Monday, December 31, 2007

Back in Florida

Just wanted to drop a quick post to say that I am back in Florida. I had an uneventful trip yesterday afternoon. I have some final pictures to post, but I don't have time. I am hosting my Sunday School's New Year's Eve party. People will start arriving in less than an hour. I have spent the day unpacking, cleaning, doing laundry, and making preparations to host a party. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I agreed to this, but it is too late now. I don't have any idea who is even coming. It could be just a couple of us. I have several things that I can throw in the oven, but I am going to wait until people actually start to arrive before doing so.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Anniversary

Happy anniversary to my parents who have been married 38 years today. Thank you for setting an example and showing your children the perseverance marriage requires.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Day

Christmas Breakfast- Granny's Sausage Roll

For the last several years I have contributed to making a special breakfast for the family. We have always shared Saturday morning breakfasts for as long as I can remember. As teenagers, we begged to sleep late, but my dad insisted that we not "sleep the day away", but rather spend quality time around the table sharing breakfast on Saturday mornings. When we are all in town, my dad still enjoys getting as many of us around the table to share breakfast.

About five or six years ago I decided to try to make my grandmother's sausage roll. She passed away about eleven years ago, and when we would go visit her she would have the sausage roll and cinnamon rolls for us at breakfast. I haven't ever tried the cinnamon rolls, but have perfected the sausage roll. It is one of Roger's favorites and he requests each year at Christmas You actually need to make this the before because you need to freeze it, so it makes his request easy, but you have to plan ahead.

Granny's Sausage Roll

2 c flour
3 T cornmeal
3 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 1/2 t salt
1/3 c oil
Milk to make stiff (about 1/2 c, but up to 1 c)
1 lb sausage

Mix four, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, and milk together. Kneed dough and roll out into a rectangle. I normally roll it to about 9 x 13 or so. Once dough has been rolled out I trim may edges to make it pretty. Then spread the uncooked sausage on top of the dough. Roll the sausage and dough mixture into a roll.

Place the sausage roll in wax paper and foil or a container that can go in the freezer. I just don't have a container long enough to accommodate it. Freeze overnight or longer. About 15 to 20 minutes before you are ready to bake this remove from the freezer and begin to thaw. You want to thaw just long enough that it begins to soften and is easy to cut. Cut the sausage roll into slices. I normally cut mine between 1/4 and 1/3 of an inch wide. Bake about 400 until brown, which is about 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Christmas Day

We began today by eating our special breakfast by the fire.

Then I finished setting the table before I headed back upstairs to finish getting ready for everyone to arrive. I then went and picked up my grandparents. I helped in the kitchen when I returned as the last minute preparations were made. It is one of those times when there are too many people in the kitchen, but no one says anything because it doesn't happen that often.

We enjoyed a wonderful lunch of fried turkey, dressing, loaded mashed potatoes, corn casserole, jalapeno broccoli, cranberry jello salad, strawberry jello salad, and rolls. Fried turkey has become a tradition around here. My dad does a great job of making this delicious part of the meal.

The rest of the day was spent playing with Jacob and visiting with one another. Here is a picture of Uncle Roger and Jacob playing. They also played with Jacob's new rocket, but that was outside and I forgot to take my camera out there.

It was a great day, but now everyone has gone. I'll see more of Stuart, Michelle, Jacob, and the grandparents, but the house is sure a lot quieter without Roger and Alisa!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Eve

The decorations are in place. Old favorites that make Christmas, Christmas and new ones like a second Christmas tree. With all the gifts finally wrapped, the bows all tied, and the errands complete, our family gathered around the tree. (The eye doctor was uneventful except for the precautions I was given regarding retinal detachment. Apparently I am at risk due to the type of vision loss I have. I did receive a new prescription for glasses. I have a contact lens appointment on Wednesday and then I will have all this behind me.)

Each year Christmas is a little different, and I have decided that is part of our tradition. This year to help with the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day, it was decided that we would exchange our presents on Christmas Eve. This also allows Stuart, Michelle, and Jacob to begin to establish some of their own tradition on Christmas morning, and Roger and Alisa to get back to her family to spend Christmas evening with them.

