This is My "Real" Blog: November 2006

Angie's Blog!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Well, it seemed important to me.......

So many times, I finish composing a blog entry, and I realize that it was either self-serving, or boring. I'm sorry. This will, hopefully rise above that status, and will make your lives better. If not, I have failed as a blog writer. I can live with the disappointment, really, I can.'s an update:

I last wrote on Sunday afternoon about the sad state of affairs on the stage of our church Family Life Center, where the play "Four Tickets to Christmas" is scheduled to take place on December 10 and 12. The set construction should have taken about an hour to complete. Mind you, I don't know a wrench from a ratchet. But, it had the potential of being easily constructed. I was wrong.

After nearly 3 hours, it was complete. The ladders that lead to the loft need to be secured more securely (hee) to the frame. And, there needs to be a railing added so that the heavenly host don't fall on their angelic faces after an 8-foot fall. Other than that . . . .

Our first "block the choir" rehearsal last night went extremely well. I was very relieved when I came home that we didn't have any yelling, crying, or vomiting. (Don't laugh, all three have happened before!)

In fact, I'm kind of looking forward to tonight's rehearsal(s). The first one will be with the orchestra. They still have a ways to go, but after that first rehearsal, we're going to combine the choir and orchestra and work on the four big numbers. I am anticipating good things. We'll see what really happens.

This next section may not thrill your socks off - but bear with me, it gets good at the end.

After returning home last night, I told my sister-in-law and mother-in-law that I would demonstrate how I put digital scrapbook layouts together. Mind you, since I still use power point exclusively, it's a relatively easy process. But, it was a little daunting to create on the spot with people watching. I'm not happy with the picture I chose, but all in all, it worked out allright. Here it is:

As I finished, I showed them some of the sites where I publish my layouts. It's true, I publish them mainly for the praise. I take it wherever I can get it. What can I say?

Upon arriving at one of my new sites (and now my favorite site), I was stunned. The site is When I scrolled down the page, I realized that my recent layout of Melany's little boy, Cooper, was the layout of the day.

Okay, this is the part where it paid off to read to the end. I'm sure you're all needing a moment to catch your breath because of the magnitude of that moment. So here's a pause for you to regain your strength.

[scroll down]

Ready? Okay, I'll finish. (Wow, that sounded like a cheerleader)

I recall saying something to the effect of:

"This is digiscrapdivas. It's a new site that I post my layouts at. They always post a layout of the day. Oh my gosh, I am the layout of the day! I'm the layout of the day. Can you believe it, I'm the layout of the day?" or something like that.

I then opened an IM window, to tell Melany that I was the Layout of the Day at She was duly impressed. Mark was so impressed that he called Melany on the phone (She's in Canada, folks) and talked about how proud he was of me.

So there you have it, I was the layout of the day for November 27 at

No, I didn't split the atom.
No, I haven't solved our country's dependence on foreign oil.
No, I haven't figured out the answer to global warming.

But, I am , or was the layout of the day at

I told you it would be worth it!


Sunday, November 26, 2006

It's Just a Matter of Prayer

That's what's going to get me through the next 14 days. Our Christmas production is scheduled to take place on the 10th and 12th of December.

. . that's two weeks away. We're nowhere ready. Yet.

I am getting ready to go down to the church, and get some stuff done. So, all I'm asking is for you to pray.

I would love to say that I'll give daily updates. . . but that's not going to happen. We'll be lucky to get a blog update in sometime this week.

Thanks for the prayers and good thoughts!!

p.s. Here are a couple of layouts that I completed over the weekend.

Edison's Twelfth Birthday. . .

And, finally this layout of my friend Melany's little boy, Cooper. A few months ago, she recolored a picture of Caroline and created a layout for me. She then recolored a picture of Cooper, and sent it to me with the challenge to create a layout. I finally got it done. Sorry it took such a long time, Melany!!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Some Traditions are Worth Repeating

Though we often complain about certain "traditions" that we are forced to endure, I have to admit, Thanksgiving Dinner is one that is definitely worth repeating.

