This is My "Real" Blog: October 2009

Angie's Blog!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Of Tacos. . . and Dolphins - edited

Last night, while eating her dinner, Caroline announced:

"Mommy? I like tacos. . . .and dolphins!" Clearly, there is no correct response to such a declaration. (laughing doesn't count)

We are enjoying a day at home -- together. She has a 1-day "Fall Break" this weekend. Edison is probably on his way to Nashville, as I type, for his final football game of the season. We're all ready for football to be a thing of the past.

Tomorrow holds a Fall Harvest Party for the Down syndrome group. I am scrambling (literally) go come up with a costume for Caroline. I may have nailed down a ballerina costume from all of her "stuff" but I have to check on some slippers/toe shoes. (Hello? Target?!?!)

I'm not a huge fan of Halloween. I endure it - mainly for the mini Baby Ruth bars. I'm not one of those dedicated Moms who goes out and buys foam, fabric, stuffing, and 17 pounds of glitter for costumes. It's probably hereditary. My mom settled for the "Cinderella" costumes with the acetate/nylon dresses and the "make sure the eyeholes are lined up" masks that got all moist and sweaty inside while you trick-or-treated.

Edison has been a baseball player, Batman, and other various costumes. I think I purchased the Batman costume--and swore I'd never do that again.

Caroline has been Cinderella (purchased -- what can I say? I had a girl) She has also been a pumpkin and a UT cheerleader. (The last was my personal favorite)

Like I said, I'm going for the easiest (cheapest) costume I can find this year -- and the one hitch? It's supposed to be a storybook character for her school costume day next Friday. So, we may have to find a ballerina book to justify her costume. (Yeah, like that's gonna happen)

Otherwise today. . . let's see. I've got a pork roast in the oven, with two loaves of pumpkin bread. My house smells HEAVENLY right now. After the bread is finished, I'll put in a potato casserole. We're making dinner for a friend who broke her arm last week. Not sure what we are having for dinner, but the McRary's should be eating well tonight (if I can say so myself!)

Tonight, I'm going to revel in a night at home. No meetings. No games. No kids (after 8 p.m.). I have a few projects I'm trying to finish up -- so I hope to get them "launched" and completed tonight.

After our party tomorrow, I hope to do a little more relaxing and crafting. Who knows? I might even get back into that scrapbooking room, and try to pick up where I left off four months ago.

Then, on Sunday. . . . oh man, Sunday! I am so excited. My alma mater is having Homecoming this weekend. It's not one of my "monumental" years (20, 25, 30. . .shudder!) so, I'm not going over for the festivities. It's my Dad's 20th reunion -- so he and Mom are going over on Saturday. But, on Sunday afternoon, one of my favorite people from my college years - seriously - is coming for a visit on his way back to Illinois. I haven't seen Doug in over 20 years, so we have tons to catch up on. (However, Facebook has helped us make up for a lot of lost time) He's excited to meet Edison & Caroline (and Mark, of course) and I'm just looking forward to laughing and catching up with someone I love so much.

So, we're looking at quite the weekend. I can't wait -- but what scares me is that it will be over in a flash! Here's hoping it slows down long enough to enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells.

. . .and, of course, the dolphins & tacos!

Edited to add: Melinda reminded me about Angelina Ballerina. After checking the "inventory" in Caroline's dresser/closet -- we are going with ballerina! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Well, would you lookie there?

The sun did indeed come up -- and Tuesday was a better day than Monday.

In fact, I apologized to the bus drivers for my "outburst" on Monday -- and after a little convincing, they accepted my apology.

And, as I type this brief recap, Caroline has "redecorated" my kitchen floor with Dora the Explorer memory cards (a matching game) by putting them in her new, plastic jack-o-lantern. I guess she figures Dora cards are the next best thing to candy. (Oh my, she has a lot to learn) She's also using some stray computer cord to "click" them. Not sure what is really going on over there -- but I'm able to type in peace.

It really has been a kinda crazy week. But, I've made it through.

She doesn't have school tomorrow -- Fall break(?). It's homecoming weekend for Seymour schools -- so they had the parade today, and she came home with candy. Not so bad, I suppose. And, being "pizza day" today, she was pretty darn glad to go to school this morning.

Edison's final football game for the season is tomorrow night. It's an away game -- nearly in Nashville. We're going to cheer for him from the comfort of our home. One game in middle TN per year is probably going to be our limit.

He had temporarily decided to join the bowling team after football season, but we've encouraged him to enjoy a bit of a break. He has been doing football since late July -- and with practices not ending until nearly 7 p.m. every night, he's been tired. I think he'll enjoy the break from extra-curricular activities. Of course, he's still involved in the worship band at church, and the worship band at school. So he'll have plenty to keep him out of trouble.

I need to stop this -- and get some more stuff done around the house. I've got a band rehearsal this evening -- and although I'm looking forward to learning a new song, or two -- it's always stressful (just beforehand) getting stuff together, and getting everything organized for a seamless (yeah, right) rehearsal.

