Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Griswold Thanksgiving

Thankfully, there wasn't a dead grandma on top of our car involved, but this Thanksgiving lived up to Griswold lore.

We rode through Nashville at rush hour on Wednesday afternoon on the way to Kentucky to spend Thanksgiving with Jason's family. Seven hours later {for our 4 hour drive}, we arrived safely at the Holiday Inn and tucked our movie-marathon-watching children into their beds.

The next day was so much fun! Thanksgiving Day had sprinkling snow, loads of relatives {about 30- and that's the immediate Dunham family} and piles of delicious food.

We sat with about 16 children and parents of young children at the kids table and tried to convince our children that the turkey and dressing was really chicken nuggets and French fries. Ollie is always a good eater; Henry notsomuch. That is normally fine, but sometimes Ollie gets excited and tries to eat too much at once.

He decided to stuff it all in at the Thanksgiving table and- as has happened MANY times at our table- started talking with his mouth full. I think he was saying, "Mwahhm, I meee tuh spit dis awww". I spoke through my teeth to him that he should, "drink some milk and chew. Do not spit that all out at the table."

Big mistake.

I can't believe I forgot about this child's gag reflex. He has one. A big one.

And so he barfed into my hands at the Thanksgiving table.
That's how we say Happy Thanksgiving.

It was lovely, my friends. A classic. I heard tales of the story being told by the other kids to their parents. One of our cousin's children came to her and said, "Hey mom, I need another roll. And one of the little kids just ralphed at the table."

So proud.

Ollie was fine. Jason took him to clean up and he was back eating casseroles and cookies in no time. Some might say "puke and rally", but not me. The rest of our weekend was fantastic and puke free and hopefully I will upload some pictures for you tomorrow.
I'm still washing clothes and finding goldfish ground into the car.

I think it's safe to say I've given up on the perfect Thanksgiving. But I'm still holding out for a barf free Christmas. Or at least one without a cousin Eddie.

How was your Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 23, 2009

What the Elf

In case we aren't Facebook friends {and why aren't we? You can be a blog fan AND we can be friends, if you'd like}, you might not have known that Jason and I attended the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta this weekend. It was wonderful and is deserving of an entire post to come.

My in-laws were kind enough to keep our kiddos and we loved the conference {much more than having the sex talk with the youth we teach at church}. I guess it all comes with the same package, though.

Last night when we were putting the kids to bed, Ollie was telling me all about Santa Claus. {He got to watch some Santa movies at Nana and Grandpa's this weekend.} I remembered that I had that Christmas Elf thing somewhere that scares the be-Jesus out of your kids and thought I should bring it up in conversation.

You know what I'm talking about right? This Elf thing. We tried it last year, but Ollie kept grabbing it and throwing it around and I didn't think Santa would appreciate that, so he magically disappeared.

Anywho, I think our kids might "get it" this year and he might appear for a while.
Here's how the intro conversation went:

Ollie: Mommy, Santa watches you when you are sleeping to see if you are good.

Me: Yes, he even sends an Elf to live here to make sure you are being a good boy and each night the elf reports back to the North Pole.

O: F is a letter, mommy.

Me: No, not an "F"- an elf.

O: A, B, C, D, E, ELLLFFF, G

Me: No, buddy. An Elf. Like... an ELF... that lives with Santa.

O: "Elf" is for Firetruck and Fox.

Me: {laughing hysterically at our Southern accent miscommunication- reminds me of "Chester drawers"} An elf is like a little man who helps Santa make toys at the North Pole. But this one comes to live with us and report back to Santa Claus every night. [Repeating. I realize.]

O: How does he do that when he's in the alphabet?

Oh, my. It was a comedy of errors. I'm not sure if I should bring out that dang elf or not.
Have you tried him at your house?
Or do you think it would be fun?

I've heard of many people with success stories, but I'd love to hear your take.
And if he doesn't work again this year, I think I'll just stick him in the Chester Drawers for good.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Perfect Thanksgiving

My mom can't cook.
Don't worry. I asked her for permission to say that. {She may not be able to cook, but she DID raise me right!}

The truth is, she adds her own ingredients to recipes, puts the mixed product in the wrong sized dishes for baking and has burned a few dishes in her day.