. . .but only once a year, please!? My waistline (ha!) can't take it more than once every 365 days.

We had a great time. It was good to gather with our family, and reflect on our blessings. We really do have so much to be grateful for. This year, these things stuck out to me:

  • watching Caroline sit at the "mini-kids' table" with Kylie - if only for 5 minutes.
  • playing Taboo with Mom, Mary, Mary, Dad, Mark, Tim, and Natalie
  • realizing that welcoming Tim into the family will be such a joy
  • hearing stories about my grandparents. . .yeah, I've heard them a thousand times, but it's still good to hear them again.
  • that new Pampered Chef deep-dish pie plate (cranberry glazed stoneware) makes a KILLER deep-dish cherry pie.
Dinner really was awesome. It was later than usual, but it worked out fine. We hung out at Mom & Dad's house after breakfast, and walked over to Mary & Jeff's house for dinner at 6. As I mentioned, my cherry pie was absolutely tremendous. The new cranberry/pecan cornbread stuffing was allright - could've skipped the cranberries. But, all in all, it was a successful dinner.

Today was a bit more low-key. After lunch, we played games, napped, or crocheted. I'm working on an afghan for my niece (shhhhh!). Very cool colors. Lots of fun to work on it - I just need to go back to the store because I'm running out of yarn. We all refused to shop on Black Friday. We tried that once - when we got our TV for $169. Fool me once. . .

Tomorrow we're celebrating Christmas with the Aubrey side of the family. I've already wrapped (bagged) the presents, so my work is done. Should be lots of fun, and lots of photo-taking opportunities. Sadly, I don't have any pictures to enhance this entry. I'll try to do better. Really, I will.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

T-minus 32 hours

That's right. In approximately 32 hours, we will be enjoying our yearly "eat-as-many-carbohydrates-as-you-can" feast which is appropriately named "Thanksgiving."

We will stop, and thank God for our blessings, and then we'll consume:

"regular" dressing
pineapple dressing
cornbread dressing
mashed potatoes
sweet potato pie
green beans
corn (I think)
Jello salad
relish tray

and, that's just dinner. For dessert, there will be:

apple pie
pumpkin pie
pecan pie
deep-dish cherry pie

. . .and there's going to be a huge plate of cookies that my Mother-in-law has been baking the past two days.

You could look down your nose at us, but it's a tradition. We've been overeating for years. This is just our way of celebrating it on one day by consuming the equivalent of the gross national product of some third-world country.

Kinda makes one feel a bit sheepish, along with the gratitude. We certainly don't deserve such blessings.

But hey--Happy Thanksgiving!

Mark and I visited the preschool that Caroline will most likely attend when she turns three. We had our official "transition/intake" meeting with the principal of the school.

Talk about a neat place! As we came in, we had to move out of the way from the parade of ride-on toys. One of the classes was going out for a ride. It was great. Many of the kids we saw had developmental delays that were not "obvious" upon first glance. We saw a couple beauties with Down syndrome. It's so good to know that she will make all sorts of friends.

One of their trademarks is the use of "peer models," which are typically-developing preschoolers who model good behavior and life skills for the kids at the preschool. It's an amazing concept--mentoring at such a young age.

Although it seems so daunting, she will be enrolled in school on May 1. She will ride a bus - that will come to our house - and she will love every minute of it. As I watched the kids interacting, I could so see her there. In fact, I saw her, with that little pink cardigan sweater and her "bob" haircut, looking like a sweet little girl - walking down the hall to go to the lunchroom.

And, on the one hand, it broke my heart. But, on the other, it gives me so much hope. She will not be destined for a life of solitude, and seclusion. This world is open for her. She can do anything her heart desires.

. . .and that, my friends, gives me reason to be thankful!

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Let it Snow!

. . .if only for an hour! That's right. We got snow this morning. This, of course, leads me to the inevitable unveiling of the Tennessee Snow Casserole recipe, which is made around this time of year.

