Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To connect or not to connect...

...that is the question. And my computer has chosen the latter of the two. :(
With any luck I will figure out the problem and be back later today. This phone is far from ideal for posting.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Miscellany Monday

*WOW. What a few days it has been. This house is eerily quiet today since I have it all to myself. I really didn't want to send the kids back to school today. :(

*Thanksgiving was great! :) Things were hectic and crazy with just a tinge of insanity, but that's the way I like it. ; )

*On Saturday we carried the Christmas trees, lights and all the decorations down from the barn attic and into the garage. This means that Christmas has begun in the Williams household! : ) The outside lights are hung and I'm starting on the inside today.

*Today's schedule is a typically crazy Monday lineup of events. All the stuff around the house; pick up Perri from school, feed her and return her to the school for a bus trip to a basketball scrimmage; back home to prepare dinner for The Hubster, Tucker and me; take Tucker to his Cub Scout meeting and then back home; go back out into town to pick up Perri when the bus returns; hopefully get some SLEEP so I can start all over again tomorrow!

*That's just about it for this Miscellany Monday. Much to do so I'd better get busy. Hope each of you has a happy and blessed day! : ) Hop on over to Carissa Graham's and link up your own Miscellany Monday post.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boiling and chopping and gettin' it done!

Haven't had time to post today and I just wanted to stop in and say I may not see you again until Friday. As the title of this implies, I'm a wee bit busy! : )

Getting this sort of thing done

so I can make the dressing and the potato salad tomorrow.

Boiling some of these

(15, to be precise) for deviling, and a couple more for the salad. We don't normally have potato salad on Thanksgiving but Brie has requested that I make a small bowl, and we all know....if the pregnant lady ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy! ;)

Plus I'm thawing the turkey and the ham, and tomorrow I'll be peeling 10 pounds of potatoes (we love some mashed potatoes around these parts!) and I'm considering making the rolls tomorrow as well. It's just so much easier for me to enjoy the company and the meal on Thanksgiving Day if I have the big stuff done ahead of time. I've done them the day before for a couple of years now and they reheat beautifully when wrapped in foil and placed in a 350* oven for 10 or 15 minutes. :) I'll also bake the pumpkin pies using my Mama's recipe. It's the best! :)

I'm also rearranging the family room to make room for the tables and chairs. It's the only room big enough that we can all sit together for the dinner.

Today I added at least 4 more guests to my list and that, my friends, makes me happy. I love to feed the masses! :) Looks like a total of 16, at this point. Unless I find someone else who doesn't have a place to eat. ;)

May all of you have a blessed and joyous Thanksgiving Day, surrounded by family and friends and with entirely too much to eat! :) That is my prayer for you. God bless you all, and don't forget to take just a little time to count those blessings.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Happy Monday! : ) Hope all of you had a fantastic weekend. Mine was pretty good!

*The Hubster offered to take me to the Capital City Arts and Craft Show on Saturday. It includes 160+ crafters and we saw a little bit of everything. No pictures allowed so unfortunately I can't share any of it with you. :( Guess you'll just have to take my word for it. ; )

*While we were out he also took me to Olive Garden to enjoy some of this:
(I got the chicken sacchetti)

and some of this:

and a few of these:
One word for ya.......YUMMY!!!!

*After we came home from that fun expedition, Tucker and I got to have some one on one time. He and I have been wanting to go see this guy:

Ain't he cute? ;)
So we took off to the movie theater to see Megamind.
I'm not a huge Will Farrell fan
and thankfully he sounded more like Robin Williams in this film.
That was a plus. : )

*Yesterday I made my oft requested homemade pizzas. I've pretty much gotten this down pat now and it isn't such a major pain the way it used to be. I posted the recipe, pics and step-by-step instructions on Kelli's Kitchen. <---- Click there to take a peek! : )

*Hayden is cracking me up! He just turned two years old last month and he's starting to verbalize SO much more. It's just that his pronunciations are a little....well, let's just say they're entertaining! LOL!!! When he wants or sees chips, he calls them 'pip', except that it comes out more like 'poop'. And he loves dry cereal but calls it 'weelweel' which actually sound more like 'weewee'. So between his begging for 'poop' and pleading for 'weewee', we spend much of the day laughing at him! : )

