Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Talking Into The Calculator

We recently bought the toddler his own "cell phone." In fact, we went ahead and got two for him. Are we the coolest parents, or what? ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Heavy Skillets and Cloud Gazing

Have I ever mentioned that Thanksgiving is my gosh-darn-really-truly-seriously favorite holiday?

Well, it is.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that it's a holiday that centers on cooking and eating. Two of my hobbies. Maybe it brings less stress than the gifts/tree/decorations/traveling/traditions of Christmas. Maybe it's that one of my all-time greatest memories from growing up was cooking with my mother all day long on Thanksgiving.

Whatever the reason, I cherish the day--even when it starts really, really early.

Like, my day may or may not start at 5:00 AM, with the cheesecake in the oven by 6:00. Yeah.

When you cook as many things as we do, you know exactly what it's like to have a 14-hour cooking day. Exhausting. Exhilarating. (Only fuels my dream of one day being Paula Deen--love you, Paula!!) Needless to say, when you've been on your feet for that long, your back starts to hurt. And when you peel off your apron and plop down in your chair, you're not quite sure whether to devour the food or to let the food devour you as you crash face-first into your plate.

It's not just about the food at our house, though--it's about the laughter and memories that fill the kitchen all morning, all afternoon, and (nearly) all evening.

Like dancing in the kitchen at 10:00 AM with my momma to Rihanna singing on some ridiculous-looking float.

Or like bursting out laughing after my mom helped me flip my pineapple upside down carrot cake--not an easy feat with a cast-iron skillet that Tony Horton would have trouble lifting (P90X reference, any takers?).

Or like making my eggnog pound cake--AKA the most boring dessert ever--because it's my hubby's fave. He gushes over it like I spent all day slaving over every single delicious ingredient.

Or like my poor father going to three different stores to find Pillsbury Big and Buttery crescent rolls, so that my siblings could enjoy one of their favorite holiday menu items:

Or like taking sips of the ginger-pear sparkle (AKA--should we just serve this in shot glasses?) all day to "make sure it isn't freezing."

Or like tossing marshmallows into each other's mouths over and over and over to see who can catch the most.

Or like deciding with your siblings that Tom Turkey is going to have four middle names this year--one middle name decided by each sibling. I have to say, Tom Frederick Gobble Guapo Lurkey Turkey was super delish.

Or like slaving away over my very first cheesecake only to have my mom and dad praise it to the point that we just about called in the Southern Living kitchen staff for bragging rights.

Or like arguing with my mother over which is more Southern: "Stuffing" or "dressing"?

That's it.

That's why Thanksgiving is my favorite.

Because no matter how old you are or where you are in life (on happy times, hard times, or somewhere in between), we get a day to reflect and to be thankful. A day uncluttered with things, and so very, very cluttered with people.

Having my son running circles around the table, playing hide and seek, and throwing his turkey all around his high chair of course made the evening. What a blessed time to pause and reflect, to sit back and enjoy. Although my lethargy was palpable by the time we all actually sat down to eat, nothing could have been more precious than seeing my family around me, holding hands, talking, remembering when such-and-such happened.

And Black Friday?


I'm scared of getting shot/pepper sprayed/trampled to death in an attempt to purchase something that can definitely wait 24 hours.

I'm much more into cloud gazing. And family hikes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Book Demon

I'm afraid that I've passed on a curse to my poor child.

When I was 18 months old, I could sing my ABC's. One time, my mom was at a church function, and the pastor approached her and said, "I hear that this little one can sing her ABC's!" My mom prompted me to start singing. So I did, "A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I--"

And then something happened.

My mom puts it like this, "The alphabet demon crawled out."


The foundation at the church split. Glass shattered. Trees were uprooted. Nearby car alarms sounded (did they have car alarms in the eighties?).

The alphabet demon reared its ugly head, and my mother stared red-faced at her pastor and prayed really hard that an enormous hole would open up under her and her child who just scared the daylights out of a pastor by going from zero to sixty like someone in a straitjacket.