I remember the days when we would argue with who was going to be "Santa" and pass out the presents. It's isn't that way any more. Thankfully there is a little red headed guy who immediately volunteered and took charge. I think once the person who passed out the gifts had to wear the Santa hat or the reindeer antlers, it wasn't such a popular gig. I must brag on my sweet little nephew. He has started to learn to recognize names and did a stand up job at reading the tags and getting the right present to the right person. Occasionally he had to ask for help, but that was normally do to the giver writing some one's nickname on the tag.

There are a few things that never change at my house. Everyone must watch the one opening the present, though this is getting a little less strict. The fact that there is a certain order to opening presents. You can't open this gift because it won't make sense until you open another gift. This means that it is a two part gift and my mom wants you to open it in the correct order. (Now this was very different from when we were growing up and only could open one gift on Christmas Eve. I specifically remember one year getting a phone jack. I was about 12 or 13. I had actually asked for a phone. I didn't get to open it until the next day which was torture at that age. Or there was the year that Roger received a controller to the Nintendo, and didn't get the actual Nintendo until the Christmas Day.) You can't open that gift until we find Alisa's and Michelle's too. Now this is code for the fact we all got the exact same thing and Mom wants us to open them at the same time. Or there is the always present, now where did I put ___________. Which means my mom forgot to wrap something entirely. It's never dull around our house!

Once the gifts had been opened it was on to a fairly recent tradition of the Christmas Eve tamale dinner. This year we also had pinto beans and cornbread. While it may seem a little odd it was wonderful! We also had several pizzas for those who don't eat tamales.

The rest of the evening was filled with conversation, playing with Hot Wheels (Three guesses for who received those and the first two don't count!), and sitting by the fire.

The house is quiet and the tree is bare- well, the underneath side. The paper and bows that were ripped to shreds have been discarded. The laughter has died and the table has been cleared. The living room has been picked up and preparations for Christmas lunch have already begun. In spite of all the business that this time of year brings, I pray each of us remembers that over 2000 years ago the first Christmas. The announcement of the birth of a baby boy by angels to a group of shepherds. This baby was no ordinary baby, but God wrapped in human skin. Both God and man in the form of a helpless baby. Immanuel, God with us. My prayer for myself, my family, and everyone else is that wonder of this season is fresh this year. That the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ is not forgotten and that we all have the opportunity to awe at the most precious gift ever given.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


(I have more pictures to post, but I am having technical difficulties with the uploading...check back later for the complete post.)

While that may be my age (for the next couple of week), it was also the temperature outside when I woke up this morning. I'm definitely not in Florida any more!

I had an uneventful trip to Texas on Friday. Since my arrival, I have spent the majority of my time with friends and family. Saturday was Girls Day and Boys Day. To really understand this tradition you need to know that I grew up in a football crazy family- high school, college, NFL- it doesn't really matter. My younger brother is a high school football coach so I hear a lot about high school football. This weekend is also the Texas high school state championship games, so the boys headed to Waco to catch the 4-A state game at Baylor University. They all admitted they really wanted to go to Dallas to the 3-A game, but the women vetoed that one.

That left the girls at home, but we had out own plans. After a wonderful lunch out at a local dive we headed to Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies for our afternoon project. Of course we also stopped by the g-parents for a quick visit.

Once we arrived back home, the fun began. Both of my sister-in-laws, Alisa and Michelle, had requested a craft lesson while I was home. Michelle wasn't able to join us on Saturday because they were celebrating Christmas with her side of the family. (Don't worry, she is getting a private lesson tomorrow!) Several years ago I "stole" an idea from my friend Jeff over at LandLife. He made his wife a cross out of wire and beads. She loved it so much, she convinced him to make one for me as well. I made one for Roger and Alisa as a wedding present after I heard she planned to decorate a wall of their house with crosses. Last year I made a different and smaller version for all the volunteers at work. I honestly hadn't made any since then, but that was

Alisa working on her cross.

Not quite finished but getting close

This is the one I am working on and will finish when I give Michelle her lesson.

