This is My "Real" Blog: November 2007


Angie's Blog!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"Perfect"

That's a word that echoes through the halls of my home. Not because I am. Not because I strive to be. Not because I'm pressuring my family (or myself) to be.

No, it's Caroline's new favorite word.

That's right. She puts her baby on the couch, and says, "Perfect."
She stacks her colored cups, and says, "Perfect."
She gets into her carseat, and we get her seat belt latched, and -- that's right, you guessed it -- she says, "Perfect."

Does it get any better than this? If so, I'm not sure that I can handle it!

Oh. . .and I don't think I ever shared the following layout of Little Miss Perfect with you. Enjoy!


Have a "perfect"ly wonderful day!
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Monday, November 26, 2007

Beth, my friend, this one's for you. . .

. . .and anyone else interested in my daughter and me singing. Click on the video. The rest is self-explanatory.


video


Caroline has discovered the joy of singing Christmas carols. Okay, she really only likes one carol. She likes "Away in a Manger." She asks for it by name. . ."Chri-mus" and we oblige her. I am hopeful that you will enjoy our rendition of this classic. I am also (not quite as) hopeful that it will actually upload before the end of time as we know it. We'll see.


Our house is back to just the four of us. Although it's good to be back to "normal" (whatever that is) it is noticably quieter. Quieter isn't always better than busy.

We had a wonderful time with Mark's family over the Thanksgiving holiday. Lots of stories, games, and laughter. Cookies were consumed by the handful, and both of my children's sleep cycles are completely thrown off.

Sounds like a great holiday, doesn't it? As one of my literary heroes (Frank McCourt) would say,

'Twas




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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Pictures!!

This is our main tree in the office. Obviously, Caroline felt it deserved (needed) more cranberry beads. It has ornaments on it now. I'll try to take pictures of it fully adorned later today.

This is the tree in the sun room. Again, it has more ornaments on it, as well. I've put the "kid" ornaments on it. First Christmas, Winnie the Pooh, Snoopy. . . you get the drift.


This is my favorite tree of all. This is the one in my kitchen. It's just simply lit with white lights and little pink gingham bows.


See why it's my favorite?

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Off. . .

. . .shopping, that is. I know. I know.

But, we're off.

For pictures from yesterday, please see Mark's blog (link on right). It was a great Thanksgiving feast. . . .I brought home the white meat leftovers. YUM.

Three words: Broccoli Cornbread Rocks.

. . .oh, and there will be pictures, too.
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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

She Did It!

Sitting here at my desk. . .not really doing anything worth mentioning. . . my cell phone rings.

It's a call from Florida.. . .from Beth. Yes, I know, she lives in Canada. It's a Florida number. Makes it free long-distance for me (yippee!)

Her voice wasn't what I had expected, but it was totally cool connecting it with my image of her. I told her (on her blog) that even though I didn't know the sound of her voice until today, my heart knew her voice and that my heart will never forget her voice.

Thank you, Beth.

Happy Day before the Day before Thanksgiving!!
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Monday, November 19, 2007

Giving Credit Where It is Due

. . . ta dah!

The new blog header is the wonderful creation of my buddy Melany. I love it. . . especially the picture of my two kiddos. She even added a red maple leaf. . .did I mention?? She's from Canada! Thanks, girlie!

I also failed to give a fruitcake recipe to Beth. In a previous post, I promised one, and I failed to deliver. Shame on me. After I type this, I really am going to go sew some more. I have "sew" much to do. (yuk yuk)

Applesauce Fruitcake
(from the kitchen of Mary Aubrey. . .and Hazel Oliver)

2 c. sugar
1 c. butter (softened)
2 eggs
3 1/2 c. flour (divided)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground cloves
2 c. applesauce
1 c. chopped fruit (candied cherries (red and green) & pineapple - no citron. Ick)
1 c. raisins
1 c. chopped nuts (pecans)

Cream butter & sugar until fluffly. Add eggs and beat well. (I add them 1 at a time) Sift flour and measure out 1/2 c. to use with the fruit & nuts. To remaining flour, add the other dry ingredients & sift again. Stir dry ingredients into the creamed mixture.