This particular recipe is used when snow is in the forecast. Once the flakes start to fall, there is a rush at the local Food City grocery store for the following items:

Canned Chili
White Bread
Toilet Paper

There you have it.--a recipe for a disastrous snow-in. I say bring on the Chex Mix, Diet Coke, and all the chocolate chip cookies you can make!

But, seriously, I'll give you a recipe that was passed along to me by our Developemental Therapist, Miss B.J. I made these for dinner tonight. Very delectable!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

4 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
1 T Butter
1 Small onion, chopped
1 can chopped green chiles
1 block cream cheese (8 oz)
8 smallish flour tortillas
2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
8 oz. heavy cream

Saute the onion in butter until translucent. Add green chiles, chicken, and cream cheese. Cook until cheese melts.

Divide evenly between 8 flour tortillas. Roll the enchiladas, and place them in a greased 9 x 13 pan. They should fit snugly. It's best to put the "tortilla flap" down.

Cover enchiladas with monterey jack cheese. Pour heavy cream over the enchiladas.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes. Cheese should be slightly browned.

These are great right away, but like just about any good meal, they're even better the next day!


Sunday, November 19, 2006

And, it's still only November 19

This is going to be the craziest couple of weeks coming up. Good, but crazy. As I share these events with you, I will try to attach pictures to make it more interesting.

Friday - what a day. Flu shot for Caroline (no tears). Her Thanksgiving program was a treat. Big nap. Then, Edison's middle birthday celebration.

We celebrated Edison's birthday for the last time tonight. I say "last time," because he had three celebrations. On the actual day, we had cake & ice cream after church, and opened presents. On Friday night, we took him out for dinner, and told him he could have anything on the menu.

However, when we looked again at the menu (he wanted steak & baked potatoes) we gave him two options. He chose well, but I think he will heed our advice in the future. I love life lessons.

After dinner, we went out for ice cream. Come on, it's the kid's birthday celebration. Marble Slab Creamery is one of those places with the frozen slab of marble where they mix delicious treats in with your ice cream. Our choices were:

Angie - pina colada ice cream & pineapple
George/Mark - double dark chocolate with fresh raspberries
Edison - swiss chocolate with cookie dough
Mary - sweet cream with fresh raspberries
Caroline - vanilla - no mix in.

Actually, when Caroline finished her ice cream, she started staring at other peoples' ice cream until they gave her a taste of theirs. We're so proud.

Following ice cream, Mary (Nana), Caroline and I came home and watched Return to Me. (Definitely one of my all-time favorites) Mark, George and Edison went to McKay Bookstore - and found all sorts of treasures.

Saturday was busy, too. I popped into work to get things ready for services this morning. Then, Mark and I had an appointment with The Big Guy in Red. (Santa). Caroline's new play kitchen had to be purchased, along with other treats. I'm forced to keep them a secret, because all sorts of people read this blog.

Church today was fine. Thanksgiving-ish. I like these types of services. Lots of reflection on the blessings. Being told not to focus on what you don't have, but rather on what you do have. Good times.

Lunch at Mom's was Edison's final birthday celebration. Pork roast with cherry sauce, various veggies, and pie. My Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake last night was a colossal flop. So, Mark bought coconut, blueberry, and chocolate pie at the store today. Mom's homemade pie would have been better. . . desperate times, ya'll.

Edison's out of school all week. (Cue the Alice Cooper song) He's looking forward to some quality time with Nana and Papa.

Me? I've got tons of work. Two pre-musical rehearsals. Pictures to scrap. Meals to plan for impending company. A new afghan I've begun for my niece. Somehow in the midst of making afghans for everyone else in the family, Becca got left out. This new one is going to rock - fuscia, tangerine, and lemon. It screams "DIVA" and "PRINCESS!" Can't wait. Again, will post that pic, too.

Mark's college friend, Lynn, called tonight. As they talked, I eavesdropped. (Tell me you wouldn't do the same!) Anyway, they talked about the ole' bloggie here. Turns out, my husband reads it from time to time. (Who knew?) He told her to continue reading it because it gives a blow-by-blow of our little life here in rural East Tennessee.

Helen, this one's for you. . .