Tomorrow is a trip to the mall to visit Santa...well, not me, but Jacob announced today that he hasn't had a chance to go see him so Michelle and I are taking him in the morning. He also is worried about the candelabra in their fireplace. He says that if Santa sits on that it will be "ouchy". He is too funny! That afternoon we will open our Christmas presents, but it will have to wait until after Alisa and Roger finish their shopping. Yep, that is right, tomorrow is Christmas Eve and they still haven't finished their shopping!

Scratch that visit to see Santa. I just remembered I have a long overdue appointment to the eye doctor. I will be spending my morning at Scott and White. The good thing is that I will be able to see by the end of the week after getting new contacts and glasses!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

You've Got To Be Kidding!

My bags are just about packed, which I consider a great accomplishment. (Yes, I made sure my socks made it in!) My flight doesn't leave until tomorrow night, but I am working the majority of the day so I need to be ready when I leave for work. I mailed my Christmas presents about 2 weeks ago, so they are there and ready for me tie all my bows. (I didn't want them to get crushed during shipping.)

I have even checked in for my flight. I think online check-in is one of the greatest inventions. I have a Southwest flight and with their new boarding system, it is important to check in as early as possible so you can get a good seat. Well, this is important if you are picky about where you sit, which I am to a degree. I prefer to sit in the exit row because of the extra leg room. My flight is tomorrow at 6:40 so tonight at 6:40 I logged in to check-in. By the time I got all my information in the computer and hit enter it was 6:41. My boarding pass has A 46 on it. That means that I am in the first group which is good. However in that one minute 45 people managed to check-in before me. I couldn't believe it!

I also think I have started to come down with a least I am hoping that is all it is. Last night I realized I had a sore throat and it has continued throughout the day. Today at lunch I went and stocked up on medicine. One of the things I picked up was Zicam. I have never used it, but I know people who are believers in it. I'll let y'all know what I think. I think I am going to call it a night since I just took some medicine that "may cause drowsiness" which means I will be out in about 30 minutes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Missed It!

Last night I headed out of my apartment to go to a Christmas party for work when I saw the most incredible sunset that I have seen in a while. I did what any blogger would do and ran back inside to grab my camera. It must have taken me 45 seconds to do that- not long at all. However, in that few seconds it took the sunset had virtually disappeared. I wondered if I should have just stayed an enjoyed it instead of rushing in to get the camera. I also began to think about how much I miss because I have my own agenda and I fail to take the time to just "be still and know..."

Saturday, December 15, 2007


This weekend my Bible Fellowship Class (a.k.a Sunday School Class) had our Christmas party. My friend Blair did an amazing job, as always, and I love the fact that she allows me to help. This year I was pretty much in charge of desserts, but I also brought spinach artichoke dip. (I'm not going to share this recipe quite yet because I want to make a few changes first. It was good, just a little thick for me.)

I made another trifle for this party, but with a different twist. It was called a Chocolate Christmas Trifle. I love chocolate and it was a Christmas party so I decided that it was an excellent fit. One of the things that I like about trifles is that they are relatively easy to fix, look impressive and amazing, and feed a large group. This is probably one of the easier ones that I have made.

Chocolate Christmas Trifle

Brownie mix (1 box, fixed according to directions)
Instant chocolate pudding (2 large boxes, fixed according to the package)
Whipped topping (2 8 ounce cartons)
Heath Bars, crushed (6 bars)

In a large trifle dish, crumble 1/3 of the brownies, then layer layer 1/3 of the pudding, 1/3 of the whipped topping, and 2 of the crushed Heath Bars. Repeat layers twice, ending with the crushed Heath Bars.

I also had too much filling for this trifle- not as much as the Pumpkin Gingerbread filling, but still too much. I am going to try to do a better job of making sure my layers are more even next time.

I also took my grandmother's pound cake. This has been a family staple for as long as I can remember. When I was in college and seminary, my grandmother would send me back with one of these. It is great for breakfast too! (It was originally called the 2, 2, 2, 5, 1 Cake)

Mamaw's Pound Cake

2 cups of flour
2 cups of sugar
2 sticks of margarine, at room temperature
5 eggs
1 tablespoon of flavoring (1 teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)

Combine all ingredients with a mixer and pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 for one hour. Let cool for about 10 minutes before taking it out of the pan.

