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.