Heat applesauce to boiling and add to above mixture.

Combine the fruits & nuts in a separate bowl, and stir the reserved flour with them. Stir this into the batter and mix well.

Put this congolmeration into a greased & floured pan (see options below) and bake at 350 degrees for 75 minutes. On the lower shelf of the oven, place a pan of water.

Here are your options:

1) Large tube (angel food cake) pan
2) 2 small tube pans
3) 2 loaf pans*

*I tried making fruitcake last week in three (3) loaf pans. They were small, hard, and dry. Use two. Only two.

ALSO. . . .this is important. I take extra red & green cherries and halve them. Using them and pecan halves, I "decorate" the top of the cake(s). Do it. Get in touch with your "inner Martha" and amaze yourself!

Seriously, I despise traditional fruitcake. Bleeecky! But, this -- because it's basically an applesauce spice cake with the fruit stirred in -- it really doesn't bother me. If I have them on hand, I've used chopped dates and put 1/2 c. dates and 1/2 c. raisins in. You really can be creative. And, (ptooey, ptooey) if you like that citron stuff. . . .shudder. . . .you can stir some of that in, too.

I love the way this cake makes my house smell. Totally Christmas-y. Enjoy!!!!
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Wow. . . Busy Week!!

Sorry there's been such a lag in between posts. One of the sweet little ladies in our church passed away last week. It was my honor to participate in her funeral service on Thursday evening. Then, on Friday and Saturday, we were up to our eyeballs in Edison's birthday shenanigans.

Oh, and Mark's new glasses. . . and the newfound confirmation that I don't need bifocals. . .yeah, it's all good. Let me try to recapture some of the magic. I might even add pictures. Hang on!!
On Friday, Edison had school. I officially declared it his "Half-Day of Eating Crap" celebration. Seriously. They watched a movie and ate junk food all morning. Mark had an eye appointment. Since he was going to pick out new glasses in the process, my presence was requested.
Side note: for 18 years now, Mark has admitted to being "fashion illiterate." I will not officially confirm or deny that diagnosis. I will, however, concede that I readily agreed to go with him to the eye appointment--knowing that new glasses were to be chosen.
Mark's appointment went well. . .a bit long, but it went well. I started reading, "Vanishing Acts" by Jodi Picoult. Wow. Gripped me from the first 8 pages. However, as you can imagine, I've been so busy, I haven't looked at it again since Saturday evening. It's still good. I highly recommend it -- and I'm only 1/3 of the way through.
After the eye doctor, we went to Lenscrafters in our mall. "Glasses in about 1 hour." Okay, let's be honest: the word "about" signifies that you'll be making a trip back to the mall on Saturday. But, I digress.
We found frames for him, and while we initially waited (thinking it was just going to be an hour--silly us) I decided to "pop" next door, and visit the eye doctor in the mall. Nice guy. But, he's an eye doctor in the mall. However, his diagnosis (as I previously mentioned) made me happy. It turns out my $6 reading glasses from Dollar General (or Target. . .or WalMart. . .or Walgreen's) will suffice for now. And, because they're cheap, I can be vain and buy them to match all my favorite outfits. Yes, I am that vain!
After my eye appointment, we dropped in on Chick Fil-A, Bath & Body Works, Williams-Sonoma, and a couple other stores. I was able to cash in my gift card from Tim & Natalie at Bath & Body Works. I found some "Twisted Peppermint" body wash/shampoo. (I know. . .it seems odd to me, too.) I like it .. . . a lot. I also got some new anti-bacterial hand soap--LEMON scented. YUM.
After shopping, we trudged back to Lenscrafters. . .only to learn that it would be Saturday when the glasses were actually done. Oh well. . .I had still gotten to pick out the (Brooks Brothers) eyeglass frames, so it was a beneficial trip for me.
Saturday evening, we dined on homemade soup (chicken corn chowder & chicken noodle) and sunflower oat bread. Unfortunately, when one forgets to put yeast in ones' bread recipe, it doesn't rise. Can you say breadsticks? They tasted good, but it's just not the same. Sigh.
Sunday was full--of course. I had a drama rehearsal (children's Christmas musical) after church. When that was done, I headed home, and started hatching a plan to work on Christmas presents. So, while Matt Kenseth sailed to victory in the final NASCAR race of the season, I stitched. That's right--I watched Jimmie Johnson capture the NASCAR championship for 2007 while putting quilt blocks together. There's still lots more work to do, but I'm getting closer.
Had a yummy dinner last night -- taquitos and queso dip. The taquitos were frozen, but the queso dip is homemade. Want the recipe? It's yummy, and so easy.
1 lb. ground beef (browned & drained)
1 jar mushrooms (drained & finely chopped)
1 can Rotel tomatoes (slightly drained)
1/2 block Velveeta Cheese
1/2 c. salsa
Mix all these together in a saucepan, and heat until the Velveeta melts. (I have a hard time calling it "cheese") Dip your favorite tortilla chips into this. It's delicious.
And yes, I was able to get all three Aubrey men to eat mushrooms this way!!
So tonight, we're hoping for dinner out. After that, I really must get back to Christmas present-preparations. I am going to work partial days on Tuesday and Wednesday. I have one more trip to the grocery store, and that should do it.
Oh, and tomorrow, I promised to take Edison out to lunch. He's off all week. So, as I continue my quest to get a million things done in five minutes, I leave you with a few pictures. Enjoy the week. Enjoy the season. Enjoy the pictures!!
The first pictures are from Edison's birthday celebration on Friday night. . .