So, until I write again. . .

Monday, October 19, 2009

Epic Fail

That was my Monday. Epic Fail from start to finish. Why? It's simple. I am not a good confront-er. I don't like to ruffle feathers. I don't like to make waves.

I love living out that Eagles' lyric: "I got a peaceful, easy feelin'. . . " You know? Today was not that, at all. My final FB status update for the day was, and is:

Angie Knowles Aubrey

Ya know? I'd almost go for a "Groundhog Day" do-over. I would *not* have made a phone call. . . *not* entertained a discussion that has me stressed out. . .and I would *not* have wasted a couple hours at home this afternoon -- wallowing in my crappy day. Oh well. . . it's almost Tuesday! 6 minutes ago clear

For those of you with a facebook account, you will recognize that I pretty much just cut & pasted that status update. If I still had a Twitter account, I'd have "tweeted" that as well.

There are stories behind those "vignettes" and more stories that aren't reflected in the brief re-cap of my day. But, I'm not going to tell those stories. There really wouldn't be any good point in doing that. Bottom line: Today sucked -- out loud.

Tomorrow? Well, I'm hoping for some resolution to the chaos from today. I'm hoping for a "reconciliation" between a teenage boy and his parents who had a little "discussion" tonight about the proper and improper use of cell phones during the school day. (Ahem. . . ) And, above all, I'm hoping that our Buddy Walk de-briefing meeting tomorrow night will be fun, exciting, and filled with lots of laughter. I could use laughter right about now.

And so, with that, I have very little else to say. Tomorrow, by all odds, has to be better. I suppose it could be worse -- but that would surely scare the bejeezers out of me. So, I'm grasping onto some hope that the sun will, indeed, come out tomorrow. . .

. . . bet your bottom dollar!

Friday, October 16, 2009

In Daunting Company

Just got home from a whirlwind shopping trip in anticipation of my cousin's wedding this weekend. Caroline needed dressy shoes. . . Mark needed a new dress shirt and tie. . .and I needed something to wear. I looked at a dress. . . but didn't like the only one I tried on. So, I opted for a new black/white/tan tunic that will go nicely with a pair of black wide-leg dressy pants. (They look like a skirt. . . so I'm good) I also got a new necklace to go with my tunic, and another new blouse (work clothes for me!)

Then, I stopped at Big Lots -- and stocked up on fall placemats, and a bunch of scrapbooking supplies. Sweet!

There was also time squeezed in for Chick-Fil-A. If you have never experienced a Chick-Fil-A sandwich, my friends, you just haven't lived. Those of you that enjoy sweet tea (ick) . . .I hear theirs is good. They have Diet Dr. Pepper -- so they're aces in my book.

There was my trip. It was quick, but fun. And best of all - productive!!

Now onto other things. My title, for one. . . .

While I was driving home (sitting in a drive thru at Sonic) my phone let me know that I'd received an email. Sure enough, it was from my sister/friend Beth in Canada. She encouraged me to go to her daughter Melinda's blog because there was something of interest there for me.

If you haven't clicked yet, here's the link.

That's right -- sweet, wonderful, naive Melinda referenced me as a recipe source with the likes of Martha Stewart and the Pioneer Woman. I was dumbfounded. . . .but very honored.

So, in Melinda's honor, I'm going to give the recipe for a soup that I "invented" last week. I didn't really invent it, I just adapted another recipe to suit my tastes -- and the leftovers I had in the freezer. If you make it, please enjoy it with my best wishes (gosh, now I sound like Paula Deen!)

Smoky Chicken Corn Chowder

You need:
Chicken (3 boneless/skinless breasts)
Red Pepper
Minced Garlic
Chicken Broth
Cayenne Pepper

If you've got that stuff, you'll be fine!

1) Cut an entire pound of bacon into pieces. Then, fry it in a skillet. KEEP THE DRIPPINGS. Set bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to cool & drain.
2) Dice 1 onion (or so) 1 red pepper, and 3 stalks celery - saute them with 1 t. minced garlic in the bacon drippings. Pull them out when the onions are soft.
3) Cut your chicken breasts into small pieces. Fry them in the bacon drippings. Add more from your jar of reserved drippings (fridge) or add olive oil, if necessary. When the chicken is done, pull it from the skillet.
4) In a separate pan, make a roux from 2 T each butter & flour. Add 3 c. milk and make a white sauce. Add a pinch of nutmeg, cayenne, and salt & pepper to taste.
5) In your favorite soup cooker -- put onions/celery/peppers, 2 chopped carrots, and 3-4 peeled & diced potatoes. Cover them with 2 cans of chicken broth (or one box). Cook until veggies are soft.
6) Stir the white sauce into the vegetables.
7) Stir in the cooked chicken (which should have little "bacon bits" stuck to it from cooking in the bacon grease)
8) Add in the 2 cups (or so) of leftover corn you've been keeping in the freezer. Or, drain and add two cans of whole corn (or 2 cups of frozen bagged corn)
9) Add 1 T dried parsley and stir everything together. Allow it all to come together -- the longer it cooks and sits, the better.
10) If your soup is thin, you can add 1/3 c. instant potato flakes to thicken it up -- otherwise, let it cook with the lid OFF -- and the steam will escape and thicken the soup.