I pulled the cake directly out of the oven and into the car to head to my friend's. I got stuck in traffic along Memorial and it took me almost an hour instead of the normal 10 minutes. It cooled too long and was difficult to get out.

Two Years

This week was pretty uneventful. No pomp, no most it looked just like an ordinary week. Work, errands- life. However, two years ago there was pomp, there was circumstance, and in general things were crazy.

December 9, 2005- I walked across the platform at Travis Avenue Baptist Church and was declared a seminary graduate. I spent the rest of the day with friends and packing.

My parents and me

Corrie, me, and Amanda. The three of us were pretty much inseparable during out time in Texas. Amanda and I were roommates and Corrie could be found at our place pretty often.

December 10- Drove from Fort Worth, TX to Clinton, MS where I spent the weekend with friends from college.

December 12- Drove from Clinton, MS to Tampa, FL. The closer I got the more I began to wonder what in the world had I done. I had moved 1100 miles from my family. I didn't know a soul, except for some distance family in the Bay area.

December 13- Moved into my first apartment- well the first one that was all mine- all 900 square feet. I unloaded the boxes and clothes from my Jeep, but the apartment was still empty. I hadn't counted on the fact that the apartment wouldn't have any overhead lights and all my lamps were on the truck that would arrive at the end of the week. I had a few pots and pans, a microwave, and my TV. However, I hadn't realized how heavy the TV was and couldn't carry it up to the third floor, so it stayed in the Jeep until my parents arrived with the rest of my furniture and belongings. I slept on a air mattress all I look back it was rather sad, but makes me laugh now.

December 14- My first day of work...again, I found myself asking what had a gotten myself into.

In two years, Tampa has become home- my home. I have made numerous friends and they have become like family. I have found a church home. I have had the privilege of working with some amazing women and men. I have a job that continually challenges me and stretches me in ways that I never imagined when I arrived two years ago. God has also taught me a great deal about who He is during this time. There have been definite ups and downs, but ultimately I wouldn't trade any of it. God has and is in the process of using all of this to draw me closer to Him while strengthening and deepening my relationship with Him.

I wonder what things will look like in another two years.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back in Town

I made it back yesterday from Virginia Beach. I literally hit the ground running so that I could make it to the Christmas presentation at church last night. The rest of the conference/training went really well. I performed my first three sonograms on Saturday afternoon. I only have 67 more supervised scans before I am considered fully trained.

I would love to write some more tonight, but I really must wrap my Christmas presents so that I can get the box in the mail this week. It's hard to believe that I will be headed to Texas for Christmas in only 11 days! That means I better get the box in the mail soon. Besides Mary Poppins is on TV and that seems like good gift wrapping entertainment.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Conference Update

Besides the fact that it is cold, I haven't set this much or for this long in quite some time. Other than that, it is going very well. A lot of the things that we have discussed I already knew regarding ultrasound. However, there were some new things or things that have changed recently. I even made myself sit down last night and review everything that I had learned that day. I will probably do the same tonight because at some point I have to take a test. Then on Saturday I will get up and get to actually practice everything that I have learned in these two days. I am just praying for the poor lady that I will perform my very first sonogram on.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I knew it would be cold in Virginia Beach. I have packed some pretty warm clothes, but I had to reevaluate everything a few minutes ago when I received a text message from my friend who lives there declaring, "Weather report calls for snow flurries!" I appreciate this warning, but I must confess I checked the Weather Channel and sure enough it does.

Just east of Norfolk is where Virginia Beach is located. It's hard to tell on the map, but it should be the light green or a mixture of snow and rain. Fun times ahead!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Random Post

Something is Burning
This time I have NOT started another fire in the kitchen. It's coming from the oven, I am sure of this. What is it? I don't know, but any time you cook right now it smells like you are burning it. I have decided to just keep the oven on for a while and let whatever it is burn off. My apartment smells wonderful about now.