What she lacks in the cooking arena, though, she makes up for in cleaning charm.
She is the best hostess you have ever met. She will give you a warm welcome, offer a drink and just happen to have some crackers and cheese ready for you. She loves pithy {e.g. "Wine is a serving of fruit! I'll have two!"} or customized party napkins {like Other Mama- her mom} and always has the perfect serving dish. No one ever felt like a stranger in our home... just as long as she didn't cook.

But there is one dish that she can make like a Paula Dean and Martha Stewart combined {let's call her Paula Stewart} that's a warm Southern delicacy: Broccoli and Cheese Casserole.
She made it every Thanksgiving and there was never any left. Paula would be so proud.

Every year, while we were watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the smell of warm rice and warmer Cheez Whiz filled our home. And we loved it! Even the smell of broccoli in the microwave was wonderful because you knew it would soon be swimming in cheese- the way God and nature intended it.

We would load up in the car, drive 30 minutes to Uncle William's farm and eat with the entire Hart family. We often played "frisbee around the pond" {in what would later be named Frisbee Golf by other people with less creative naming abilities}, ping pong with a complete tourney bracket, horseshoes and the wonderful American sport of Football Watching.

When lunch time finally came, we loaded up our Chinet plates, headed to the kids card table and laughed at whatever was goofy that year: a new uncle, a new hairdo or the wettest attempt to retrieve a frisbee from the pond {I AM from Alabama; you know that right? We don't let good frisbees go to waste!}. We had the usual fare: turkey, ham, sweet potato casserole, Sister Schubert rolls, beans and tons of desserts. But the broccoli and cheese was a staple. And I was very proud it came from our home.

In honor of Mary's Giving up on a Perfect Thanksgiving, I'd love to share the family recipe with you. My Thanksgiving won't be entirely perfect this year because I won't be with my mom and dad, but Thanksgiving would never be the same without the Broccoli and Cheese Casserole.
I may give up on perfection, but I am a sucker for tradition.

Rhonda's Famous Broccoli and Cheese Casserole
- 1 big bag of frozen cut broccoli {preferably florets; I'm pretty sure I paid 1/2 of that price FYI}
- 16 oz can of Cheez Whiz {you're loving this already, aren't you?} {And that CW was all they had at Tar-jhay. I tasted fine, but it's not the norm.}
- 1 can cream of mushroom or chicken soup
- 1 box Uncle Ben's long grain wild rice {NOT the quick cook kind} {I used mushroom because I didn't have cream of mushroom soup- my soup preference.}

{Here's the truth: I was busy with one child crying, one applying stickers to furniture and a sick-ish husband, so I forgot to take pictures in the steps. You can get this, though. I promise.}
1) Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Cook rice according to package directions.
3) Cook broccoli in microwave 8 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of water, then cook 5 minutes more.
4) Stir Cheez Whiz and soup together.
5) Drain broccoli.
6) Pam {You like that? A verb!} casserole dish then add broccoli, rice and cheese mix {in that order}. {Proof Jason was sick: his prescription meds made the picture.}
Ready for oven
7) Bake for 30 minutes until it's bubbly and beautiful. Bubbly
* Can add chunks of chicken if you want to get all crazy with it, but why mess with perfection?

Isn't that wonderfully easy? I wish you could taste some. It is really SO simple and SO delicious.
So thank you, Mom! Not only for the wonderful recipe, but also for teaching us that Thanksgiving perfection is not in the food or the cooking, but in the warmth of family and friends.
I'm thankful that we have such wonderful traditions, years of funny stories and never-a-dull-moment, non-perfect Thanksgivings.
But I'm most thankful that Dad cooked the other 364 days of the year.
{Love you, mom! Thanks for letting us laugh with you. You are a good sport!}

For more imperfect dinners, family traditions and surely a fried turkey fire, head over to Mary's Giving Up On a Perfect Thanksgiving. She has wonderful prizes today and you can add your stories, too!

A Open Letter to Miss Piggy

Dear Miss Piggy,
As much as I enjoyed your antics in childhood, I do not enjoy the thought of your flu.

swine flu 2

Your quick temper, overindulgent shopping extravaganzas and love of self should have forewarned me that you were up to no good. To think that all those years you were swooning over Kermit, you really had different intentions: to infect him!

Maybe that wasn't the case, but you are seeming quite suspicious these days {and trampy! WOW!}.


So, as much as I tossed and turned, read studies and gnashed teeth, our kids got the swine flu shot.
So there.
With or without controversy, please stay away.

