Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pond Pics

More Joy!

Nora and I are super excited about our trip to Florida! We've made a list of the days this week along with the fun things we get to do that day. Then we mark off that day at bedtime. Today was a movie with Nana and baking cookies. Tomorrow we spend the afternoon at Nana and Pawpaw's (so Daddy can sleep before our all-night drive) and then we leave for Florida at bedtime. Yay!! It can't get here soon enough! But getting ready for the trip can be tiring. And can lack joy. But I will overcome the hectic, busy days and continue to look for joy. So what did I find joy in today??

49. Trips!
Long or short, I love to take trips! Road trips, plane trips, and hopefully soon-- train trips! We're thinking of taking the kids to Little Rock next summer on an Amtrax train. The trip to Florida is especially exciting because these were some of my favorite trips that my family took when I was a kid. We'd drive from OK all the way to FL, spend several days at Disney World (truly the best place on Earth) and then sometimes we'd spend a few days at the beach. We also took trips to Mexico and Central America. And, thanks to being able to take cruises for free, we'd go to the Caribbean often and even Europe once. My parents were brave and would travel almost anywhere with me and my brother. I hope to be so brave with my kids!

50. My New Double Slow Cooker.
I'm sure y'all can tell how much I love to make meals with my slow cooker.... I've posted several delicious recipes in the past. But now, thanks to Mom and Dad, I have a DOUBLE slow cooker!! I haven't taken it out of the box since we'll (hopefully) move next month. But I can't wait to use it!

51. My New Dutch Oven.
It's shiny. And red. And heavy. And beautiful!! I also got it for Christmas... from Gran and Poppie. And, like the double slow cooker, I have yet to take it out of the box. But I'll be using it as soon as we move!

52. Crossing Things Off My List.
My to do list, that is. I know I've listed lists as a joy but this is crossing things off of said lists. I am about halfway finished with things that I need to do before we leave for Florida. And I'm partially finished with several things that are left to cross off. I've baked cookies (mint chocolate chip and powdered sugar), boiled chicken (and made chicken salad), grilled chicken (for chicken skewers), sliced carrots, packed the food, cleaned the kitchen, printed off the maps, bought the last present and cleaned the church. And that was just today! I'm exhausted... but I have to bake bread and wash diapers tonight. Then I'm done! Until tomorrow morning, that is!

53. Ibuprofen.
I have a tooth ache. And no dental insurance. And won't have dental insurance for a long time. So thank goodness for ibuprofen! Hopefully I can find a dental college when I get back so I can have this tooth looked at.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Pond

I have some really cute pictures of the kids out by the pond. The boys are in matching Osh Kosh overalls that Linda bought them. Unfortunately the server is rejecting my photos and I can't upload them. I'll try again later.

(I'll put a few of them on Facebook)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


They leveled the yard to get ready for the landscape!

Nora insisted in only walking in the footprints.


Most of the countertop was covered, but you can see some of it here:

Kitchen nook:

Like the countertops, most of the floor was covered:


I was tempted to take some of these boxes home for our move!

Nora's room... she insisted on having her picture taken in her room. Buddy decided to join in the fun:

More Joy!

Finding JOY in the crazy, hectic month of December!
(continued from this post)

45. Crocs.
      I bought some hot pink flip-flop Crocs a couple of months ago. They are the comfiest flip-flops I've ever had. I got them for Disney World- I knew that my usual flip-flops didn't have enough support in them for all the walking we'd do. But then I saw that it's going to be pretty cool while we're in Orlando. Normally I'd still wear my flip-flops but since we'll be outside all day I thought my feet might get too cold. And cold feet can be kinda miserable. So I finally decided to go get some- wait for it...- tennis shoes!! I know, I know. I strongly dislike tennis shoes. I tried on pair after pair and finally settled on the least horrible pair that I could find. But then I saw some Crocs. They cover most of my foot and are comfy. I can wear them with or without socks. I can still freely wiggle my toes in them and if I get too foot-claustrophobic I can slip them off for a few seconds. Yay!