*I am typing this up on Sunday evening because hopefully, as you are reading this on Monday morning, I will be knee-deep in a little cleaning project I have planned. Cross your fingers that I actually crawl out of my big, comfy, cozy bed ready to get going full throttle! ; )

*The kids have a week off school, The Hubster has a week off work and I'm about to kick into high gear. Hope all of you have a happy and productive Monday, too! : )

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Once upon a time...A Thanksgiving Tale

Once upon a time, on a Thanksgiving Day many years ago, there was a man who had a wife and kids he dearly loved. This man worked very hard every single day so he could support his little family and keep a roof over their heads, food on their table and shoes on their feet.

But with times being what they were and his paycheck being what it was, it was often difficult for this man to make ends meet. It was the 1970s and in this economically depressed area, no one was having it easy. This man wondered how on earth he would manage to pay for the Thanksgiving dinner his family deserved and also Christmas presents, since that was just around the corner, and he had money enough for neither.

So that Thanksgiving morning he grabbed his gun and headed out the door. He would hit the woods and hoped to be successful in his quest to bring home something good for his family's dinner. It was all he knew to do. He had been raised to care for his own. He would not ask for help.

That same Thanksgiving Day my Daddy had to run out for some forgotten something. I don't even remember now what it was exactly that took him away from the house that day, but that is not the important part of this story anyway. The important part is simply that he did leave the house. And while he was gone he ran into this man who was walking along with a gun, looking as if he might be going hunting.

Daddy returned to our house a little while later and told us what he had learned. This man, someone who had worked with Daddy and who Daddy knew to be honest and hardworking, was up against hard times. He was struggling to put a meal on the table for his family. And on Thanksgiving, of all days.

So Daddy said he was packing a box of food. Canned vegetables, fruit, potatoes, bread, butter. You name it, Daddy was going to load it up right. He couldn't bear the thought of anyone, let alone children, going hungry. It just wasn't right.

While Daddy was packing that box, Mom was mashing the potatoes, deviling the eggs and basting the turkey. That beautiful, golden bird was ready to be put on the table.

But not our table. We could never sit down and enjoy a single bite of that meal knowing that there was another family not so very far away who had nothing to eat. So everything was packed up and loaded into Daddy's car. And we made do with whatever else it was we had in the kitchen.

And that, my friends, was a very happy Thanksgiving. : )


This story is true. I don't remember it well because I was very young when it happened, but I wanted to share it with you this Thanksgiving season.
From time to time I want to share a 'Daddy Story' with you because these are the
things that shaped my life as a child growing up in a small town in WV.
These are the things that helped to make me who I am today.
These are the things that made my Daddy special, not only to me but to all who knew him.
And while you will never know him, you can know of him.
I think his life can continue to touch others even though he's been gone nearly 13 years.

May your Thanksgiving blessings be abundant and may you share those blessings with others. That truly is what it's all about. : )

Here is a link to another Daddy Story I shared last year. Enjoy. : )

Livin' Little--or--Sometimes it doesn't take much...

...to make me smile. : )

I know I said I would probably be too busy to post this weekend but it is Friday evening as I'm typing this and my mind has been working overtime all day long. I just want to share a few thoughts with you. : )

Nowadays it seems like everyone is all about livin' large, but like the title says, sometimes it just doesn't take much. It's the small, simple, everyday things that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside or put a smile on my face. I LOVE having a day where lots of little things add up! And today has been one of those days for me. These are just a few of the little things that have made me happy today:

*Tucker's beaming smile because it's FINALLY Thanksgiving break! No school for a whole week!

*Perri going back for thirds at dinner because...well, it was good! : )

*The warm and cozy atmosphere when there is a fire in the fireplace and candles burning all around the house.

*The feeling of accomplishment I experienced once I completed many tasks I had been putting off for days. (Yes, I've been sort of binge cleaning. That is also the reason for the next two points...)