Nashville Trip
I finally got a few pictures from my trip to the LifeWay Conference a few weeks ago. Enjoy!

A view from LifeWay of the hotel we stayed at, Union Station Hotel.

One of the LifeWay buildings in downtown Nashville

Lisa Whelchel and me- You might recognize her as Blair from "The Facts of Life"

Kelli Minter and me- She is a fairly new author, but has been leading worship for a while. I am hoping to go through her newest Bible study in 2008.

Priscilla Shirer and me

That's right, the suitcase has emerged once again from the closet. My boarding pass has been printed. The washing machine is going strong, and in a little while I will have procrastinated packing as long as I possibly can. Tomorrow morning I head to Virginia Beach, VA for a conference. I will be there until Sunday afternoon. I have a friend who is assigned in that area as a travel nurse so we are going to get together for dinner at least once. It will be good to catch up with her. I will then be in town for almost two weeks before I head to Texas for Christmas.

Christmas on the Air

This weekend is my church's Christmas presentation, "Christmas on the Air". If you are in the Tampa area I would encourage you to check it out. Performances are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8.00 I will be at the Sunday night performance as long as everything goes as planned on Sunday with my flight. Click here for more information or to buy tickets.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jane and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

My mom is a retired teacher. She taught everything at some point in her career, but she always enjoyed teaching reading/language arts. She constantly was bringing books home to share with my brothers and me. At some point growing up my mom came across a book entitled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. Alexander woke up with gum in his hair. At breakfast his brothers both found the surprise in the cereal box, but Alexander only got cereal. His mom forgot to pack his dessert in his lunch. When he goes to the dentist after school he finds out he has a cavity. He decides that maybe he should just move to Australia.

Does anyone know when the next flight to Australia leaves?

I didn't wake up with gum in my hair and I didn't find out I had a cavity. It started off like a fairly normal day. It was Monday and I will confess that I wasn't in the best mood. I had a lot on my mind and was anxiously waiting for the day to be over. When I finally got everything at work finished, I hoped in my car. I put the key in the ignition and turned it. "Vrumm...Vr....V....." I tried again, but only got the same awful sound. Thankfully there was a meeting at the office sot here were still plenty of people there. I am also thankful that my dad has made sure that I have AAA. The tow truck arrived which was an experience in itself. The kicker was when Bud (yes, that really was his name) asked me if I had a husband that I could call. I really wanted to look him in the the eye and say, "If I had a husband, do you really think I would have called a tow truck? Do you really think that I would be sitting out here in the dark? Really!" Thankfully, self control kicked in and I simply said, "No." To make a long story short, I ended up being towed to Sears where I bought a new battery. I finally got home at 9:30 pm.

This morning I got up and headed to work. I had noticed that it was driving quite right on the way home from Sears and had figured I would take in to a mechanic today. (I had actually contacted someone that I was pretty sure would know of a good mechanic.) However, the first time I stopped at a light the car died. I got it started and decided that I would head straight to the dealership, which I pass on the way to work. I caught the next light and it died again. There was no starting it after that. I pulled the AAA card back out and made the phone call. With a tow truck on the way, I broke down. Sitting at the intersection of Boy Scout and Lois across from International Plaza I laid my head on the steering wheel and cried. I secretly also prayed that Bud would not be the one who showed up in the tow truck.

I know God was protecting me as cars constantly whizzed by and coming very close. The tow truck arrived and took me to the dealership. They promised to try to get me on the schedule but were not able to make any promises. One of my co-workers came and picked me up. I finally arrived at the office at 10:00. In just an hour or so later I received a call from the dealership with good news and bad news. The good news is that they had worked me in. The good news was that it wasn't near as bad as it could have been. The bad news, the parts had to be ordered from Orlando, and I won't be able to get my car until tomorrow.

That pretty much sums us my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day...I did get towed twice in less than 24 hours! Here's to praying that tomorrow is a wonderful, incredible, good, amazing day!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas! (Weekend Recap)

How many Christmas trees can you put up in one weekend? Well, if you are me, the answer is three. On Friday night I helped my cousin put up my aunt's tree. Since we did the same thing last year, we have decided that this may become a new tradition. On Saturday night I help my friend Blair and her mom put up their tree. Finally, this afternoon my tree went up. It's still "ornamentless", but it is up.