46. Elizabeth Gaskell.
      Cranford, North and South, Wives and Daughters... enough said, I think!

47. Netflix.
     While we might enjoy having Cable, neither of us wants the bill that goes along with it. We, instead, get Netflix. For $9 a month we can have movies mailed to us and watch thousands of movies and TV shows online. We can even watch it on our PlayStation, which is great for the kids. They are currently watching VeggieTales, "It's a Meaningful Life" or, Football Larry, as Buddy calls it (it has a few football scenes in it). We much prefer the $9 a month to the almost $100 a month we'd pay with Cable!

48. Christmas Cards.
    We've received a few cards this week... we got one today and I didn't know who it was from! But they are nice to receive!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas, part 2

While waiting to open presents, the kids monkey'd around:

More Joy!

Finding JOY in the crazy, hectic month of December!
(continued from this post)

41. Space Heaters.
     We ran out of propane and it's cold!! So the kids slept under a tent in our room and we turned a space heater on. We woke up nice and warm-- as opposed to yesterday morning when we woke up to a freezing cold house! The kids are now eating breakfast and watching cartoons in our room... I think we'll stay in here for a while!

42. BBQ
      Beef BBQ. With spicy BBQ sauce. You can keep your pork and honey sauces... ick. Yesterday we went to Ms. Vicki and Mr. Mike's house to celebrate James's birthday. We had BBQ from Papa's. And it was delicious! We have leftovers in the fridge. Joy!!

43. Half-Price Bookstore
      We have one about 25 minutes from us. And it's awesome! I got a gift card for Half-Price from my parents for Christmas. I'm hoping to go by today so I can pick out a few books for our trip. Some of the books are used and some are from publishing houses that are trying to get rid of books. I once found a 1957 edition of Oliver Twist. The cover said it was 50 cents. So, at half price, I got it for a quarter! Dickens for a quarter!! Can't beat that!

Speaking of Dickens--

44. Dickens
      One of my favorite authors. Oliver Twist, Little Dorrit, A Christmas Carol... the man who brought us A Christmas Carol should DEFINITELY be on my JOY list!! I was usually on my own in Literature classes as most other students thought Dickens was too sappy. They usually preferred Thackery. They can have Thackery. I'll take Dickens any day... sappy makes me happy!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nom Nom Nom

More Joy!

Finding JOY in the crazy, hectic month of December!
(continued from this post)

34. Wrapping Gifts.
      Since I can remember, wrapping gifts has always been one of my favorite things to do. I recall, at around age 6, wrapping a gift with my brother and dad. It was, of course, for my mom. As I got older I started noticing how pretty the gifts my mom wrapped were... and I wanted mine to be just as pretty! She eventually let me help her wrap the gifts and eventually I learned how to cut the paper straight, tape the paper on nice and tight and apply ribbons and bows. Even though I'm now on my own in wrapping gifts I still coordinate my paper and always take time to curl some ribbon to make a pretty bow!

35. Cookie Sandwiches.
      A few years ago Michael came home from the store with this chocolate chip cookie sandwich. In the center was buttercream frosting. It doesn't, in my opinion, get much better than buttercream frosting! We so enjoyed that cookie that I started making them. And now the youth doesn't think we can have a party without them. Which is fine with me! Mmm!

36. Spoons.
     And I'm not talking about actual spoons. I'm talking about spoons-- the card game. It's fast, it's violent, it's strategic and it's become another Youth Group Party Must. You're on your own in this game... you'd better keep up and watch out for flying spoons. And me. I play to win. Just ask Bobby (again, sorry for smacking your eye last night... I HONESTLY didn't mean to!)

37. Cream Soda.
     IBC cream soda. Frosty, bottled, IBC cream soda. Enough said. (oh, and I guess I should say thanks to Daniel M for bringing me some last night... I was thoroughly refreshed!)

38. Wassail.
      It's another Youth Group Christmas Party tradition. When a new kid asks me what it tastes like I tell them it's apple juice with a BANG! And it is oh so delicious! Although, last night I was told that I was old for making it... to that I say "what.ever." {hair flip}. It really is yummy. You should all make some this Christmas season. And then sing the Wassailing song. I can't believe the kids don't know the wassailing song. It's a classic! Well, they know it now... I wouldn't quit singing it last night at the party!

39. White Elephant Gift Exchange.
     It's giving, taking, exchanging, stealing, swiping... just the thing to put you in the holiday spirit! Lasts night's favorite gift was the magic 8 ball. That anti-wassail kid must have been right-- I am getting old. Who would want a magic 8 ball when you could have had the $10 sonic gift card?? That'd buy me 10 happy hour vanilla cokes (easy on the ice)! I didn't get to play last night because a couple of kids came present-less... but that was part of the fun. Watching the kids play the game with my present. JOY!

