Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving Highlights

Note:  This was supposed to be posted a couple days ago BUT in my complete exhaustion, I posted it on the cooking blog by accident. I am sure those blog visitors thought I had lost my mind.  And maybe I have... :)

I hope you had a happy happy Thanksgiving full of food, family, and fun.

Ours was full of...something. :)

I am just joking.

It was a good little "break".  No, that isn't the right word.  Vacation.  No, that isn't the right word either.  Anyway, it was a nice 5 days at home.

Here are a few of our highlights:

  •  We were really supposed to be in Mississippi for Thanksgiving.  However, whenever it was announced that the LSU/Razorback game would be here in Fayetteville this year (this game is typically at LSU or in Little Rock), my hubby sweetly invited his family here and announced we would be staying home.  They didn't get to come but we still stayed home and enjoyed our time together.  Even though the Hogs lost.  Again.
  • I cooked my first turkey!  I was terrified. It wasn't as much the cooking as it was the cleaning.  That grossed me out. I can pull my children's teeth out all day long without blinking my eyes.  But pulling a neck out of a turkey's cavity...well, that made me a bit queasy.
  • I totally "cheated". I used a roaster (as in an electric one).  The whole timing of side dishes with the timing of the turkey and with very limited oven space...well, it was worth it.  It didn't get as brown as it would in the oven but it cooked very nicely and very quickly.  And it was yummy.  
  • I also attempted my Mother-in-law's cornbread dressing recipe.  It was good but not as good as hers.
  • The whole meal (or at least my portion) was "clean" for my diet restricted child.
  • My favorite part of the meal was by far the pumpkin cake with caramel sauce. I make it about once a year.  And that is the reason...I would eat it all of the time if I made it any more than that.
  • We were able to visit with friends who once lived here but now reside in Florida. They stopped by with their children.  It was cool outside but the kids spent most of the time outside anyway which gave us a chance to just chat.
  • Though none of my kids is perfect (or ever will be), I couldn't help but marvel at how they really are growing up.  The youngest sat throughout the entire Thanksgiving meal.  That in itself is a HUGE accomplishment.
  • I read a book (Mindset) in about three days for school.  I learned a lot from it. I think there is a future blog post coming for that...
  • The girls had carpet put in their newly painted room which was completely the wrong carpet.  So a few days later, the company came back and took that out and put in the correct carpet.  Totally messed up "my plans" but in life, we have to be flexible.  Like it or not.
  • We are in the process of redecorating the girls' room. The furniture is basically set up.  Beds are made.  Now we just need to decorate and accessorize...
  • Hubby and I assembled the shelves that are now the bed bases for the girls without any arguing. There may have been a little sarcasm thrown around but no arguing.  That would never have happened 15 years ago.  Dare I say it...we might be growing up. :)
  • One night we needed a break from turkey (plus I was limited on time), so I made our favorite Korean beef.  I also decided I really wanted a French type bread. So I visited the very handy Pinterest and found a recipe.  90 minutes later, we had French bread on the table.  Who knew I was capable of these things? :)  I certainly didn't.
  • Last Wednesday (the first day of our break), I was feeling very ambitious.  I put together our Christmas photo card and sent it in to be printed.  There was a coupon for cards for THAT day so I went with it. About 20 minutes later, I had an e-mail that the cards were ready. I hopped in the car and drove down the street and had cards in hand in just a few minutes. Now let's see when I get them sent...
  • I did not go shopping on Black Friday.  At all.  
  • We did nothing fancy over the break, nothing extravagant, nothing that exciting. But I enjoyed it.  Each and every moment.
More soon,

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Thursday...Full of Thanks!

I am not full of food yet.  That comes in a little bit.

But thanks...I am full of it.

Overflowing you could say.

Much like the rolls I put out way too early to thaw.

They look like balloons, about to pop.

That is how much thanks I have.

A lot.

Even though it has been a hard year.

Even though I have felt like Stretch Armstrong, pulled and stretched beyond what I have desired.

Even though the year has held disappointments and tears, losses and struggles.

I am still thankful.

So it is time to get back on the Thankful Thursday track.