*Seeing the empty hamper in the laundry room. WOW! That feels really good.

*Sweeper marks. Yeah, the kind you get on the carpet when you've just vacuumed. Everything looks so much cleaner when there are fresh sweeper marks on the floor. ; )
(This particular carpet is not my own, but hey...I'm sure whoever vacuumed it felt just as happy!)

*Reminiscing about holidays past while preparing for those that are just around the corner.

And I suppose that last one is really what this post is all about. I can't help but think about the Thanksgivings and Christmases of my youth. Those memories always make me smile. : ) They do make me miss folks who are no longer with us, like my Mama Jones and my Daddy, but there is much comfort to be found in reminiscing, too.

So let this be a lesson to you. Pay attention to those tiny details that we so often let slip right through our fingers. Don't just let the good stuff pass you by.
  • Feel that grin that tugs at the corner of your mouth when you hear a child's laughter. And give in to it. Laugh with them!
  • Experience that tug on your heartstrings when a song on the radio brings back a sweet memory. Remember to your heart's content!
  • Revel in that feeling of accomplishment at a job well done. Bask in the glory of it!
Let all these things add up in your day and make you HAPPY. Do them with passion and purpose and expect more of them to come along because I'm telling you, once you get a taste of it, you're gonna want more and you'll be looking for more! And you know what? That's when you'll create more.

Take your happiness into your own hands, people. : ) Pay attention to life.

Be a rebel.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fill in the Blank Friday and 5QF

Yeah, linking up on TWO fun sites this Friday. Just because I can. And that's how I roll. I'm all about spreadin' the love, ya know. ; )

First, I'll Fill in the Blanks.....

1. My Thanksgiving plans this year will include hosting dinner for my family, my inlaws and some friends. I think the head count is up around 14 or 15, but that is always subject to change. Everyone is welcome! : )

2. My favorite Thanksgiving was ....that's a tough one. Don't know if I can pinpoint one particular favorite, but I can tell you which was my least favorite! It was 1989 or 1990, and while sitting at the dinner table at my sister's house, Brie (who was 3 or 4 years old at the time) says "Mommy, I think I'm gonna..." and she hurled the entire contents of her stomach into her dinner plate, much to the dismay of her cousin with the weak stomach. By the day's end, I was sick as could be and holding tightly to the bathroom floor to keep the room from spinning. Never have felt the same way about cranberry salad since then either. ; )

3. My signature Thanksgiving dish is, I suppose, the turkey. I don't remember ever cooking a bad one so I suppose that's an accomplishment in and of itself. But I also mash the potatoes, make the rolls, bake my Mama's pumpkin pie recipe, etc.

4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is all of it! I LOVE Thanksgiving dinner. There is nothing more comforting. : )

5. Thanksgiving free association! Turkey...dressing/stuffing...mashed potatoes...Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade...the kickoff of MY Christmas season...having the kids home all week (LOVE it!)

6. Thansgiving is a time for family, friends and food. Being grateful for all we have and counting our blessings. Sharing the bounty with others.

7. I am thankful for ALL of God's blessings in my life...my family, the roof over my head, the food in my pantry, my health. How on earth could I live this life and not be grateful? : )

{ Just click here to join in on the Fill in the Blank Friday fun! }

And now for 5QF. You can click here to link up! : )

1. What Christmas song do you loathe?

I honestly cannot think of a Christmas song that I loathe. I certainly like some (O Holy Night, There's a New Kid in Town, Warm and Fuzzy Time of Year, Holly Jolly Christmas, White Christmas) more than others (Blue Christmas...well, that's the only one I can even think of that I just really don't care to hear. Specifically the Elvis version. ) Yuck. My apologies to all you Elvis fans out there.
I just never developed a taste for his music. Sorry!

2. Do you and your significant other cuddle at night or sleep on opposite sides of the bed?

Opposite sides. Absolutely. I cannot stand to have someone breathing in my face! I feel like I'm smothering. And we have a king size bed, so it's more like we sleep in separate counties. I likes me space. ; )

3. Have you ever had surgery?

My first was a T&A at 16. Talk about a nervous wreck! That was me. And with good reason. I ended up with some bleeding issues, couldn't eat for more than a week and lost 7 pounds.

