bit groggy from the surgery, we had ourselves some good belly laughs. (You know, the kind where tears stream down your face!) He ran around like a drunk chicken with his head cut off. He's still not quite used to the extra inches around his face so he often bonks into walls and furniture. Watching him sniff the back yard for the perfect place to use the restroom is stinkin' hilarious! Every so often he gets stuck on one obstacle or another and we have to go rescue him. We also got sick and tired of the sound of his tags hitting the plastic cone - especially in the middle of the night when he would run from one side of the bed to the other hoping someone would wake up and put an ice pack on his pain. (Yes, we put an ice pack on his wee wee. Fun times for the Hammond's!) So yesterday, we got out the tape and taped his tags to his cone. He's silent now. Woo hoo! I'll post pictures of his misery at a later date.

--At my second interview, I was told that they would make a decision within a week. So when I hadn't heard from them a week later we cried our tears and decided God had bigger plans. I stopped hoping and wishing and began praying for a new dream since God clearly didn't have teaching in His plans for me right now...

--Saturday afternoon we worked diligently to clean out the junky craft room and make it functional. I was doing some Internet research to see if the stuff from the back of the closet was actually worth some money when I happened to click on the junk folder of my old e-mail address. (I still can't even figure out why that e-mail was open, much less why I clicked there!) And there it was. Tucked away between the free shipping offers and the true junk you're embarrassed to admit even popped up on your screen. One beautiful, simple e-mail. "Mrs. Hammond, I am in the process of checking professional references for a few candidates and I need you to provide me with several at your earliest convenience. Thank you, from the principal you never thought you'd hear from but would love to work for." (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.) Once I recovered from the joy of seeing a letter addressed as "Mrs. Hammond" it began to dawn on me what this meant. They hadn't made a decision. It wasn't over! I could still have my dream job! I gasped and then began to shake. A lot. I recovered and sent off a list of references. I've thought of two more people I should have included in that list, but what's done is done. I don't think he needs sixteen e-mails from me saying "Oh yeah! Call this guy too!" Now I get to hurry up and wait! God's plan is perfect. He knows what He's doing. Now I need to learn to rest in it...

--We made the BEST taco salad on Sunday afternoon! Wow! I cut up raw chicken (EW!) into little bite size chunks, plopped them in a pan with olive oil and stirred them around with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper. (I know, they don't sound like they go together but they do! YUM! That combo is also good on those little red potatoes. Thanks Meg-a-boo!) While that was cooking itself into a tender yumminess, we waded up some foil and draped two tortillas over them, sprayed the tops with Pam, and stuck them in a 425 degree oven for about 6 minutes. We shredded the lettuce, stuck it in our cute little tortilla bowls, and shoved it all in a big bowl to keep the dressing contained. We topped it with colby jack cheese and honey roasted sunflower kernels. I used raspberry walnut dressing (my new favorite) and DJ mixed ranch and salsa. Top it all off with the delectable chicken and go to town. I'm already trying to figure out when we can have it again...

--Sunday night, we went to Nicklerama on a delayed month-a-versary date! It's your basic arcade, but you play with real nickles. We went to play Skee Ball, but ended up addicted to Deal or No Deal. We poured way too much money into that machine!! But, D.J. ended up with 100 tickets!! The prizes weren't fabulous, as was to be expected, but we had a GREAT time!! (What's with the double exclamation marks?)

--I've been reading a few famous blogs recently and now find myself re-telling the events of the day in blog form. (For some reason, I always do it out loud. And I usually pick a title for each story!) On weekdays when I'm home alone, this is no big deal. The dogs enjoy the soothing sound of my voice! HA! However, D.J. didn't find it quite as charming this weekend when I began to chronicle the cleaning process.

-- I have discovered that I cannot spell "convenience" without copying it from another source or using spell check. For those that have known me since childhood, this is no surprise. However, I find I've typed that word a lot recently and my own invented spelling is never recognized by the spell checker. I always (repeat: always!) have to look it up!

--Brandi has asked me to post my five favorite things. However, that could get lengthy seeing as how I can never narrow my lists down to just five. Therefore, I'll post them at a future date. Thanks for the compliment about my story telling abilities Brandi! I'm truly honored!

-- The bread just fell off the shelf in the pantry. (I knew it was going to fall when I stuck it up there this morning. And yet, I did nothing about it.) The dogs got up from their morning naps to bark at the sound. Marley ran into the wall with his cone which made him jump and run and made Cua bark even louder. Sadly, she's terrified of him so when he approached her in an effort to play, she growled and ran away. Marley took it as an invitation to chase until he hooked his cone on the corner and backed up. All is calm now and they're sleeping once again. But I'm glad you guys got to share in my moment!!

That's it from our neck of the woods. Was the post long enough for you?