Here are just a few things I am thankful for this Thursday (which happens to be Thanksgiving) no particular order:

  • my husband. He truly is my best friend.  We laugh together, cry together, survive together.  I know I can tell him anything and not be judged (at least out loud :).  And he still makes my heart skip a beat when he wraps his arms around me as I work in the kitchen or I see him unexpectedly out and about.  He is such a blessing and proof to me that God must REALLY love me to give me such an amazing man in spite of who I am.
  • my children.  I know, I know.  They are work.  And they exhaust me. And exasperate me.  This motherhood thing is the hardest job I have ever had.  At the same time, they bring me joy.  They guide my thoughts and actions each day. And they make me strive to be a better person.
  • my pup.  She is like therapy in a bundle of fur.  At the end of the day, we usually hang out...she curls up on my feet while I blog, FB, and do whatever I need to do in cyberspace.  In her, I have unconditional love.  Well, mostly.  When I give her a bath or a flea treatment, she dislikes me for a bit.
  • my crockpot.  It has faithfully served me many a day when I needed a good warm meal ready when I came home.
  • my minivan. Don't get me wrong. I still miss my beloved Accord.  Still.  But the minivan is a necessity at this point in my life. And it has been good to me. That and I love my heated seats.  
  • my parents who didn't do too bad a job raising me (or at least trying to :) and who now are very involved in the lives of my children.
  • my sister (and her family).  She has known me for many years and still claims me.  :)
  • our house. Oh, it could be bigger.  It could be newer.  But it is a good house and I am grateful we live in it.
  • my job. Much like being a mom, being a teacher is no easy job.  It requires a LOT of time, energy, and strength. And it requires a thick skin.  Everywhere I turn, teachers are blamed for the many ills of society.  But the teachers I know love what they do. We love our students and give our all to make sure they become the men and women they were designed to be.  It is rare for me to have a truly bad day at school...most days I can't help but smile.  Those kids bring me joy.
  • my ipod/iphone. I love having such an eclectic mix and pushing "shuffle".  Then I get to listen to a little Bon Jovi followed by Michael W. Smith.
  • blankets.  I am always cold.
  • warm showers after a long day.
  • my elliptical.
  • My Fitness Pal which reminds me when I am eating too much or need to exercise more. :)
  • Pinterest.  I have found some mighty fine recipes and school ideas on there.
  • the blog. Yes, I have a love/hate relationship with it but it is my family history and the closest thing we have to a scrapbook around here...
  • my mini food processor which shreds cheese with ease for me.
  • my bed. Nothing fancy but I love curling up in it and snoozing.
  • sunsets and rainbows. Both take my breath away.
  • the beach.  Sigh.  I love the beach.
  • sushi dates with my hubby.
  • on-line shopping
  • time off with family.
  • friends.
  • a God who loves me all of the time.  No matter what.
  • the promise of eternal life.
I could go on and on but I better save some things for future Thankful Thursdays.  :)

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving week?


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Back to Bloggerland

I am back.

I haven't really been MIA.

Life has just been busy.

Mark was out of town all of last week.

I thought I would get a lot done while he was gone.

But instead I was in survival mode.

My accomplishments were getting the kids where they needed to be, both morning and night.  And surviving.

And I did.

I did start a blog post at some point.

But then I fell asleep before I finished it.

Now we are in remodel mode.

We are redoing the girls' room.

It is a slow process.

In that time, I have questioned whether I should continue blogging or not.  At least the family blog.  The cooking blog is a totally different experience.

To blog or not to blog.  That is the question.  Or was the question.

I love the family history on here because this is the only record I am going to have beyond photos of what our family is doing.

But sometimes I struggle with feeling like a failure when I don't post or when I don't post something "deep".

And sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself.

The image that comes to mind is Jacob wrestling with God in the Old Testament.  Except this was me wrestling with myself over the whole "Do I blog?" question. 

In the end, I have emerged with the decision.

I want to continue blogging.

I want my family to have these memories.  I want to share our struggles and celebrations as a family (and mine as a mom/wife) with family and friends (those who have taken time to read anyway :).  I want this outlet to share whatever thoughts come to mind, scary as some are. :) 

I am just going to have to let go.  Let go of the expectations.  I will have to forgive myself when I can't get on here.  And I just have to share what I can, deep or not.  I have to remind myself that this is our family history, the good and the bad.  And that some people are just not going to be interested in reading it. 

And that is okay.

So I will be back, though it may be after I help make Thanksgiving dinner. I have a feeling I will be in the kitchen a lot in the next 36 hours. 

After all, I have a Food for Thought Part 2 to share still (and I write it constantly in my mind...).

So stay tuned, my favorite few readers...