Sunday, November 30, 2008

Turkey Tales


What a Happy Thanksgiving we had this year!!! It required a LOT of obsessive planning, which involved and EXCEL spreadsheet, but it was WELL worth it because it went off without a hitch!!!

Due to the raging success, I feel obligated to share my recipes and plans with my devoted imaginary friends.

Turkey and Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes
Cranberry Salad
Green Beans
Dessert Buffet: Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Turtle Pie, Apple Pie


Turkey: Fully Cooked Turkey Breast purchased from H-E-B. I was not about to mess with any gizzards, neck, or bones of any kind!! Barf-o-rama!!! I served 10 adults and 8 kids with 2, 2.5 lb breasts and had A TON of leftovers!!!

Ham: Fully Cooked and Glazed Spiral Sliced Ham from a Ham and Meat Company across the street!!! AWESOME!!! I purchased a 9 lb ham and we also had a TON of this left over.

Mashed potatoes. This recipe was SO EASY!! I made it the day before!

Praline Sweet Potatoes. I also made this the day before! YUMMY, YUMMY. They were basically a dessert!!

Cranberry Salad: THANK YOU JT!!!!!
1 bag of fresh cranberries (produce section in the grocery store)
1 large box of cherry jello
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained and save about 1 cup of juice

1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of nuts I used Butter Toffee Pecans

Chop cranberries in food processor. Mix chopped cranberries with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let soak for a couple of hours. Mix 2 cups of hot water with jello. Add 1 cup of cold water with 1 cup of drained pineapple juice. Add cranberries, pineapple and nuts. Refrigerate for several hours. This will make a TON!!!

Green Beans--DOLE that one out to one of your guests!!!

Rolls: Sister Schubert's Frozen Yeast Rolls---Yummy in your tummy!!
Dessert Buffet: Whatever Frozen boxed pie you want!!!

My spreadsheet consisted of a timetable for reheating/heating everything. A less compulsive person could just write out a list. ;)

Here you have it!! Thanksgiving made easy so that you can ENJOY your day, family and guests.

My sweet Strong Man, Barnum and Bailey provided me with the PERFECT reward for busting my tale feathers to make their Thanksgiving special. As I headed into the bathroom to sip wine and take a long hot bath I found this:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Free Holiday CD

I had to pass this gem on ASAP!! Go here to download Oprah's free Holiday CD. HURRY, HURRY, you only have 48 hours.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Favorite Things

Devoted readers,

It is no secrete that I think Oprah is the devil.

Even though I used to be a devoted follower! So devoted that I skipped two days worth of classes in college dialing the 1-800 number to secure myself four tickets to a live taping!! (The Strong Man would KILL me if he knew that I told the Worldwide Web he went with me!!!) He doesn't obsessively (or even regularly) read my blog so he will never know. Supports it...yes. Reads it...NO.

Current feelings about Oprah aside, I was informed by It's in the details that Oprah's Favorite Things airs TOMORROW!!! Wednesday, November 26, 2008. Word on the Internet is that "she is only showcasing affordable items." I would like to know her definition of "affordable" so I have my DVR set.

That is right! I HAVE MY DVR SET!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Black Friday

This blog is dedicated to all of the Christmas Gift Deal Seekers in my life. I am by NO means an authority subject but I ran across a few gems that could be potentially helpful.

  1. Official site for all 2008 Black Friday Ads
  2. A little history on the madness.
  3. Google. For real! Every decent plan begins with a google search!!
  4. Amazon. Prime Shipping cannot be BEAT!!!
  5. This just in.....Thank you Amazanian for this website!!!

Good luck you bloodhounds!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

That was then...

That was then....

This is now.....(10 months later)

I am CrAzY about these two!! I am also CrAzY that we still have my husband's bachelor pad couch!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tooth Tissues

Sweet Barnum. Sweet, sweet Barnum. Little Barnum is SO sweet that I have to fight really hard to keep the teeth in his little head!!! You see, he was born without the enamel on his top four teeth. This was discovered right before his 1st Birthday. As an OCD 1st Time Mom, I had PLENTY of time to stare, pick, prod, make mental notes, thoroughly research all mental notes and consult experts regarding my research and mental notes. Oh how exhausting I was!!! (That is right devoted readers....WAS!!)