Yours truly,

P. S. I still loved you in Muppets Take Manhatan!

Did you vaccinate or not?
Please do not send hate mail or comments if you have extreme opinions one way or the other. This is really just meant as a conversation. REALLY.
Hello, did you see the picture of Miss Piggy above? Okay, then. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Make like a tree and get outta here*

We have a few leaves around our house.
"Few" would be like saying Twilight might have a "few" people go see the new movie this weekend. {BTW, I'm not at all into it. Should I be?}

While Jason took to the yard with his Ghostbuster-backpack-looking leaf blower, he made some fun piles for the boys.
And that made Saturday the perfect fall day.

The boys got to hang out,
O swinging collage
Spend a little time climbing,H Climbing collage
Explore together
And have a little air time {note the starting distance needed for that air}.
O jumping collage

I also made a slight observation that I had known was true all along!
The grass REALLY IS greener
Other than my slight grass envy, our morning was perfect and I am very thankful for the time to play with my kiddos shining in all their boyhood.

One more of my flying man:
jump 1

Have you taken time to jump in the leaves, yet?

* The origin of that title? It's from Biff in Back to the Future, of course.
As any good Michael J. Fox crushee from the 80s would know!

P.S. Yesterday's post was so much fun! But even more fun were all the comments.
Y'all had me laughing all day long. I LOVE your comments. Thank you for the time to leave them! And they are surely the best part of that post! Go read them if you haven't already!

Monday, November 16, 2009

In which the word "Douche" appears on my blog

I am here to tell you I am lyrically challenged.

It all started with MJ back in good ole days. I had the Thriller album {YES- vinyl} and played that thing till it melted- or was warped. Who remembers what those big old Frisbees-lookin’ things did anyway?

Back to Michael, when he sang Billie Jean, we moon walked across our brown shag carpet and sang, “Billie Jean has got my glove, UHH”.

There was no mention of a “lover” in our version and I’m pretty sure my parents were happy that way! It wasn’t until college that I knew the real words.

I also thought a Chest of Drawers was called “Chester Drawers” until my college roommate told me otherwise, but I’d never reveal my redneckness to the whole wide world, so let’s keep that under wraps, okay?

I love these song mix ups, so for Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday, I’m playing along with the Top 10 Songs whose lyrics I have mistakenly identified or have just made fun of because they sounded funny.

1. Billie Jean/ Michael Jackson
- See above. She’s "got my glove, UHH”

2. Beast of Burden/ Rolling Stones
- “I’ll never leave your pizza burning” {pronounced “peeetza”, obviously}

3. Hotel California/ The Eagles
- “On a dark desert highway, cool whip in my hair” {especially fun to sing on road trips}

4. Purple Haze/ Jimi Hendrix
- “Excuse me while I kiss this guy” {No explanation needed here. I would definitely kiss this little guy:}
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5. Blinded by the Light/ Mannfred Mann’s Earth Band {of course I had to look that up}
- Do I even need to write this? You know there is a “douche” in this song and it makes me kinda cringe, but it has to go on this list. What in the world were those stupid words?

6. Secret Agent Man/ Johnny Rivers
- “Secret Asian Man” {especially fun at Chinese restaurant, but probably in poor taste}

7. Bad Moon Rising/ CCR
- “There’s a bathroom on the right” {always fun at a frat party and usually correct!}

8. Night Moves/ Bob Seger
- “Workin’ on a knife wound” {I guess I got this and the Night Shift – an ER night shift- song confused.}

9. Bennie and the Jetts/ Elton John
- “she’s got electric boobs, a mohair suit, you know I read it in a maga-zeeee—haaane” {Clearly this is true since he read it in a magazine.}

10. Tiny Dancer/ Elton John
- “Hold me closer, Tony Danza” {You'd think with this being the title, one would know the words, but it's just much more fun to picture Elton and Tony, isn't it?}
hold me closer, Tony Danza

Ah, yes. Have a lovely day.
You can thank me later when you are still singing about Tony Danza at dinner.

So what are your favorites from this list?
What lyric did I leave out that you always got confused/ laughed about?

And please tell me the words to that wretched feminine hygiene song if you know them... I've got to get THAT and Tony Danza out of my head.