NOTE TO SELF: Be careful what you type in blog. Not only could a potential or current employer read it, but the dear, wonderful husband reads it too.

Happy Monday to you all!!

Promised birthday pictures:

And, finally, Caroline's Thanksgiving program included her class singing, "If You're Happy and You Know It!" Look at my baby in that little pink cardigan. It gets me every time!

p.s. Thanks to everyone who wished Edison a Happy Birthday through the blog. I forced him to read my post to him, and let him read the comments. Trust me, you all were a bigger hit than I was. Isn't that the way......?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Happy Birthday, Bud!

Happy 12th Birthday, Edison James Aubrey!

It's actually already the 16th of November here - but back in Chicago - where you were born - it's still technically your birthday.

Edison, my love, you are my first baby. The first one to call me "Mommy" and the first one to teach me how it feels to be completely, totally, unabashedly and unconditionally loved. Your dad loves me totally, too, but there's something about "mom" love.

You were, and are, my delight. You are becoming my friend--even though you're still my kid. (that part is really cool to me)

You need to always remember -- no matter if you do grow to be 4-5 inches taller than me, I'll still "jerk a knot in your tail," if I need to.

And, even though I seem so silly to you right now--especially when you think you know everything and your dad and I seem so stupid, remember that we're pretty smart. And, to be honest, when we were your age, we felt this way about Grandma, Grandpa, Nana, and Papa.

I love you, Edison James.

I pray that you will always walk with Jesus, like you do now. I pray that your evil, snarky sense of humor will only age with time. I pray that your taste in music will someday conform closer to mine, but I can understand if that doesn't happen.

I pray that you will see God's purpose and plan for your life. I pray that as you grow to know him more each day, you'll see HIS hand at work in your life. And, though it pains me to say this. . .

I know that the day is coming when some girl will steal your heart. I'm really okay with this. But, I pray that she will love God, and give herself to him first. That's of utmost importance, my precious, precious boy.

I am proud of you. I adore you. I love you now and forever.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Time for an Update

So..... our house is a little bit calmer than it has been the past couple days. I still need a nap (or two) to make up for some lost sleep, but I don't think it's going to happen.

I have officially entered into the crazy part of my year. Our music ministry is putting together a full-scale Christmas musical this year. I told the choir that musical productions are not my favorite things to do. I was honest. . . you have to give me that. But, the general consensus was that everyone wanted to do it, so I agreed.

I have an amazing support network helping with the musical. A very talented young man is directing the drama portion. I sat in on a drama rehearsal tonight - just to give some feedback, and help cue lines. It's going to be very good.

BUT.....the production will take place in exactly one month - and there's still an awful lot to accomplish until the curtain goes up. Actually, our curtain goes from side to side, but you know what I mean.

So, those issues aside, things are humming along at our house. Edison's 12th birthday is on Wednesday. Where did those years go? I can still remember those last couple days, waiting for my first baby. He was such a precious baby. He was a BIG baby.

But, I'll devote Wednesday's blog entry to him. I'll have my kleenex ready, because I can't talk about my kids without crying. Isn't motherhood amazing?

Here's a layout I did tonight of Caroline with Miss Mint's "Blue Lavender" kit. It was a freebie I downloaded a few months back. I love it - but I just hadn't had time to use it. I also used an alpha that Melany designed for me. She's just the greatest.

This series of pictures that I took of Caroline in October has given me so much to scrap with. I could've played with virtual photographer and re-colored this picture, but it seemed best done in its original form.

I've named it "Flower Child." Enjoy. . .


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Croup? Crap!

I know. . .I know. We don't allow the "c" word around our house. . .even if it is the most appropriate word for the situation. However, the "c" word (crap) has been replaced with another "c" word (CROUP). That's right. . . around midnight on Thursday night, Caroline woke up very suddenly coughing, gasping, and wheezing. The deep gasps she was attempting to make were aggravated by panic, fear, and a lack of oxygen. It was not a happy time.