The following picture is being posted for one reason, and one reason only. . . to show off myself i the celery-green sweater I wrote about the other day. I have to admit that I still can't believe I'm able to (finally) wear it!

My new kitchen table and chair arrived -- without incident -- on Thursday afternoon. Aren't they beautiful?!?! If necessary, leaves can be added to both ends, making this 6 foot table into a 9-foot table.

With the arrival of my new kitchen table, my old kitchen table is now being used as it's supposed to be used--as a drop-leaf table in my entryway. I love this table so much.

And this is what my table looks like with family surrounding it, and food embellishing it.

And one more picture for today. . . this is a view of our house from the other angle than what you see in the blog header. The trees are an amazing array of colors. . . of course, the back yard is full of leaves, too. Add "raking leaves" to my ever-growing list of things to do! (Maybe next week!)

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

What Do We Do?

For once, the title is not a rhetorical question. Nope, this post is a blatant answer to Beth's question/challenge to post our family's traditions for Thanksgiving.

Over the past 8-10 years, it has become a tradition for Mark's family to join my family for Thanksgiving. In fact, it may be even more long-standing thatn 10 years. I'll check tomorrow, when his parents get here.

Regardless, it's all about family. Our "Thanksgiving" week begins with Edison's birthday (which is right now, since the clock struck midnight). Mark's mom and dad have been traveling to TN to celebrate Edison's birthday for a number of years. (They've traveled here for most of Caroline's birthdays, too)

But, as usual, I digress.

My mom and dad live about 5 miles from our house. (10-minute drive) They live on a spacious farm which is owned by my aunt & uncle. Somewhere, between their two homes, our Thanksgiving dinner takes place.

On Wednesday evening, prior to Thanksgiving, food prep is done. This usually involves making items that can be prepared ahead of time. I can make the sweet potatoes (sans the topping) and any gelatin-ish salads, as well as pumpkin and/or pecan pies.

Mark's mom has traditionally treated (spoiled) Mark and his brother (and the rest of us) to a variety of Christmas cookies that rival your average Baptist Church Women's social. Seriously. . . .snickerdoodles, chocolate chip cookies, shortbread, thumbprints, jelly nut wreaths, kolachys, pecan crescents. . . to name a few.

So, a plate of those cookies always makes it way to the dinner, too. I will probably make a cheeseball and vegetable tray to take ahead of time.

However, before we go for dinner, there's breakfast. Thanksgiving morning's breakfast is always a treat for me. I almost always make the traditional (for us) breakfast casserole and a half-order of hash brown casserole. Biscuits or scones round out the morning. . .along with my homemade fruitcake and pumpkin bread.