I had two goals this weekend to accomplish before my roommate returned home: get the Christmas tree up and clean my room.

I got a late start on Friday due to the fact that I stayed up too late on Thursday night. After a little shopping, I ended up meeting my aunt and cousin for dinner and then went back to my aunt's condo to help with their tree and watch a movie. (If you haven't seen "Amazing Grace" I highly recommend it. It wasn't exactly like I expected, but good nonetheless.)

When I got home the Christmas tree was still not up and my room had not cleaned itself. I did get my nativity scene out and put together. This is the first year that I have had all the pieces. I began three years ago with Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. The next year the shepherds and animals appeared. Last year, the wisemen, angel, stars, and creche appeared. However, I received them for Christmas and my birthday, so they never were unboxed.

Saturday arrived and I began making plans to get the tree up. I moved the chair from under the window and placed it on the long wall where the couch normally goes. I moved the couch and put it under the window. It didn't take me very long to realize that wasn't going to work and moved them back to their original places. I did take advantage of all the furniture moving and vacuumed under both the couch and the chair.

Then I moved the table and the other couch and then moved them back to their original places. Eventually I realized that the answer to my problem was going to require moving the bookshelf to the office , moving the other couch down the wall and the table. With the space finally made to put the tree, I wrangled the tree out of my closet and into the living area. Before I knew it, it was time to go to my friend's house for their post Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas kick off gathering. I had more turkey (yum), put up another tree, and watched "Elf".

All the furniture moving made me quite tired...too tired to actually get the tree out of the box. So, today after church I finally accomplished the task of getting the tree up. After fluffing it's branches I thought I would take a second and take a break. Two hours later, I woke up. Now I am sitting admiring my work and watching it glow in the corner.

Ahhh, I love Christmas! Now the question is should I go work on my room?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Recipes*

Fudge Nut Pie

Pie Crust:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup shortening
4-5 T cold water

Combine all ingredients and knead dough. Roll out into a crust. Makes one crust.

1 oz baking chocolate
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 t vanilla
1 unpacked pie shell

Melt chocolate and butter on stove. Remove from heat and add the sugars. Beat in eggs- one at a time. Add milk and corn syrup and beat until foamy. (Best to use a hand mixer and it take a while to get it really foamy.) Add the nuts and vanilla. Pour into pie shell. Cook 1 hour at 350. Even better if made ahead and frozen.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

2 (14 oz) packages gingerbread mix
1 (5.1 oz) box cook and serve vanilla pudding mix
1 (30 oz) can pumpkin pie mix
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 t ground cinnamon
1 (12 0z) container whipped topping
1/2 cup gingersnaps, optional

Bake the gingerbread according to the package directions; cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the pudding and set aside to cool. Stir in the pumpkin pie mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon into the pudding. Crumble one batch of gingerbread into trifle bowl. Pour 1/2 of the pudding mixture over the gingerbread, then add a layer of whipped topping. Repeat with the remaining gingerbread, pudding, and whipped topping. Sprinkle the top with crushed gingersnaps, if desired. Refrigerate overnight. Trifle can be layerd in a punch bown or any large pretty glass bowl.

Jane's Observations:
I had trouble finding the pumpkin pie mix. I finally found it at Sweetbay.
I have a trifle bowl and only used half of the two boxes of gingerbread that I had made. I also didn't quite use all the pumpkin/pudding mixture either.

*The trifle could definitely be used at Christmas as well. My family also enjoys the fudge nut pie throughout the year. Normally more around Thanksgiving and Christmas, but that is only because we are able to get fresh pecans.