Not. Fun.

Since then I've had a YAG laser cone biopsy of my cervix; a hysterectomy; a cyst removed from my wrist; and I sincerely hope I never have to have more surgery. I'm a very good patient when I'm in the hospital, but once I come home I absolutely despise having to behave myself and follow doctor's orders. That almost always includes sitting around and doing nothing for a period of time and that is not my cup of tea.

4. When do you typically have your holiday shopping done?

I've been known to have it completed by October, but not for a few years. THAT was an awesome Christmas! : ) At the time I was working in a mall and Christmas shopping was a great way to kill my lunch hour. In recent years my greatest hope is to have it done by Thanksgiving.

But guess what. If you read this post, you know that to be done by Thanksgiving this year is little more than a dream. :(

Not happening. Already I cringe at the thought of what December holds for me.

5. If money were not an issue (and you HAD to pick something), what would your ultimate luxury item be?

I would want an Explorer again. Oh, how I miss my Explorer. :( But doggone it, gas mileage was never the greatest and fuel prices just kept skyrocketing. So when we had to get a new vehicle after driving a four-door truck for a couple of years (this is the truck on which we traded in the Explorer) we had to go for better gas mileage. That's how I ended up with what I refer to as The Two Door Speck. : )

And that's about it for this Friday. I think that's plenty, don't you? : )
Hope all of you have a terrific weekend! I'm not sure if I'll have time to post this weekend
since I have LOTS going on, but I'll at least check in on everyone's blogs
from my phone. I can typically do that when I'm waiting on kids somewhere. ; )

Thankful Thursday

Another Thursday already. I can't believe how quickly the days are passing! They just don't seem to have enough hours in them. Our bridge, my community's connection to the rest of the world, has been closed for a few weeks and we are having to use a detour that adds an extra 6 or so miles to a trip into town. So now that forgotten gallon of milk or loaf of bread and those trips to run the kids to practices and bring them home again...well, let's just say it seems that I spend more time in my car than I do actually accomplishing the things that need to be getting done around here.

I feel SO far behind right now.

1. My Thanksgiving menu is not yet finalized.
2. My Christmas shopping has come to a standstill.
3. The word 'declutter' has virtually disappeared from my vocabulary. Again.
4. I have a million things I want to get done and can't seem to figure out where to begin.

So today I'm gonna make some progress.


Stop looking at me that way

I AM!!!

The first thing I have to do is change my attitude. Attitude can sure ruin a great day, ya know?
It will suck all the promise and possibility right out of ya! Gratitude can change all that, and that's why I'm glad I started this Thankful Thursday. Just remember:

Every. Single. Time.

*Today I am grateful for Gini and Kevin and their willingness to carpool.
Their daughter is on the basketball team with Perri and we live in this same small community,
so carpooling makes great sense.

*Today I am grateful that I am able to plan a Thanksgiving feast.
I know that some folks out there aren't as fortunate.
And not only will my Thanksgiving include my family,
it will also include some very dear friends.
That means I am DOUBLY blessed!

*I am grateful that I still have 5 weeks to shop for Christmas.
I am grateful that I can shop for Christmas.
Even if I'll look like this afterward:*I am thankful that my family has plenty.
Plenty of food, plenty of clothes, plenty of stuff.
This means that we are fortunate and can share with others.
The decluttering will happen and I am grateful that I have things to declutter.

*I am thankful that I am able to do all that needs to be done,
even if I do have trouble figuring out where to begin.

There you have it. So if you are having trouble making a list of things for which you are thankful or if your attitude is not what you want it to be, make a different kind of list. Write down the things that are standing in your way; the things that are stumbling blocks; the things that are on your last nerve. Then put on your rose colored glasses and see why those very things that are driving you insane are actually great blessings in your life. Seriously. Try it. You'll feel better.