One day as I looked down at my sweet little Barnum, I noticed "wear" marks on his top two teeth. In a fit of hysteria, I hauled my precious baby to the dentist. I was SICK! After all, this child was nursed EXCLUSIVELY for 11 months!! However, I felt that b/c of my child's teeth people would view me as the "mom that props the bottle." I cried. I lost sleep. I cried some more. I was defenseless. All I wanted was for my baby to be immune from life's problems. (Little did I know that these teeth were going to be the LEAST of his problems in the next year to come!!!)

Back to the dentist. An ANGEL of a man!! We started a preventative plan involving varnish fluoride treatments every three months. However, the doc prepared me that we would more than likely end up needing to cap his top four teeth.

I researched myself silly and in the meantime my sil gave me an article on Xylitol. It was all natural and what did I have to lose? In typical OCD fashion, I bought and implemented EVERY Xylitol product I could get my hands on.

I am happy to report that I have SOOOOOO gotten a clear perspective on baby teeth. Yes, the stint with paralysis helped!! But also, sweet, sweet Barnum is now 3 years old with every one of his natural teeth. At our recent dental visit we were given the good news that CAPS ARE NOT IN OUR FUTURE!!! I have the Lord, crazy regimented dental hygiene and XYLITOL to thank!!

PARENTS OUT THERE....PLEASE make note of these AWESOME products!! Tooth Tissues can be used BEFORE your little baby even has teeth. Oh what I would have given to know this with Barnum! Praise the Lord I know it now and can use them with little Bailey. FYI...Bailey is 10 months old and the proud owner of 14 teeth!!! He LOVES his little Tooth Tissues!!

Also, Xyli-Tots Lollies make the PERFECT sweet reward for your older kiddos!! I was introduced to these last month by our dentist and was happy to find them at our local Health Food Store.

Here is to healthy teeth and gums!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The WorldWide Web

A couple of weeks ago the facilitator of my Bible study emailed me an AMAZING-INCREDIBLE devotional she happened onto through a google search. Her search was "days are long, years are short." She was referred to a blog by Mama Hen. Mama Hen was encouraging her readers to check out a devotional she loved at this Internet Cafe. This particular devotional was written by one AWESOME lady who the Lord has put in my life through a Mommies and Mentors group.

SOOOOOOOOO. All of that to say.....a search on the WORLDWIDE WEB tied three local yokels together!

This devotion is an encouraging reminder of how well and how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father. It is written by an author who has been blessed with captivating eloquence!! I urge you to check out more of Missy at her blog. I know that it will make you want "to clap your snotty hands together!!!"

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Barnum!!!

Three years old. My baby is three years old!! It absolutely amazes me!!
It has been a quick and CrAzY three years full of long days, even longer nights and much love. I can't even begin to describe the happiness his two dimples bring me!! Barnum, you are a heavenly treasure here on earth! What a privilege it is to be your mommy!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE you and I will ALWAYS be in your corner!! God Bless you baby boy!!

A post regarding ALL of the Birthday mayhem will follow shortly!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barnum Meets Annabelle

My little Barnum will be turning 3 in three days!! 3 years old!! What a wild 3 years it has been! In prepping for his BIG day, I have been sifting through old pictures. I stumbled across a series of four that MUST be shared. This series is from Barnum's first meeting with my friend MOT's Annabelle. He was 3 months old at the time.

Huh? You want us to hold hands?

OK. Gimme your hand.

LOOK MOM!! I'm holding her hand.
Barnum began demonstrating his dramatic genius at the ripe old age of 3 MONTHS!!!
OK, OK. In his defense, this was a pretty mean trick his mommy and MOT played on him! MOT's idea of course ;)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Working Uninterrupted

I have been holed up in my bedroom ALL day trying to attain 20 hours of continuing education. I must obtain these hours by Nov. 30 in order to keep my State and National SLP licenses. Due to the gravity of this situation, The Strong Man agreed to take the day off so that he could wrangle the kids while I worked uninterrupted.

So far I have NOT clocked one CEU hour but I HAVE: plucked my eyebrows, taken a leisurely bath, dyed my hair, surfed the Internet and reorganized my closet. It is now 6:oo PM. I'm feeling CRUSHED by the pressure but I have to blog this VIP matter first!!