Hopefully I can replace with some peeeeetza and cool whip in my hair.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

We have food out the ying yang over here. Does this ever happen to you? I am very thankful for it, but we have a freezer full of food that needs to be et. {Please tell me you know how to say that, right? It's like the past tense of "eat" without saying "eaten" because we're southern and like to shorten things. It's in jest, in case you're a yankee wondering.}

Jason and I participate in a program called Angel Food Ministries because we have a delivery site at our church. For us, it started with our church making a quasi-mandate that we had to have 500 orders to become a delivery site. So they put the yearly-pledge-card-type guilt trip on us and we participated. But now we love it! The basic box gives you a week's worth of food for a family of 4 for $30. There is no typo there. You can also add frozen meat selections for a very low cost. We've been buying the meats and other special options for 4-5 months and have a freezer FULL! YAY!

You don't have to be poor or low income to participate; it's for everyone. And the more people that use the food/ program, the cheaper their costs are. The food is restaurant grade and we have enjoyed it! So go back up there to the Angel Food link and check it out. If anything, you can buy a box to donate to a family in need this time of year.

With all that food, I've been cooking strictly out of the freezer/ pantry lately and have had fun coming up with new recipes! Tonight, we were making spaghetti {everything from Angel Food} and I wanted to give meatballs a shot.

I've never made them unless you count plopping them from the pre-frozen bag. I've done that a lot! But tonight I wanted to make them from scratch. Just like my mom , Other Mama , some ancestor made them.

So, I Googled away and came up with the best recipe and I had to share with you!
Here is the link to the original recipe- aptly titled, The Best Meatballs. There you have it, folks.

I halved the recipe and then used the advice of a commenter from 2003, Michelle, and made a few changes. {Thank you, Michelle!}
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Plates are our everyday wedding dishes from Pier 1 {Discontinued.... wonk, wonk, wuuuunk}

Here's the recipe I used tonight:
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese {from green cylinder vs. freshly grated. Who are we kidding?}
2 1/4 tsp. parsley {also from plastic container}
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Italian style breadcrumbs {I realize this is less than 1/2 what the recipe calls for, but I went with what Michelle suggested and it was great! And who has stale Italian bread lying around to crumble anyway?}
< 3/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup olive oil

1. Combine beef, garlic, eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper.
2. Smooth in bread crumbs {just go ahead and do it with your hands}.
3. Add water in 1/4 cup at a time and hand smoosh after each adding. Don't quite add a full quarter cup the last time.
Meatballs should be moist, but not too smooshy. They should keep the shape of a ball. Shape into meatballs {this made 18 for me}.
4. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Fry meatballs in batches and turn as needed. Make sure meatball is very brown and crisp, then remove to paper towel. If your meatballs are too moist to begin with, cook with the lid on your frying pan to make them crisper.
5. Place cooked meatballs in marinara or spaghetti sauce for 15 minutes more.

Kid tested, Buzz approved

I think my ancestors would be proud. Or I'm sure they would have eaten it.
Or "et" it. Either way.

This post is linked to my friend Jen's site for Tasty Tuesday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Links You'll Love

Happy Friday!
This week has been a busy one in blog world, so I don't want you to miss a beat. Just think of me as Julie- your social planner- on the Love Boat.
Here are a few links you'll want to read:

1. MckMama and Stellan's surgery! This is a wonderful, amazing story that you shouldn't miss. God just showed off and it is pretty cool.

2. Compassion bloggers to El Salvador. Oh, my. You know we love Compassion International, right? We sponsor a child in Guatemala {a GIRL!} and have been absolutely thrilled and blessed by the program. Some wonderful bloggers have been traveling this week and have amazing first hand stories of lives being changed and a REAL look at poverty. It will change your perspective and we all need a little of that sometimes.
Check out Kelly's Korner, Whittaker Woman, Molly Piper or Shaun Groves. They all have awesome stories to tell.

3. Big Mama's Veteran's Day tribute. It's terrific and I learned a lot about the flag.

4. Edie's 12 Days of Homemade Christmas Gifts at Life in Grace. This is a must! So many amazing ideas with step by step instructions. I have made Darby's Christmas tags for about 8 occasions since I saw them last year on her blog! And I will definitely be trying the fudge, monogrammed candles and I might even try a tassel {on tassels- you should know The Nester is coming out with a tassel ebook! YAY}! There are also many sewing tutorials on there if you aren't sew- illiterate like I am.