Addendum to Things I am Thankful For

Since I hit a second wind I thought I would add two things that I am thankful for right this second. (It is a little after 1 am and I hit a second wind about an hour ago.)
  1. I was able to talk to my younger brother for almost a half hour. We had a great conversation and I was very proud of some of the things that he shared with me.
  2. I came home after being gone for quite an extended period of time to a clean, dry kitchen. I am dog sitting this week and left the dog in the kitchen since I found an accident yesterday when I got home for work, but that was not the case today! YEAH!!!!
I am also thankful that the Christmas season is officially here. I was planning on getting some Christmas shopping done tomorrow morning, but since I am still up right now, I think I will postpone it until later in the day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving. I know I did and that is just another thing I am thankful for today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Things I am Thankful For

I have found myself beginning to complain a little here and there this week. Philippians 2:14 says to "do everything without complaining" while 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says "give thanks in all circumstances." So, here it goes:

Things I am thankful for:
  • God sending His only son to die on the cross
  • God saving me at a young age
  • My family
  • My friends (and I have great ones spread out all over the world)
  • My church
  • The fact that God continues to challenge me and grow me in my relationship with Him
What are you most thankful for?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Santa Didn't Come on the Mayflower*

I would like to begin this post with a disclaimer. First, I am not against Christmas. I love it. Secondly, these are just my observations and would like to hear what others think.

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving and before we know it Christmas will be here. I love this time of year. I love the cooler weather. I love getting time to spend time with family and friends. I love to go shopping for Christmas presents...especially since I get to go to the toy department for my nephew. I love to wrap the presents and make bows. I love the lights and the Christmas trees. The smell of pumpkin candles, peppermint, and all those other things that remind me of this time of year.

However, I have noticed that Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier each year. This year I noticed that even before all the Halloween stuff was gone, the Christmas decorations were put out on the shelves. I really didn't think much about it since it seemed to be more of a retail thing. Then I got off the plan on Thursday night to find a Christmas tree in the middle of the airport. On Friday while driving around I saw that a strip mall had already begun decorating the light poles in the parking lot.

Again, I am not against Christmas, but I think that Thanksgiving gets lots in the shuffle. I have fond memories of Thanksgiving growing up. Like having feasts at school, dressing up as pilgrims or Indians, and spending time with family and friends. My family and I still talk about how all the kids would have to eat in the garage when we went to my dad's parents house. I also remember Papaw Pop giving each of us a bag to pick up pecans out of his yard and playing in the tire swing. Or the Thanksgiving we spent in Branson, MO just a couple of years ago. Even when I lived overseas we made a special effort to celebrate Thanksgiving, and trust me it isn't easy to find a turkey in China!

I going to attempt to dedicate my next several posts to Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday!

*The title of this post was actually given to me by my older brother. He saw a sign in a window of a retail store in Dallas that said "Santa Didn't Come on the Mayflower". Apparently this store is causing some problems because they have refused to put up their Christmas display until after Thanksgiving. Thanks Stuart!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Back in Nashville

Well, I am back in Nashville at a conference for work. I am having a blast. I have run into a seminary professor, friends, from college, friends from seminary, friends that I served with on the mission field, and a couple of friend's mothers. I also got to meet several of the LifeWay author's. (I am at a LifeWay Conference). I have some really good photos to share, but they are not on my camera. I will get them posted as soon as possible.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to my brother, Roger, my mom, and my grandmother! All three had birthdays this week. Sorry, I couldn't be there to help you all celebrate.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Almost Disaster

Considering this was my first day back from vacation, it went pretty well. I ran two errands on my way home. (I finally found a new pair of black dress shoes!) Once I arrived I decided to make dinner. I have felt very domestic this week, which means that I have been in the mood to cook. Since we had a cool front come in, I decided to make potato soup.

I put on a pot of water to boil while I began peeling potatoes. Within a few minutes I began to smell something burning. I didn't think to much about it since I cooked last night and assumed that I must have spilled something on the burner. I turned around a minute or so later and saw that there was also some smoke coming from underneath the pot. No problem, that can happen. I continue to peel potatoes when I realize that the burning smell has actually gotten worse and turn to find that the kitchen is beginning to fill with smoke. At this point I turn off the burner and remove the pot to find flames. Yep, flames! I do the only thing that I can think of and begin to blow. Thankfully it worked and I put the fire out.

I am not sure what I am more upset about, making a huge mess or the fact that my smoke detector didn't go off. I think the batteries need to be checked.