While surfing Etsy (and Lord help me if you don't know about Etsy!!), I stumbled onto this:

The cutest Felt Circus Elephant you've EVER SEEN!!! Thank you Tangarang for the DIY instructions!!! Get to sewing people!! Sweet Bailey's 1st Circus Spectacular is in 1 1/2 months!! There will be one on EVERY TABLE!! Do you hear ME? EVERY TABLE!!

Tangarang also linked to this which I found interesting. Today was my 1st quick glimpse at her site but it was definitely marked as a fave and I look forward to getting back soon.

Now back to the CEU's.....

Bernadette Resha

Sweet Bernadette is a friend of a friend. I was privileged enough to gain a tiny glimpse of her life this morning and WHAT A PRIVILEGE it was!! What a gorgeous soul she is. Bernadette's life vibrantly displays that our God is love.

Please take the time to visit Bernadette Resha's website. I hope it makes you rejoice in Him!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Secret Handshakes

The other night I was sitting at dinner with four friends. We were discussing the pros and cons of Bible Study Fellowship and one of my friends stated, "There's even a secret handshake!" No one loves knowing secrets more than myself so I stuck out my hand and ordered her to, "Show me on my hand RIGHT NOW!"

She did alright! However, my friend demonstrated an all too familiar secret handshake. One I had used every Monday night for four years at Oklahoma State University. I sat there thinking, "Is this the only secret handshake around?" "Is this the secret handshake EVERYONE uses for EVERYTHING?"

While I sat trying to process this information, my friend busted out laughing and said, "I don't know BSF's secret handshake! I just gave you my sorority handshake!"

Her and I died laughing and enjoyed discovering we were sorority sisters with about 25 years in between us!! Although there is quite an age gap and we were at different college locations, some of our stories were quite the same!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Wreckin' Em

Ha ha! I'm sure you Texas Tech fans thought I was acknowledging the whoopin' that Tech gave my Oklahoma State Cowboys. Well, I'm not!!

I'm talking about wrecking up my husband's car with my poor little nieces in it! I was trying to be a good aunt by taking them to see a local production of Peter Pan. On the way home, it happened. We were driving down a crowded 5-6 lane road. Cars were bumper to bumper as I merged into the turning lane to turn left at the light. Every lane was busy and I didn't notice that the two lanes of cars to the right of me had paused to let a car who was stopped at a stop sign cross over and turn left. I was rolling forward in the turning lane and this poor car didn't see me! He thought he was seizing his chance to cross the highway and smacked us head on!

I immediately turned to the girls to make sure no one was hurt. The sweet little darlings were very shaken up but Praise the Lord not hurt. The oldest was in the passenger seat and wasted no time ripping off her seat belt to climb into the back with her younger two sisters. I was filled with pride as I observed her protecting her younger siblings. I took my seat belt off and ordered them to start praying. I then noticed a pain in my right foot. I told them to pray for my foot and with very quick wit my eldest niece reminded me that if it was injured I had the wheelchair at home. WHY DOES EVERYONE WANT TO REMIND ME OF THE WHEELCHAIR??

The first words out of the other driver's mouth were, "Is everyone OK? I'm on the phone with 911." WHEW!! I was instantly relieved with his fast response and caring. I found my cell phone, beckoned The Strong Man, Barnum & Bailey, dialed up my sil and bil to inform them of the goings ons and let the girls talk to their mommy and daddy. We were in the MIDDLE of the highway with two lanes of traffic on each side of us whizzing by. I wanted to sit and hold the girls but I made them stay in the car with their seat belts on while I spoke with the other driver and dealt with the SIX (that is NOT a mistype!) tow trucks that descended on us 5 minutes after we called the wreck in. However, NO WAY was I moving my car until the police showed up. I wanted untainted, documented evidence that it was NOT my fault. (Believe me! I had several different moments of panic throughout the entire 3 hour ordeal of; "What if it WAS my fault?") Rest assured, the cop agreed IT WASN'T MY FAULT!!! The other driver was shocked and awed by his citation of failure to yield to the right of way (aka going through a stop sign when his way wasn't clear.) In fact, he said he would be contesting it so time will tell.