5. A Thanksgiving Box! Loved this idea from Robin via (In)Courage.

6. For bloggers out there, please see Melissa's post at A Familiar Path on 10 Blogging Tips. They are Won. Der. Ful.

7. I made my friend Antique Mommy's Ridiculously Easy 3 Bean Soup last night and took it to a meeting. Part of me didn't want other people to eat it if that tells you how good it is. It IS supa easy and there are just 2 beans... for the price of 3. Or something like that.
I'll just say your Saturday would be incomplete without it.
{And FYI, I used 1.5 pounds of ground turkey because that's what I had and Apple Cider Vinegar because I couldn't bear the thought of getting out real vinegar from our cleaning section under the sink for food.}

8. Whew! Last but not least, please mark your calendars for Mary's Giving Up on the Perfect Thanksgiving rockin' blog carnival next week. She even has a cute button {all the cool kids are getting one}!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Yard Sale Tips and Tricks

I can smell the coffee, see the Google maps and I can hear the quarters jingling! It must be a yard sale!

As you know, we had a yard sale last Saturday and it was a huge success. A lot of it thanks to you! I sold $165 worth of merchandise from this little blog post alone. Thank you so much! And our garage thanks you. We love a yard sale and so I'm linking this post to Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.

Overall we made $500- $600 {sorry to drop numbers, but that's what everybody wants to know, right?} and still have the bed left to sell {on Craigslist if you are interested} so we are hoping to make a little more than that. Not too shabby for a Friday night prep and Saturday morning!

If you want to have a yard sale of your own, it's not too late in the season to give it a go!
Here are some pointers:

1. That's what friends are for
Get yard sale buddies! I have some girlfriends who I've been doing this with for about 8 years. They will tell you what your old, scratched mirror is really worth. And they will most likely buy your good stuff before other people do. {Not that I bought/ swapped anything. Uh, uh. Not me. *ahem*}

2. Signs, signs everywhere signs
* Signage is key. My yard sale buddy, Kat, has a sister who is a graphic designer and made us 2 feet x 3 feet HUGE stand up signs. They are white with black writing {like the newspaper- and this blog- so people can read them} and have gigantic, bold letters. Put up the signs late the night before so you don't have to worry about it in the morning. This is especially fun when you are delirious and can't figure out which way to point the arrow to your own house.

* Also, advertise in the paper if that's where everyone reads about your local yard sales. Our paper has an online link, too, that comes with the ad.

This is what my ad said:
"Pottery Barn and Pier 1 furniture & accents at Yard sale prices." Then I listed several of the big things we were selling that would be the most common things people are searching.
Be to the point and just try to get people there.

* It also doesn't hurt to put big huge things out front so people know which house to charge in on before sunrise.
Attention getters

3. Money, money, money, money.... MUH- NAY
* Get plenty of ones/ quarters as change the day before. Nothing is going to be open at 6 am on Saturday.
* Price everything the night before so people don't have to ask what the price is. That is a big hassle for you and you will be busy. Also, make as many group signs as you can, especially with clothes or many items that are the same {e.g. All Picture Frames $1}. A good garage sale rule is the same as a consignment sale: price things no greater than 1/3 of the original price. A lot of times it will be MUCH lower. But look at it as cleaning out your house and you won't be upset.

[Let me interrupt this post: I am innowayshapeorform trying to bill myself as a used goods guru- consignment sale, now yard sale- but it has come to my attention that I am THAT. WOW. Sad, but true.]

* Wear an apron for change and make trips inside your house to deposit bigger bills {and sneak snacks}. This also shows that you are the person to accept money.

4. Pretty woman, walking down the street
Make it look like a store! We know this isn't Rodeo Drive, but it makes shopping SO much easier if you:
* Have as many tables as possible {nobody likes to dig through boxes on the ground}.
* Create "departments" for all the areas and display your things nicely.
This was our children's department:
Toy Department
And our home goods department {You can see clothing hung on rolling racks in the background. Dionne, my other yard sale buddy, rented those from a local party rental store for $7! They were great!!}:
Home good department

5. Here's a quarter, call someone who cares
You must be willing to "negotiate". Seasoned yard salers NEVER pay full price for anything. Mark things a tad {teensy weensy} bit higher than you'd accept and then take less than that. And you will most likely end up taking even less because these people are taking junk from your home and by 10 am you are grateful for them!
A common question is: "How much will you take for this?" Even on an item that is clearly marked.
Everything is negotiable.