We usually watch the Macy's parade, and start watching football as soon as its on. Then, we eventually make our way over to Mom & Dad's house. . .and then meander over to Jeff & Mary's for dinner.

Dinner consists of:

Turkey
Stuffing - made OUTSIDE the bird
Cornbread stuffing (Dad and I usually insist)
Green Beans
Corn
Mashed potatoes & gravy
7-layer salad
Cranberries - that "whoosh" out of the can and get sliced
Cranberry salad/jello
Relish tray
Sweet Potatoes
Baked Pineapple

Sadly, I haven't gotten to dessert.

Pecan Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
The aforementioned cookie tray
Some other decadent dessert

It's insane. But, it's very tasty.

Some years, following dinner, we have watched a movie. Other years, we played games. The year I remember the most was 2003, when I was expecting Caroline. My aunt had a game - I don't remember the name - but it was all about family memories. By the time we finished the game, Mom, Aunt Mary, and my cousin, Liz, were in tears. Then, Lori (my sister) and I got involved. . . .we were crying from laughing so hard. Truly memorable.

I don't know what we'll do this year. I always say that I want to take more pictures. I hope I do, this year. I am also hopeful that Caroline will be able to understand more fully the idea of celebrating (clapping, and saying "yea!") our family, and the joy that surrounds us with each passing day.

. . . I'm also hoping for cool enough weather to wear that green sweater!

The day after? We're still up in the air over that one. I have great plans to get our Christmas tree decorated that day. (Yep, Steve, that's the part that involves you and your brother, nephew, and father) Mark may do a "Black Friday" run to pick up Edison's Christmas present during an exclusive 2-hour 20% off sale. If I told you what we were buying, and the cost of the gift, you'd understand why we're willing to drive out to the store.

. . . .the son sometimes reads the blog.

Well, it's 12:49 a.m. I am tired beyond words. I have another long day tomorrow - and Friday - and Saturday. But, it will be fun celebrating the kid that first made me a mom.

If I haven't told you, he's 13. . . today. And mighty, mighty proud of it. I'm taking him to Starbucks for a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino tomorrow. That's the traditional gift for a 13-year old, right?

Happy Thursday!
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's Time to Get Cookin' . . .well, almost!

Here are a couple of the recipes I mentioned in a previous post. I will be making at least two of them. . .maybe all three. I hesitate on the mushroom casserole one for two reasons. . . the least of which is the ZILLIONS of WW points each serving inherently possesses. The other is that a certain sector of the Aubrey family (the men, mainly) despise mushrooms. It's their loss, really. So, in their honor, or not so much so, here are some Thanksgiving recipes.

Sweet Potato Pie
(My recipe card says "potatoe" due to a spelling weakness on my part)

3 c. hot sweet potatoes (mashed)
1/3 c. milk
6T. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 t. vanilla

Combine these in a bowl. Pour into a greased casserole dish (2 quart).

Mix together with you fingers:
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. softened butter
3/4 c. chopped pecans*

Sprinkle this over the mashed potatoes. Bake (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.

*When I chop my pecans for this (and most) recipe, I usually shake them in a wire mesh strainer. That gets out the "pecan dust" and leaves the clean "chunklets" for the recipe. I know, I'm weird.


Squash Casserole

3 c. yellow squash - thinly sliced
1 c. thinly sliced carrots (can be julienned)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 c. sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 stick butter
1 small package of herb stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm)

Cook squash, onion, and carrot in water. Drain the water when the veggies are tender. Melt the butter, and mix it with stuffing mix. Place half of the stuffing/butter into a greased casserole dish. Mix soup and sour cream and stir into drained veggies. Pour this mixture over half the stuffing mixture, and top with the remaining stuffing mix.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.


Deluxe Mushrooms

1/2 c. butter
2-8 oz. package of sliced mushrooms (fresh)
1/2 medium onion (chopped)
1 1/2 c. herb-seasoned stuffing mix
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese (sharp)
1/2 c. half & half

Melt 1/4 c. butter in large skillet. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook until tender. Stir in stuffing mix. Spoon half of mushroom mixture into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.