To serve, throw a handfull of the chopped bacon on top of the soup and enjoy.

I know it seems kinda haphazard -- but that's kinda how I cook!

I love you, Melinda!!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Change is . . .

emotionally draining

. . .and it's happening around here.

Last night, at the conclusion of youth group, our youth minister announced that he is going to a new ministry in Virginia. Most of the kids were surprised -- but oddly, none of them showed their raw emotions while still at church.

Once they got home? Sounds like a different story altogether. And yes, that includes my house.

Indeed, things are quiet and "sulkish" if that's a word. Sullen is another one that comes to mind. Edison is taking this one on the chin -- he was, and is very close to Tim. And, he's not the only one.

I've worked with Tim for nearly four years. I've gotten used to him sneaking in my office -- throwing things at me -- wrestling with colleagues (not me, of course) -- and making me laugh just before it's time to pray. And those, my friends, are the things I'm going to miss.

Being in ministry means saying "goodbye," and that's one part of ministry that I despise. But, God leads -- God calls -- and God provides. He already has in mind the person that will come and take Tim's place. My prayer is that whoever this "someone" is. . . .he'll love on our kids that are so desperately hurting right now.

Other than that. . . we are experiencing good changes. The weather is finally starting to change. Leaves still retain their "greenish hue" but the days of gold, orange, brilliant red, and brown are coming. Which also means -- our leaf blower will come out of seclusion very soon. (sigh)

This past Monday, we went to parent/teacher conferences for Caroline -- two, because of her inclusion class & her special education (contained) classroom. They both went EXTREMELY well. She's doing great -- spending nearly 10 hours each week in regular Kindergarten. We've asked for that to increase, and I hope that it will -- very soon.

But, according to both teachers, she is adapting very well to the school environment. She had one day -- a couple weeks ago -- where she had croup, and we kept her home (I think). She managed to get beyond that, and has just flourished at school.

She loves Thursdays -- that's Pizza day!

She loves when the Home Depot people come to her class (once a month) and help them build projects. Yesterday, it was a bank.

She loves when the "Habit" Dog comes for a visit. This is ironic - because she's afraid of dogs, usually. I was told that it was a very "mature" golden retriever -- in fact, Caroline's teacher said that the dog sleeps nearly the entire time she's with the class. So, she's obviously not a threat to Caroline. But, she loves when the dog comes for a visit.

Bottom line: Baby Girl loves school. And, from what they told us -- school loves her right back.

Last thoughts -- change really is all around us. On Saturday, my cousin will marry a really nice guy. Edison is one of the groomsmen/ushers -- so yes, there will be some smokin' tuxedo pictures come Sunday or Monday.

I'm going to end today with a quote from the enlightened philosopher, Ferris Bueller:

"Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it."


Friday, October 09, 2009

Just One More Reason. . . .

Here's another reason why I love him so. . . .

Since I love him so much -- and you like me (at least most of you do) -- please visit his site, and thank him for this post.



Monday, October 05, 2009

Have we Met?

I used to blog . . .here. . . at this site. (ha ha!) Yes, I am back -- and if I still have any readers, I'd be honored to re-introduce myself, if necessary.

Okay, all joking aside. Here are a few pics. The stories may have to wait until tomorrow. But for now, enjoy. . . .

Yep - that's my girl, riding on a pony. The look of shock on my face is probably due to the fact that last year, she wanted NO part of any rides involving equestrians of any kind!

This is my birthday buddy, Leilani. Baby Leilani is now nearly a year and a half old. In this post, we were at a butterfly release, praying for good health for Leilani as she faced open heart surgery. I'd say those butterflies successfully delivered prayers to God, wouldn't you??

This is Caroline's favorite uncle -- Steve. We say "favorite" because he blogs and I blog, and on each others' blogs, we throw the word "favorite" around. (Lori, if you're reading this -- assure Chris that he's Caroline's favorite) (Steve, when you read this, disregard the comment to Lori & Chris!) Ha ha ha ha!

Grandma & Grandpa got to walk Caroline this year -- and the stroller was chosen more for ease -- theirs -- than for Caroline's. (Did I mention how she likes to bolt from us when she can?!)

This my precious friend, Narda, who works for the city of Knoxville. I swear, I don't think I could have gotten through the walk without her expert help and encouragement. Having her attend the walk was even more special -- because all of our (combined) hard work finally came through with something awesome!

Yeah, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the cotton candy!