Quick story of when I snapped:
A woman walked up to me to "check out" with a huge amount of items. She asked me to tally it all up {TWICE} and the total was $5.75. Then she asked if I would take $5 for it.
"Sure", I said, trying to do the math then between the 3 different people I was taking money for/ subtracting, etc.
Then she hands me a $10 bill {Not a $5! Hello?!} and said, she "would just hate for me to have to make change from that uneven number".
I told her I was actually very good at math {or something not quite as rude}.

Then she walks up to another item in the homegoods department and asks if I would take 50 cents for something that was marked $1.
I told her no. No, I would not.
She told me I was "mean".
I politely informed her I had just given her a discount on all the items she bought and then walked away before the COPS show was at my house. {I can hear the "Bad Boys, Bad Boys" music now. This is where the no sleep came into play; I really was nice to everyone else.}

My wonderful husband took it from there and later came up to me with a dollar from her.

6. Morning has broken, like the first morning
Be ready for early shoppers. We advertised that we opened at 6am because we knew people would be there then {especially with the new time change and early sunrise} and we might as well be open and willing to take their money first!

Here is our first shopper at 5am perusing some comforters {he didn't buy them}:
First shopper- 5 am
The vast majority started arriving at 5:45 am and they all knew each other and were already comparing notes for the day! A little community of bargain hunters, they live for early morning Saturdays!

Hopefully these tips will help for your next yard sale! You can do it!
It is a LOT of work to drag things out, dust them, prepare as if it were Macy's, but it is worth it and LOADS of fun!
As long as COPS doesn't show up.

: : : : : : : : :

A few more updates for you wonderful readers who have been asking:
- Henry is feeling much better. He pigged out at lunch today and that perked him right back up. But he did not eat his brownie, so I am again questioning whether or not he's mine, but he is feeling better.

- Jason and I didn't get to go to this Halloween party that was postponed by the swine flu.
Jason did get to wear his costume to work, though.
Can you tell who he was?

This photo doesn't have the yellow balloons he carried around all day...
Now you know!
Ed MacMahon
He was Ed MacMahon.
And I was to be Claudine Cornhauler. I had a maroon velvet moo-moo, slippers, green face mask and curlers and didn't get to wear a thing {THANG!}. I was going to be surprised all night- and be getting a facial the whole time- so I was really looking forward to it.

A HUGE shout out and thank you to my new friend, Brooke, for this fun idea!

Oh well, maybe Claudine will get to make an appearance next year.
And if you're wondering where that name came from, Jason found it here. And I apologize to all the Claudine Cornhaulers of the world.
No disrespect meant.
You did win 100 million dollars, though, so you should be okay with it; that's a lot of yard sale money.

And God Bless Buzz

Henry has not been feeling that great the past few days and I can't figure out what is the matter with him.
Nov 09.1 073
He has not been eating well, but has had the same level of energy with extra whininess. He has no fever or runny nose and has been sleeping great. He actually slept an hour later than usual this morning after being rocked for a while at 6:00 am {because we do not encourage early risers on holidays other than Christmas}.

He ate his breakfast slowly this morning and downed 2 glasses of juice. He actually sat in this chair for 30 minutes eating his Cheerios one by one {he never sits for more than 3 minutes}.
Of course he earned a banana sticker this morning for his puniness.
Nov 09.1 050
He sat quietly eating until he finally got tired of me taking his picture.
Nov 09.1 076
"Really, mom? Seriously?"
Look at that belly. I think he's going to be okay with his temporary lack of appetite {other than Cheerios} and not starve to death, don't you?

He's just kinda lethargic today- more than he has been in past days- and is watching TV quietly with his brother. This level of calmness and quietness has got me worried.

Anybody have a clue what this could be?

In other news, before Jason leaves every morning, we have a family prayer for our day. If the kids are awake, they join us and we pray aloud for our children, their teachers, any events for the day and special things in our lives.

This morning Ollie asked if Buzz could join us.
Nov 09.1 043
And we were happy to oblige, especially since today is Veteran's Day.

We owe a special thanks to the men, women and their families who serve our country and allow us to pray freely every day and sleep without monsters or nightmares. We are so thankful for all the soldiers, air men, sailors and space rangers.
Thank you for all your sacrifice. We appreciate you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The "Ma"Tato Family {snap, snap}

They're creepy and they're kooky,
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Mysterious and spooky,
Nov 09 129
They're all together ooky,
Nov 09 104
The "Ma"Tato Family.