After my initial panic and immediate exile to a steamy bathroom, I called my aunt Mary, who is an RN. She came over, and within seconds announced that we were going to the ER. I was already dressed, had shoes on, and had packed Caroline's diaper bag with the things I thought were necessary. There were, of course, items missing. But I did my best.

After driving the 18-mile journey to Children's Hospital - at 75 miles an hour, we made it. God was definitely with us. . . no policemen to be found. And, thankfully, no drivers in our way. They admitted us very shortly after we arrived. Caroline was diagnosed with croup. After the first breathing treatment, she did some better. But, within an hour, she had more "stridor" when she breathed. We needed another treatment. Their policy: 2 treatments - you stay overnight.

So, the first night at the hospital was spent waiting, being weighed, answering (the same 20) questions five times, and getting settled into room 229. Caroline eventually went to sleep. She was the fortunate one.

On Friday morning, she was doing some better, but when the staff pediatrician came in to check on her, Caroline coughed, and he knew that there was still some of the JUNK in her. So, we were slated for yet another night in Room 229.

We were released first thing Saturday morning. It was good to be home. I immediately fell into bed, and into a Benadryl-induced coma. It was nice sleep - but far too short. I went to work for an hour or so, and we ate carry-out food from Craven Wings. YUM.

Things are (sort of) normal again. Mark's mom and dad arrived on Friday afternoon. They are helping out, as they can, and we are trying to settle back into our normal existence. Of course, we're still working on the definition of "normal."

Final thoughts. . . we sang a song in church this morning that took on new significance to me - considering my lack of sleep over the weekend. It was written and performed by Jami Smith.

Come Unto Me
Come unto me, all you who are weary
Come unto me, all you who need rest
Take up my yoke, and learn all about me
And I will give you rest.
Why do you linger? Why do you wait?
You carry on without me
I've always been here, but still you hesitate
I have much in store for you, if only you would. . . . .come unto me.

Like I said, a thoroughly new perspective was gained by singing that song this morning. I hope you - wherever you are - can find rest. It's official, we are in the thick of the holiday season. . . and busy-ness is going to be a way of life for most of us. Steal a moment, whenever you can. Hey, that's pretty good advice. . . now if I'd just listen to myself!

Oh, and before I forget.....HUGE thanks to my buddy Melany, who updated the look of my blog (heck, she created it) for the fall! Girl, it's gorgeous. You are the bomb!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Up to the Challenge?

Tried something new tonight. . . .I submitted a layout for the crop & chat challenge at Digiscrapdivas. I have recently joined this really cool group of ladies (I assume they're all ladies) who do digital scrapping.

I couldn't find a picture in its original shade for the challenge, so I recolored this photo of Caroline to match the papers provided for the challenge. I don't know if I have won anything yet. And, that's allright with me. At this point, I'm just proud to have risen to the challenge.

Before that, I completed this layout celebrating Caroline's graduation to more solid foods. She started munching on chicken nuggets while we were at Milligan for my class reunion. Pardner's Barbecue is one of our favorite places to eat barbecue and homemade french fries. (they rock) Since we were fairly certain that barbecue wouldn't be to her liking, we orderd her some chicken nuggets, and gave her a puddle of ketchup. The rest is history.

And if there's anything I've learned about raising a special needs child, it's this: You celebrate every milestone - even the ones that seem absolutely ridiculous. Now, couple that with an avid scrapbooking way of life, and you see why we have pictures of her dipping nuggets in ketchup.

There you have it. . . my challenge complete, and my layouts posted, I'm headed off to bed! Have a great Friday!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Keeping My Word

I said I'd post a picture of the Class of 1986 that gathered at the reunion. [I did NOT intend to be on the front row] Nevertheless, here it is:

I said I'd post a picture of the gluegun-less wreath on my front door. Here it is:

I may have promised a picture of Caroline dressed up as Cinderella. . . if so, here it is:

I said I'd vote. I did.

I don't remember saying I'd blog, but I did.

There, I've done it. I've kept my word. Happy Election Day!

Way Too Long Between Posts

Sorry about that!