Quick Recap:

1. Big Fat Wreck but Praise the Lord...NO INJURIES!

2. Dialed 911 w/in minutes.

3. SIX tow trucks descended on us within 5 minutes.

4. We had to call 911 an ADDITIONAL 2 times and the cop showed up ONE HOUR LATER!! (In the meantime, The Strong Man and my bil arrived and thankfully my sil (Bless her 8 3/4 months pregnant heart) was able to take all of the kiddos home.)

5. THREE HOURS AFTER the WRECK, Black Sabbath (my husband's car) was loaded onto the tow truck and hauled off.

I couldn't get to my kiddos and nieces fast enough. I wanted to hug and love on them and tell the girls how VERY proud I was. As soon as we got to their house it was great to see they were all doing fine. I just started bragging away to my sil about how brave and incredible her eldest had acted toward her siblings by jumping into the back seat with them, etc., etc. She was just shaking her head and saying, "umm-humm, yeah. umm-humm, yeah."

After I finished bragging, my sweet niece said, "Um, I hurried into the backseat because I thought the air bag was going to go off."

Nice! Self Preservation.

For crying out loud this is by NO MEANS a bad thing, right? For example, when your on a plane they tell you to put the oxygen mask on yourself before you help anyone else!

She was just showing maturity beyond her years!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Hair Raising

Sometimes the circus can be a hair raising experience!! Just ask Bailey!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Circus Animal Caravan

Yesterday I gave you a glimpse into the lives of our Animal Trainers. Thankfully, my friend MOT (Mother of Twins) was able to capture great documentation of the animals themselves.

I hope this caravan of strange and wonderful creatures is a bright spot in your day.

Serious cuties, huh? All of these precious babies are dressed in costumes by Tom Arma. All of these animals and more can be found here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Animal Trainers

Today I thought I would give you a behind-the-scenes look at our animal trainers.

They are very skilled in the art of attracting, calming and nurturing various species.

They are so talented that they can lull these animals to sleep while they are still standing up!!

However, when the animals get out of line, it gets UGLY!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rub a Dub Dub

Here in my circus we make sure our animals maintain proper hygiene. The best sure-fire way to do that is by scrubbing them in the kitchen sink.

As you can see, they LOVE it.

Our animals love the kitchen sink so much that they just down right throw a fit when it is time to get out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Strong Man Strikes Again

I have yet to process exactly where I was physically and emotionally this time last year. If you met me today and heard snippets of my story you would probably think I was a liar. Praise the Lord for that!!!

However, The Strong Man LOVES to remind me how far I've come. He says it prevents complacency in my walk with the Lord. Are his motives pure in intent? Only God can judge.

To give you a glance into my life I will leave you with the following exchange of words:

The Bearded Lady,

"Why on earth does the shower door not close? I don't understand and it is SO frustrating!"

The Strong Man,

"I don't know. You probably hit it with your wheelchair."

Today!! He said this to me TODAY!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Patch Palooza

Bailey had a SUPER FUN time with his fellow Circus Artists at the Pumpkin Patch. Thankfully, he is still too young to understand all of the random comments that were thrown his way regarding his costume. For example, "Is he a cow?" "I love that squirrel costume!" "Look at the Teddy Bear." "What kind of costume is this?"

The mystery is over people......HE IS A HORSE!!!
Barnum loved, loved, loved donning his BUZZ LIGHTYEAR. For all of five minutes! Then he cried because he was too hot and stripped down to his underwear. (Buzz Lightyear of course!) Luckily The Strong Man packed some reserve clothes.

Acrobat C doesn't think it's fair SHE has to pose SOLO with Buzz Lightyear! Buzz seems confused.

Acrobat C calls in Miss Ballerina.

Here is Barnum with his #1 Partner in Crime, The Ferocious Lion. These two are INSEPARABLE! When they are separated all they do is cry for each other.

Can't you just see the fun in their eyes?

Here Barnum is trying to scramble over the pumpkins to get to his Sweet Friend. His Sweet Friend is a very wise woman and runs quickly away!!

To put the cherry on top of this trip to the Pumpkin Patch the 'Rents tried to pose these Circus Artists for a Group photo. The following is documentation of our success:

Oh!...Now the little horsie spies something interesting.

Suddenly Bailey screams, "I'll get you MY PRETTY!"

ANNNNDDDDD...............we've lost 'em.

Until next year Pumpkin Patch!!!