Repeat layer. Dot with remaining butter. Pour half & half over casserole. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.

Mom's note: Skim milk can be used with this, but why bother?!!?


Finally, I will put my "recipe" for the Swiss Apple Cashew Salad. But, let me warn you, this is one of those things that I make by feel. Kind of like playing piano by ear, but there aren't any calories at stake when you play by ear!


Swiss Apple Cashew Salad
(Many notes follow the ingredients)

1-2 bags of mixed greens
3 apples (granny smith)
1 bag shredded swiss cheese
1 can salted cashews (halves & pieces)
1 bottle Poppyseed dressing

Basically, you mix this all together in a bowl. However, if you're taking this to someone's house, and the drive is long, hold off on the dressing until it's time to eat.

Here are my annotations. ..

1) 1-2 bags of "mixed greens" refers to bags of salad. . . I think it's especially nice to have a mix with radicchio (red) and butter lettuce. I think we have a variety called "Riviera" which works nicely. 1 bag will do for our family. . . .but I'd use 2 bags for a big gathering.

2) 3 apples. These should be granny smith apples. However, last year, at Christmas, when I made this salad, I put in a red (gala or fuji) apple to give a red/green combination. If your granny smith apples are small, use 3 (minimum). This gives the tartness to the salad. . .which is necessary!

3) Sometimes I can find shredded swiss cheese, and sometimes, I can't. I believe 6-8 ounces of cheese will be fine. This is the "tang" in the salad. Cannot be skipped. My friend, Elin Crabtree" has done this salad with parmesan cheese (not the powdery kind) for the salad. I prefer swiss.

4) Cashews. . . .I don't think that you can have too many. So, add at your own (heart's) risk.

5) Really, the editorial notes are nearly done. Poppyseed dressing. Somewhere, in a box in my garage, is the original recipe. Since I cannot find that notebook, I've been using commercially made dressing. It needs to be sweet.

This salad is all about contrasts in taste. I don't think you could make it wrong. . . well, if you subsititued Red Delicious for Granny Smith; peanuts for cashews; and thousand island for poppyseed. . . but other than that, it's pretty much foolproof.


That will have to do for now. I still need to find my recipe for broccoli cornbread. It's in that white notebook, too. (sigh) But, it is made so frequently around here, I won't have any problem finding the recipe.

In other news, I'm enjoying a new pair of pajamas that arrived via mail order today. Yes, Joni, the pajama pants are comfortable beyond words. The new pink plaid flannel PJ pants arrived, as well. I also got a new blue dress, and two new shirts. And yes, my friends, they are ALL a size smaller than my previous order!

Whoo hoo!!! Sorry, got a little carried away there.
Happy Tuesday!!

(I gotta go. . . the two reruns of the "Office" are on TBS. . .right now!!)

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Say a Little Prayer. . . .for Caroline?

That's right, the princess is sick. We'd been treating her stuffy nose with over-the-counter stuff for about a week now. Things had been going along just swimmingly. . .until today. I made appointments for both kids to get their flu shots today. Caroline's appointment was made with the stipulation that if she truly *was* sick, we'd forego the flu shot for a real doctor visit.

That mother's intuition is a good thing, ya know? Sure enough, she has an infection in her throat and nose. She was a little trooper at the dr's office. She even sweet talked him into letter her play with his stethoscope, and after that, she played with his hair. I'm telling you, she's got these doctors (and nurses) wrapped around her little fingers.

Anyway, we left with one child innoculated against the flu, and the other on antibiotics. She doesn't mind them. Sucks them out of the syringe, in fact. So, that's good.

However, her fever spiked up to 102.6 tonight, after she went to bed. Another dose of ibuprofen, and we'll see what happens. As it stands, Mark intends to stay home with her tomorrow. I was home with her today--her school was cancelled due to Veteran's Day. Edison, our christian-school kid. . . had school. Go figure.

Well, I need to get back to Christmas present preparations. With the Aubrey side of the family exchanging gifts over Thanksgiving, there's an inordinate amount of pressure on me right now. I'll make it -- but it will be a series of short nights and long days! But it's so worth it!!