And then you'll make today a Thursday for which to be thankful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Wednesday Ramble

It's Wednesday again. Another week is flying past and I'm just hanging on for dear life.
I was so busy yesterday that I didn't even have time to post. As soon as I dropped off the kids to school I had a hair appointment. You wouldn't recognize me now! I'm much more dark and mysterious. ; ) Well, my hair is dark. My stylist asked if I wanted her to comb through the color or touch up the overgrown highlights. This time I opted for combing through. I told her I might end up back there crying and begging for foils! And I might yet. I'm going to give it a few days to see if it grows on me. I just don't think I can pull off hair this dark. I look.....washed out, maybe? I don't know what it is. I'm just not sure it's for me. But hey, it's just hair and you only live once! Might as well try new things from time to time.

Today is early dismissal for the kids so I think I'm going to plan something fun for us to do until time to haul Perri out of here for basketball practice this evening. I need to do some crafting myself so I'm thinking of lining up some project ideas for them to choose from as well. We'll just transform the kitchen table into Craft Central and break out all the supplies and the hot glue gun! : )

I had been outside last night, that's how I would have looked. (Well, other than the hair. Did I mention how DARK mine is???) We had some crazy wild wind last night! It sounded like it was going to carry away this house. Still pretty breezy today but nothing compared to last night's gusts.

And speaking of hair. I miss my curls. I've had big hair my entire life and even if it hasn't totally made a comeback yet, I think I'll help it along. ;) Some days when I'm just not in the mood to spend 40 minutes with the flat iron, I instead spend about the same amount of time with my curling iron. And it seems that the days I go curly are the days that I get the most compliments on my hair. It's just so time consuming and labor intensive! So I'm thinking about a perm.

That lady up there, in case you aren't familiar with her, is Melina Kanakaredes and those curls are natural. Lovely, aren't they? :) I want them. I'm sort of frightened at the thought of how large my head will appear (I have INCREDIBLY thick hair! A blessing and a curse, if you know what I mean.) if I get curls that are quite so 'tight' though, so I'm thinking a slightly looser curl.

Dear me.

I do believe I'm becoming high maintenance.

I suppose I've rambled on long enough. Gonna get busy now and get some things done before picking up the kids. Hope all of you have a wonderful Wednesday! :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Miscellany Monday

Good Monday morning! I've had a fairly busy weekend, so there is plenty of miscellany to share. I'll just sip my hot cup of Constant Comment and dish out the details. :)

*On Friday evening we went to my cousin Amanda's to celebrate her daughter Livi's 4th birthday. What a great party! Amanda created a Wizard of Oz Extravaganza for her Dorothy-loving daughter. Keep an eye out HERE and I'm sure she'll be posting pics soon and you've GOTTA see how cool it was! : )

*On Saturday we had yet another little mini-celebration for Perri's birthday. I don't know how it happens but it seems that birthdays around here end up lasting for DAYS! We had a few great friends and family here for hot dogs and birthday cake and lots of laughs. : )

*Yesterday afternoon found me in Parkersburg with Brie and Hayden doing a little Christmas shopping. We hit the mall running and I actually made a little progress! Very little, but hey...it's something! ; )

*Now for today. I have one word for ya:

I have much to accomplish! For one, I'll be turning this:

into this:

in order to see this:

Okay, so not literally. Perri has been selling citrus to fund her 8th grade trip to Washington D.C. Orders are due in tomorrow and I have to get everything together, make sure the forms are filled out correctly and the total collected meshes with the total due, etc.

Plus there are about 4 of these:(Not four full baskets like this, but four loads...)

Picking up around the house.


Get the kids from school.

Then I have to get dinner (Italian this evening)
and immediately get Perri back to school for
basketball practice.

Now why don't you join us for Miscellany Monday by going here:
Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters
and linking up! : )

Have a terrific Monday, everyone! : )

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Frugal Teen

I do believe I've taught her well. : ) I am a bargain shopper and I learned out of necessity. I also think it's fun to shop around for the best deals and see just how much I can save.