Anyway, the soup was very yummy. The mess was not fun to clean up.

On a completely different note, I apologize for some of the picture not downloading. I have started using a new program to upload pictures. Not thinking, I deleted some that I considered old or odd that had downloaded...those are the pictures that disappeared. Unfortunately one of those was my header, but that just means I get to create a new one.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Imagine my surprise, when going through security at the Nashville airport, to get in trouble for not having liquids in a plastic bag. I looked at the lady quite surprised, and tried to figure out what was in my backpack. Other than the verbal disapproval of the security agent, I was able to get to my gate with little drama.

Once I got back to my apartment, I began to unpack, and that is when I found them. Two stowaways.

The syrup bottle (yes, that is really what it is...when I uploaded the picture I realized that it wasn't quite as obvious as I thought it would be) explains the trouble I got in with the security agent. Now, it may seem odd that I had a bottle of syrup from Cracker Barrel in my bag, but I promise their is an explanation. Abbey and I ate there on Sunday night because we were both in the mood for pancakes. They brought each of us two bottles, but neither of us even used the whole first bottle. Abbey made a comment about the fact that they sold those small bottles in the country store and that they cost $2.00. Then we got laughing about the time that we ate at a Cracker Barrel in college and Abbey put some of their strawberry jelly in her purse. I kept having our waiter bring more and more to the table. Of course now, neither one of can remember why. So, in honor of memories I threw the unopened syrup bottle in my purse. It was funnier that night, trust me.

As for the pacifier...I can only admit that part of my responsibility during my time in Nashville was to make sure we had a pacifier at all times. Apparently one made it to the recesses of my purse. It is a good thing I will be back in Nashville next week. Since Jeff, Abbey, Reed, and I are planning to meet up for dinner, so I will give it back then. As you can see, a pacifier is very important in Reed's world.

Tomorrow is back to the normal routine, which means no more lounging all morning, but rather back to work.

(On a side note, I just realized that I left my camera cord in Nashville. Jeff and Abbey, if you find a white camera cord, can you hold on to it and give it to me next week? Thankfully, my printer also allows me to upload photos.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Babysitting and I Figured it Out

Tonight I am babysitting Reed. His mommy and daddy are out on their first date since they came home from Taiwan. Everything has gone really well, minus the peaches on my face and in my hair. He is up in his crib fast asleep. If you would like to see some of the highlights from my day today, check out LandLife.

When you do you will notice that I finally figured out how to rotate the pictures with my Mac. It was an operator error. Apparently a vacation was necessary to realize that I had been doing it wrong.

Well, I will be heading back to Tampa in the morning, which means I should go upstairs and pack.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Things I Have Learned on Vacation

Feeding a baby with chopsticks is challenging, but fun for all!

When a baby misses his daddy, what does he do? Mommy can you help me dial this thing?

When no one helps a baby, he will eat the cell phone.

I am very good at setting up Reed's bowling pins.

He is very good at knocking them down.

This isn't a great picture, but the trees are beautiful!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Reporting from LandLife

I know that I said I would blog from Nashville, but that has proven to be more difficult than I thought. My lack of blogging has not been due to the fact that I am not having a great time. We are having a blast, but this has been different than any other time that Abbey and I have hung. That could be because we always have a baby in tow. Let me give you a brief synopsis of the trip thus far:

Still no luck on figuring out how to rotate pictures. I promise they look right everywhere else.

Thursday- Flew to Nashville, went shopping, dinner with Jeff, Abbey, Reed, and their friends the Spicklers

Friday- Reed got a haircut, lunch out, Reed's first modeling photo shoot (he will be on the cover of one of LifeWay's magazines this summer), attended my first stamping party

Reed was way more interested in the dinosaur than the haircut

Saturday- I made breakfast, trip to Wal-Mart to buy baby food and materials to make our costumes for a party, assembled costumes, made monster toes for party, attended said party

Look at my two teeth!

We went to the party as salt and pepper

WOW!!! That makes me tired just typing all that out. Now, Abbey is preparing to teach Sunday School. I guess I am not being very much help since I am sitting on the couch. I guess I will go help now.