Thanks for praying!!
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So Many Options. . . .

As I started scoping out this blog entry, I had a few ideas of title options. . .

1) My Stubborness Pays Off!
2) Color me Blue. . .Plaid
3) Just When You Think. . . .

Okay, okay, enough literary devices. Here's the bottom line. . . so to speak.

Over the past week, I've been trying to bring in the winter clothes while taking out the summer/spring clothes. You have to understand that in the southeast, a true definition of a "winter wardrobe" usually consists of at least one (1) pair of capris and a short-sleeve shirt or two. Our weather here is bizarre. And no, Mr. Gore, it isn't due to global warming. It's just Tennessee--you're a native--you should remember this.

Anyway. . .as I was hanging up clothes from last year (and years previous) I hesitated to hang up a couple of items, because for a couple of seasons now, they haven't fit.

So, in an effort to rid this house of unnecessary junk (I'm thinking another word) I decided to try on a few items, and if they didn't fit (this year) I was chucking them to Goodwill. Here's the verdict:

* The black velvet dress (2 sizes smaller than I used to wear) fits. I will be wearing it for either Thanksgiving Sunday or Christmas Sunday. . . or both.
* The celery green velour sweater that my sister gave me two years ago that didn't even make it past my forehead when I received it fits. I will be wearing it for Thanksgiving. . .if the weather is chilly enough. (It's a velour turtleneck. . .quite warm. . .but quite pretty)
* The blue plaid (see my title option #2) pajama pants that I ordered two years ago (I believe) finally fit. And, as I type, I am wearing them. They are wonderful. They are warm.

They are going to be worn a lot.

So, all those crazy red boxes of Weight Watchers Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetables, and all those crazy Fiber One breakfast bars, and all those bags of frozen broccoli and green beans are finally paying off.

**I'm even starting to get "comments" from people at church. . .that's probably the best part of all.

So, my post today is a happy post. A blue-plaid-black-velour-celery-green clad post about new (old) clothes, and finally being able to wear them.

Oh, and we got our kitchen curtains hung last night. . . wanna see?????



Yes, that is my sewing machine on the kitchen table. I'm still knee-deep in a project or two that need to be finished (if I'm honest) before my company arrives this week. Not gonna happen. Said project will be relocated to my bedroom (probably tonight) and I'll plug away on it while they're here! (Shhhhh! Don't say anything!)

Oh, and I nearly forgot. . . I finished 600 Christmas Cards for DSAG last night. They are signed, folded, stuffed, and sealed. I'm glad to have that done!
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Smells Yummy in Here

That's right. . .in honor of the upcoming holidays, and the realization that Thanksgiving is now LESS than two weeks away, I started some of my baking.

I made two types of cookies. I forgot how much I love them both. Thankfully, as soon as they cool, the majority of them are going into the freezer. Otherwise, they could be the death of me. . .or at least my diet!

Here are the recipes. Because the holidays are all about sharing, right? Pictures? Not so much.

Molasses Cookies (from Sue Natiello)

1 1/2 c. shortening
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. molasses
2 eggs
4 t. baking soda
4 c. flour
1 t. ground cloves
1 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt


Mix it all together. Roll teaspoonfulls of dough into balls, and then roll in 1/2 c. sugar. Place balls on cookie sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 7 minutes. (NO LONGER THAN THAT!)

This recipe makes a ton of cookies. . . I make mine on the small side.


Daisy Brown Sugar Cookies

2 c. brown sugar
1 c. shortening
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 t. vanilla
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Cream shortening, eggs, and sugar. Add vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients, mixing well. Roll into 2 - 2 inch rolls. Slice cookies and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.

The Daisy Brown Sugar cookies are almost like a chocolate chip cookie without the chips. Edison and I are scheming that we might dip them halfway in melted semi-sweet chocolate before we serve them. In the meantime, I'll be freezing them until Thanksgiving.

Oh, and Beth. . . . .some of the things that will be appearing on our Thanksgiving table are Sweet Potato Pie, Squash Casserole, Broccoli Corn Bread, and Swiss Apple Cashew Salad. Do any of these make you say "hmmmmmmm?" If so, let me know.