40. Energetic Hubby
     I had to leave the party at 8pm last night to go pick up my kids. The party was supposed to end at 8pm but, of course, they weren't finished playing. So Hubby and Daniel M stayed longer. Sure, I had to deal with cranky, I-Stayed-Up-Too-Late kids, but that's alright. I'm just glad the youth group got to stay and play and my kids got to bed before 10pm!

Friday, December 17, 2010

3-6 months?

Yesterday I quit trying to fit him into the 0-3 month onesies (regular and footed) and I started putting him in the 3-6 month onesies. I don't have a picture of it, but you can see how big he is in these pictures. He can still wear 0-3 month pants but the onesies just won't button anymore!

(he's about to sneeze)

(super baby!)

I'll try to take pictures of him in his 3-6 month Puma onesie today. I'll also try to upload a video of him cooing at me. I tried to do it this morning but it keeps stopping the kids' netflix video (they are watching Baby Miracles: Jonah). Maybe I can do it tonight after the youth Christmas party. Maybe.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Our House...

... now has kitchen and bathroom cabinets and flooring! Yay! I have yet to see it but Michael went by on his way home from work and said they were finally working on the house again. :)

More Joy!

Finding JOY in the crazy, hectic month of December!
(continued from this post)

It's been a few days since I posted any JOYS... I've got some catching up to do! Like last week, I have more baking and cooking to do for this weekend. And I'll have more to do next week for next weekend. But this week it's cookies, red velvet mini-bundts, black beans, spinach enchiladas and salsa (the mexican food is for the Christmas lunch with my family on Saturday). So...

28. New Cookie Recipes
I was just going to bake regular chocolate chip cookies for the buttercream frosting sandwich cookies that the youth group likes (their Christmas party is tomorrow night). But Michael came home from work the other day raving about these mint chocolate chip cookies that a co-worker's mom had made. I, of course, started asking about these cookies to figure out what they were so I could make them-- as if I need another cookie recipe! I found a recipe that looked like a normal chocolate chip recipe but that added mint flavoring instead of vanilla. I went ahead and made the complete recipe that I found, but I do prefer my usual chocolate chip recipe. Next time I'm just going to substitute the vanilla for the mint flavoring. Yumm!

29. Warm Winter Days
Y'all know how much I love the heat and humidity that we get down here. Well, I'm even more grateful for them during winter. (Yes, I know it's technically not winter yet... but it might as well be!) Yesterday was windy, but it was warm enough for the kids to play on the porch for a little bit (Buddy is still sick so he hasn't been able to go outside all week).

30. A Helpful Big Brother.
Buddy loves to love on Cory! And he also loves to give him his binky when he's fussing. Or stuffed animals. I just have to remind him not to pile the stuffed animals on Cory's head.

31. BBC Movies
While I don't like all of the movies that BBC makes I do appreciate the Jane Austen and Elizabeth Gaskell novels-turned-movies that they have. They stick to the novels so well... as they should. Why alter a masterpiece? This week, while doing chores, I've watched Emma (2009), Persuasion (2008) and Little Dorritt (can't remember the date). I watch them on my netbook. Which brings me to...

32. My Netbook.
This is one of the best things that Michael has ever bought me. It's not the fastest but it's fast enough for me! I'm able to take it anywhere (it only weighs 3 pounds) and work on my thesis, listen to music or catch up on some TV shows that I've missed. Yesterday I watched Persuasion while I cleaned the kitchen, baked cookies and made supper! Today I'll watch Pride & Prejudice while I do more laundry, clean my room and pack.

33. Baby Swing.
A co-worker gave me this baby swing when I was pregnant with Nora. She used it for her son and then passed it on to us. All 3 of the kids have loved it! I'm able to put them in a safe, comfy fun place to hang out and eventually drift off to sleep... and I can do chores or take a shower! You don't know how fortunate you are to find time to shower until you have a baby. And then a toddler, pre-schooler and a baby!

Since My Baby Left Me...

It looks like he has the Elvis lip thing going on!

The gummy smiles are so cute!


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