Yesterday we went to the mall so Perri could spend the gift card she got from her grandparents for her birthday. She had $100 to spend. That's a small fortune for a 13 year old! But you know, $100 doesn't necessarily go very far in the stores she likes. There's Aeropostale, Hollister, Charlotte Russe, NY&Co., American Eagle, Aerie, Wet Seal, Delia's.

Still, we hit them all.


She took a good, long look around each place and then said

"Let's move on and I'll come back and get this if I don't find something I like better."

And so we did. We shopped for nearly 4 hours and that, for me, is a MARATHON!

She ended up getting a slouch crew pullover (hers is dark blue) and 5 cute pairs of panties at Aerie; a red racer-back cami from Wet Seal; a plain black cami and a lace trimmed pink cami, a dress (for $5!!!)

(and yes, she WILL be wearing a short sleeved top under this dress!),

a bow ring she's had her eye on,

and some bracelets from Charlotte Russe.

And best of all...

(That and we had a BUNCH of fun!)

So that means another shopping marathon in the near future, I'm sure.

But hey, I'm up for it. I'll just put in a couple of miles on the walking track every day to stay in shape until then. ; )

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Thursday is almost over but I'm just now finding a moment to post.
And for that I'm thankful! But I'm thankful for lots of other things, too.

This being Veteran's Day, I would like to express the deepest of gratitude to all of those men and women who have served or are currently serving our country. Without their sacrifices we would not enjoy the freedoms that we have as American citizens.

I am thankful for the time I got to spend with my family today.
......There are many serving our country who haven't spent time with their families in a very long time.

I am thankful that I have the honor and the privilege of flying an American flag.
......And that is thanks to their sacrifices.

God bless our military personnel AND their families!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I only blinked.


That's all I did.

I didn't even turn my back for a second!

And now she is 13.

How on earth does that happen?

Happy birthday, Perri Bear!
You have made our lives so much better.
Your wit and wisdom,
your caring and compassion,
your bright and beautiful smile...
What on earth did we ever do before you came along?

Love you with all my heart, baby girl.
God bless you on your 13th birthday.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

He or She...Which Will It Be?

Yesterday was a big day around here. No, not because it was my blogiversary. ; )

There was a slightly bigger thing taking place.

I was blessed to be asked to go with my daughter to find out the gender of this new baby!

And I just KNEW it was a girl.

Yes, I knew it. Hayden would be so protective of his little sister.
I could just see him looking out for her.
He would hold her gently on his lap and smile proudly for a picture.
He'd hold her little hand as she learned to walk.
He'd watch out for her on her first day of school.

How sweet!

And then...

...the ultrasound tech had to go and burst that bubble.

But you know what? That's okay! All ten fingers, all ten toes, that little heart pumpin' away. Yes, there may be a little 'extra appendage' there that didn't exist in my imaginings, but that's okay! A healthy baby is what's important and everything looks great. : )

So come April, I'll have TWO grandsons to cuddle! : )

Sunday, November 7, 2010

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today...

...Leif Garrett was celebrating his 48th birthday. (Yes, that blonde, beautiful teen heartthrob turns 49 today!)

...marked the 9 year anniversary of the HUGE election recount in Florida to determine the winner of the U.S. presidential election.

...was the 43rd anniversary of Ronald Reagan's election to the office of governor in California.

...my brother was celebrating his 54th birthday

...my nephew and his wife were celebrating their 13th wedding anniversary.

And even with all these many interesting things already marking this fabulous day in history, I decided to sit down and build myself a blog.

And boy, am I ever glad I did. : )

This blog has been my therapy, my catharsis, the maintainer of my sanity. It has brought me many wonderful new friends. I have discovered fantastic decorating ideas, learned new crafts, witnessed the joy of births and shared the sorrow of loss. I have 'traveled' to so many new places with you all, visiting your homes and accompanying you on vacations.

All without ever leaving the comfort of my own home. : )

This year of blogging has been a wonderful experience and all the thanks goes to YOU, my friends! : ) Thank you so much for making this such a fun, educational and entertaining journey. I hope to stick around and enjoy many more years of the same. : )