Happy Saturday, Everyone!!

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Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm Just a Girl. . . .

This could be a very deceptive title for my post today. You might think you know where I'm going. . . but remember whose blog you're reading. It's almost a guarantee that you have no clue where I'm taking you, because I'm still working out the details.

One possible ending to that title would be from one of my all-time favorite movies. I love the movie "Notting Hill" with Hugh Grant & Julia Roberts. It also stars Emma Chambers, from "Vicar of Dibley" fame. (If you've never seen the Vicar of Dibley, you've really missed something spectacular)

Anyway, toward the end of the movie. . .before we get to hear Elvis Costello sing, "She" which still makes me cry even though I've seen the movie upteen thousand times. . . .(big digression there) you hear the line to which I'm referring.

Toward the end of the movie, Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) brings a painting to William Thacker's (Hugh Grant) bookstore. She is trying to recapture their romance that has had its share of ups and downs. She is turned away by Mr. Thacker -- who has fallen in love with her, and resigned himself to life without her.

Another aside: The scene where the seasons change to the tune of "Ain't No Sunshine" is one of the best scenes ever. I'm telling you, this movie is worth renting if you haven't seen it yet.

Back from the abyss again. . . .the line she delivers with such grace is this one: "After all... I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her."

It doesn't seem that impressive here, I realize, but it's pretty monumental in the scope of the movie.

Sooooooooo, all that to say that there are a couple of ways I could finish the line I began with my title. The above essay is one; here's the other:

I'm just a girl who can't say "no!"

If you notice that I've not been visible lately, it's because I have this inability to say "no" to projects. Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds. Here's the scoop:

I have assumed the role of fundraising coordinator for DSAG (button on right). Part of this role meant establishing a fundraising calendar for the group. This hasn't been done on a regular basis for a long, long time. And, although I remember most stuff, this takes me waaaaaay back to my early working days at Wheaton College in the Development Department.

Anywhoo. . . . one of the new steps in DSAG's fundraising plan for 2007 included a Christmas card that would be sent out to our entire mailing list. Currently that list stands at around 600. My (initial) plan was that these cards would be printed and imprinted with our name, so that no one had to fill out Christmas Cards. However, a new plan developed.

One of our young men in the group did a beautiful holiday picture. That is our 2007 DSAG Christmas card. But we decided that it would be really cool if we printed a couple thousand of the cards, and made them available to the general public.

NOTE: I can arrange for you to purchase these beautiful cards, if you're interested. I'll try to get one scanned, so that you can see for yourself. It's beautiful---and all the proceeds benefit the group. Sorry, slight Sales-Digression there. . .

Anyway, because we decided to do a mass print job, my idea of having the group's name imprinted on the interior of the card was nixed.

That's right. . . .think about it. . . you're getting warmer. . . .Ta-Dah!

I'm signing 600 cards by hand.

It's not bad, really. The only real problem is that I don't have consistently good handwriting. But, I try. So, last night, while watching CSI/Without A Trace (it was a crossover show--really good!) I addressed and folded cards. Then, I stuffed them. Edison plans to help with the stuffing process. I think he was disappointed that I got the first 125 done without his help.

Tip o'the iceberg, my boy. . . tip o'the iceberg.

So, if you're not doing anything, and have a wrist and hand that can take it, you are welcome to join me in writing, "Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee" about 450 more times!

Holly Hippodays!!

OH, and I nearly forgot. . . .I was cruising through Hobby Lobby today. I swear, this could very easily become my favorite store of all time. Anyway, as we walked through the Christmas area, Caroline pointed out everything she recognized.

Santa Claus
Baby Jesus
Christmas Tree
Lights
Stars
Angels
And as she saw each one (repeatedly) she would say, "Oooh, Santa Claus. . . ooh, Baby Jesus. . . Ooh, Christmas Tree. . . .Ooooooh!"

Oh yeah, this is gonna be a kickin' Christmas for our family. I hope I'm ready for all of this!!
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Promised Pictures


This lovely piece of furniture houses our computer, digital camera, printer, and many other things. Of course, right now, it still needs the *new* printer. Yes, we had to buy a new printer because neither Mark nor I measured our existing equipment. (It doesn't fit) Oh well, I really didn't like the Lexmark. I now own a HP Deskjet.