It has been a very interesting week. I even tried to blog last night, and lost my internet connection. It's not that disappointing, though, because I typed two very uninspired sentences and lost my mojo.

Tonight, I have determined that I'm going to blog--even if I have nothing to say. But, you know me. . .I've got a few things that are just begging to be typed.

1) Vote tomorrow. Whether we agree on what party to vote for, or which candidate really deserves to be elected, we have an obligation to vote. It's a privilege, people. Do it.

2) My kids are awesome.

Edison has made it through his 2nd set of 6 weeks at school. He's doing a great job. His grades are good. His teachers are pleased. We are very proud parents.

Caroline is making huge strides. She has developed a hankerin' for chicken nuggets. She even embraces Chick-Fil-A nuggets--and those were the ones Edison took the longest to develop a taste for. (But, they're the best!) We've even had two or three "non-baby-food" days. Those days are the best!

3) At my age, I've discovered that I firmly despise change. It is difficult - but it's something we all face. Things in my world will be changing over the next year. Although I know it is for the best, it will be a difficult change. More details will follow. My health is fine. My marriage is fine. I just HATE change.

4) The holidays are upon us. I haven't really tackled Christmas shopping, and probably won't for another two weeks. Mark's mom and dad are arriving next week, and Mark and I are hoping for a chance to get away and do some "Santa Appointments" while Nana and Papa spend quality time with the kids. I'll get a grip on things, but right now, it seems hopeless.

I had another point, but it's gone. I'll leave you with a few digital layouts I've accomplished in the last couple of days. I also have to send a HUGE shout out to Melany - who surprised me with the most beautiful album of digital layouts that she printed out. This little 8x8 album is full of the layouts she has done of Edison and Caroline. They are exceptionally beautiful, and I am so grateful for such a wonderful friend!

Here are the layouts. . .

Taken at Mike & Penny's wedding. Caroline was really digging the bubbles.

Not my favorite picture - it's kinda fuzzy. But, the sheer delight on her face - and it's all because of a container of Cheerios!

Wow, she has gotten so brave! I am so proud of her, and her accomplishments. What a girl. . .

Have a great week - in case I don't post again. Enjoy. Vote. Pray.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Sound of Silence

That's what is reverberating through my house this afternoon. And, it is delicious.

I guess it's been a while since I've been home on a weekday afternoon where I haven't had to scramble to clean, cook, or coddle. But, as I type, Caroline is asleep. . .dishes are soaking and/or drying in the dishwasher. . .the whites are spinning in the washer. . .and there is NOTHING on the radio, TV or CD player cluttering the smooth and silky silence of my home.

I even e-mailed a response to a phone call I got today -- just to continue the quietness of the afternoon.

It has been a busy, but uneventful week. Some stress, nothing tragic. Mark and I have to attend a board meeting tonight for the Down syndrome group. There could be a little stress/strife there, but nothing that will bring an end to my joy today.

We survived Halloween just fine. Our family got together with Brian and Dionne and their twin boys. The boys will be 4 in December. Talk about bundles of energy. I think Edison gained a new respect and admiration for his one (1) younger sibling who hasn't learned to climb bookshelves yet. It was so much fun to sit and talk and laugh -- just like 10 years hadn't even passed. It seems hard to believe that if we wait another 4-5 years to see them again, Javan and Jared will be Edison's age (or thereabouts) and Edison will be in high school. Oh no, she di'hunt say that.

I have pictures from Caroline's party at school. She was Cinderella. But, alas, I don't know how to download pictures from the camera to the laptop. So they will have to wait for another time.

I also made a glue/nail/pin free wreath for my front door this afternoon. Those "garlands" of fall flowers you can get at Walmart are the key to making this wreath. I took a picture of it, and when it's done, I'll post it as well.

So, it's just another Thursday at our house--but it's a quiet, peaceful, cool Fall Thursday. There are groceries in the cupboards, the laundry is almost done, and the leftover Halloween candy is just about as delicious as the serenity here in the living room.

I wish you peace, serenity, and all the joy that a bowlful of Halloween candy can bring!