Anyway, my son does not have an alphabet demon, but he most certainly has a book demon. I know I've said before how much he enjoys reading. One day a week, we go to the library and pick out new books. Well finally, last night, (I'm not lying, people), my husband and I had to hide the library books (they're behind the big couch cushions, if you don't believe me). It was simply becoming too much.

We will read him a book, and as soon as we say, "The en--"


Over and over and over. That little "again" keeps popping up. We finally, around the fourth time typically, say, "No, that's enough. Pick a different book." Or we say, "No, that's enough. I have to go fix dinner."

And it happens.


Fists pound the bare floor. Windows shake. The glass break goes off on the alarm. The neighbors stop what they're doing. Dogs all through the neighborhood whimper in fear.

The book demon has reared its ugly head.

Do I know what to do about the book demon? No, not really. I'm thrilled to pieces that my son is nearly seventeen months old, and can sit and enjoy books for hours on end. And I've seen the benefits that reading has had on his little brain. He's now putting three words together, and every day uses words like "excavator," "airplane," and "faucet." But still. When that book demon comes out, I want to run far, far away and hide. ;)

What goes around, comes around--isn't that right, Momma?

Friday, November 18, 2011

Discovering His Shadow

This afternoon, the toddler was goofing around in the living room and happened upon...his shadow! He kissed, waved to, and attempted to high-five the wall-bound fellow. Precious. And hilarious. :)

Thankful Turkeys

This November, the toddler and I have been working on our thankful turkeys. Let me explain.

I am trying to hit the ground running with the fact that my son finally enjoys coloring. So, I've been trying (with my so-totally-not-a-crafts-gal personality) to come up with as many coloring crafts as I can think of. So, using some ribbon, paper, scissors, crayons, tape, and a stapler, I came up with the thankful turkeys.

We have come up with things that the little guy is thankful for, and then we've discussed them as we've done each one.

And, I decided to hang it in the playroom--where we spend a good bit of time!

So far, our thankful turkeys include: family, Jesus, playing outside, and friends. All very, very important things that not just the little one is thankful for. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gobble-Gobble Cookies

Tonight, I am responsible for bringing dessert for my medical wives Bible study's craft night! What better time than the week before Thanksgiving to make gobble-gobble cookies!?

These are also great to do with little ones who like to help Mommy in the kitchen!

You will need:
  • Ingredients to make sugar cookies (any sugar cookie recipe will work)
  • Decorative gel in traditional colors
  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate icing
  • Candy corn
1. Roll up your sleeves, and whip up that cookie dough!

2. Stick your cookies in the oven!

3. After removing the cookies from the oven, place to cool on a cookie sheet. (Go ahead and make a few enormous cookies for your adoring husband.)

See the enormous cookies?

4. After the cookies have cooled completely, it's time to break out the chocolate icing!

And get to icing!

5. Next, you're going to arrange the candy corn on the icing, pointing in toward the center of the cookie.

6. Go grab your bag of M&Ms! Choose two of the same color--yellow, orange, and green work the best for the eyes. Put some chocolate icing on the M&M (don't put the icing on the blank side of the candy...that is the side for the eyeball), and place on the cookie where you want the eyes to be.

7. After you put the eyes on your cookie, take out the blue gel and dot the M&Ms. Now your turkey has pupils! He can see! :)

8. To make the beak, use the red gel and make a "V" under the eyes.

9. To finish him (or her) off, you will need to add those turkey feet!

And ta-da! You're finished! How easy was that!? Make these with your kiddos in the kitchen, or bring them to Thanksgiving dinner. Either way--you're sure to get compliments on how cute they are!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Painting Christmas Ornaments

Yesterday, the toddler and I went to go paint Christmas ornaments at The Painted Pig. My super-talented, amazing-with-crafts friend, Tasha, said that every year, she takes her little one to paint Christmas ornaments. And I thought, What a great idea! So, in borrowing from Tasha, I declare this to be a family tradition!

We had a ton of fun! Little dude painted a Christmas tree ornament. Now that he loves to color, he enjoyed painting so much more than our last attempt back in August. He did such a good job (except for when he got the paint in his hair!); I can't wait to see how it turns out!