Here it is, opened up.


Here it is, with the "wings" shown. I wasn't sold at first - but having a white board, and bulletin board--with this family's crazy schedule--is probably not such a bad idea.


This is the new entertainment center--those are Edison's pajama-clad legs on the right. Kind of funny side note: it's interesting to see Edison mimicking Mark on a regular basis--even if he doesn't realize he's doing it. He is *now* interested in getting a bass guitar, and wants Mark to teach him how to play. He also has begun coming home immediately from school/church or wherever, and putting on his Old Navy pj pants with a t-shirt. Mark's been doing this for a couple of years. It just cracks me up--seeing Edison take on some of these attributes. He really is growing up.



Here's the monster all opened up. OH. . .and there you see one of Caroline's toys and a book. That really is a true representative of life in this house. All the decorating and polishing I can get done--and there's a Fisher-Price toy on the cedar chest. Life's good with a toddler.

Happy Thursday!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

And. . . we're back!

Mark was, indeed, right. (He is *almost* always right!) The internet connection is up and running again. I swear, it's running faster than before, but it might just be me.

I need to take some pictures to show you our new "babies" but I haven't done it yet. I'm just enjoying having a viable connection to the outside world.

Oh, and a quiet house. Edison is doing homework, and Caroline's taking a nap. Who said that a 9-year gap between kids would be bothersome? On afternoons like today, it's kinda nice!

Happy Monday!!
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Hello?!?! Hello?!?! Is this thing on?

Wouldn't you know it?? Just when we have perfect blog fodder. . . new furniture arriving at the new house. . . .our internet connection died.

I mean dead. Buried in the ground (so to speak) dead. Not coming back without intervention from the "cable guy" dead.

Harrumph.

I don't think Mark or I realized how dependent we are on our computer, or the internet, until it was so rudely taken away from us.

He is at home now (9:15 a.m. - Monday morning) waiting for the aforementioned cable guy to arrive and fix the problem. Oh, the problem will be fixed. . . . .something about "Mama not being happy, or something. . .?"

In other news, we did have two pieces of furniture delivered on Saturday. The new entertainment center is HUGE. I worried about the ceiling fan in the living room, but the delivery guys did a great job. The new computer desk came on the same truck. It is so nice--being able to "tuck" away the TV and computer.

In another week or so, the new kitchen table and chairs should arrive. That's right. We will now be able to seat 8-10 people around our kitchen table at once. Of course, it will take us a while to get to the point where I'm cooking for that many, but I think it will come back to me! I'm very excited. This will also be a kickin' craft table for those times when I want to have 4-5 friends over, and we want to scrapbook. It's coming, ladies. It's coming!!

So, no pictures. I'm blogging from the office. Shhhhhh!

Hopefully. . . tonight. . . .when the internet connection has long since been restored, I'll be able to post some pics from the weekend. There are a few fun ones.

Oh, and the pig? No clue. He hasn't been seen again. I don't miss him. He really did freak me out. But, in honor of his appearing and disappearing, we'll be having pork roast very soon! : )
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Friday, November 02, 2007

Pigz in da Hood

That's right. I'm rocking Caroline to sleep (unsuccessfully, I might add) when Edison comes running in the living room. "Mom, there's a pig in our yard."

I leaned back. No pig. I twisted my neck uncomfortably. No pig. I gave him the "Yeah, right" look. To which he said, "You're gonna have to get up to see it." I put Caroline down. She immediately started playing with her toys. So much for a nap.

There, in our yard, was a pig. Holy cow. . .or swine. . .it was the ugliest creature I've ever seen that close up....without a safety fence separating us. So, what did I do? Well, first, I had Edison close the garage door. I would have FREAKED if it would have gotten in my garage.

Then, I went outside with the camera, and got evidence.

Edison: "You're gonna blog about this, aren't you?"
Me: "Word."

Pictures. Word.



Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog-reading and post-Halloween candy consuming.

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