Their house is a museum
Nov 09 102
Where people come to see 'em Nov 09 128
They really are a scream {scre-um}
Nov 09 114
The "Ma"Tato Family.

An Ode to Mr. "Ma"Tato Head from The Other Mama on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


You might have noticed in pictures that we have an "L" shaped sofa in our living room. That's because we have a narrow room there and had to make the most out of the space. And because we like to veg and sleep on the sofa.

We fold clothes, tickle children, sneak snacks and crash there many days.

But what I found out tonight is that the sofa takes back for all that it gives us.

I decided to check out what might be living underneath the sofa.
It had nearly taken everything. Good thing I got there just in time.

Below are the contents of what I found under the sofa tonight {lined up as if it were Christmas morning- because I very well may just hide this stuff and give it to my children for Christmas!}:
Sofa 2
My favorite find was this man's mullet wig.
sofa 3
There were also 24 {Twenty. Four.} Thomas Trains in attendance {a few not shown here}. One for every hour of the day.
sofa 4
And also the Jesus monster truck we've been missing.
sofa 5
Because that's how we roll.

What I can't understand is how a single solitary Twix bar made it's way out of my grip.
Lucky little bar.

Have you ever cleaned underneath your sofa and been surprised? I'm so thankful there is not rotting milk under there. Or a live animal. It would have been entertained, though!

I'm off to hide that recorder back under the sofa. I'm sending it as a peace offering to the sofa and my ears and hoping it doesn't ask me to return the Twix!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Y'all, we're having a Yard Sale!

Hello, everyone. This is Hillary LIVE and in technicolor. I am so thankful for y'all putting up with my little break and some re-runs. It's like summer TV, but without the bad reality shows.

I have not accomplished what I intended this week, nor have I checked off any day's worth of tasks on the to-do list. {Hold your Employee of the Year awards, please.} I have been able to work out every day and sleep. Yes, sleep! You should try it; it's good stuff.

With all this extra sleep in my life, crazy things started happening. I've taken my kids on fun field trips every day and have yelled at them 28% less often. And Jason and I set all kinds of over-achieving goals and decided we'd have a yard sale on Saturday. We're working on World Peace next weekend if the weather is still nice.

I do love a yard sale, but the prep work involved is much like moving. And deep cleaning. Only moving and deep cleaning stuff you don't want anymore, but you have to care enough about it to make someone else want it. Ugh.

Would you like a tour of some of the items that will be in the yard sale?
I thought you might. Come on over!

The biggest thing we want to get rid of is this Queen sized bed with headboard and matching dresser. It's from Pier 1 and just not being used since we turned the spare bedroom into our crap accumulating play room.
Garage Sale 014
Next on the chopping block is a lovely cut chenille sofa from our old house. {Broom, kite and rake not included, but could be for the right price.}
Garage Sale 017
Ooh! I love these fun paintings, but I just don't a place for them anymore. The top ones are from a local-ish {just over the TN state line} artist, Joanna, and are going to be really hard to part with. But they don't fit into the new breakfast room. I might have to sneak these back upstairs to hug them a little bit more.
Garage Sale 012
And this is an adorable Southern Living at Home painting that I just can't place. Garage Sale 002
We have a Queen and King sized down duvet and covers for each. Then there are things like a fancy toile dog bed, a Pottery Barn corner shelf and a fun metal candle holder for the wall.
Garage Sale 011
And don't get me started on the Clinique bonus goodies that have never been touched- bags of them. I'm a sucker for a bonus. You'd think I wouldn't have an eye wrinkle, but you would be wrong.
Garage Sale 008
Oh, my at the games. Do you think someone I might or might not be married to loves Star Wars?
Garage Sale 007
And since I'm dishing on him, I'll admit I have a bit of a picture frame issue. {And that basket over there in the corner is full of stuffed animals and other unloved kids stuff.}
Garage Sale 005
We have an Xbox to sell, too!
Garage Sale 003
You name it {TV, cafe table and chairs, Thomas trains- not mine, my friend Kat's, curtains, pillows and maybe even a surprise!}, we've got it! So, come on!

Blog readers get a special discount, so be sure to let me know.

If you are in the North AL, Southern TN area, then come on into Huntsville and we are off Bailey Cove near SE Tar-jhay. Just follow the signs.

And bring your ones and your change.
Because I will most likely take a quarter for that.

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