Thursday, October 30, 2008

An 80th Birthday Celebration

Yesterday, my Aunt Helen celebrated her 80th birthday. In a style true to this family, we have been celebrating since Sunday.

Aunt Helen became "Mimi" about two years ago when Allison was first learning to talk. She couldn't say "Aunt Helen", and since my mom and aunt were living together all of a sudden, we had to find something for Allison to call Aunt Helen. So, Mimi it was. "Mimi" won out over "Toots".

I admire Mimi so much. She has a quite strength about her. She always has. And although her body may be aching, and sometimes it seems even failing her, Mimi is as sharp as a tack.

Mimi reads all the time. I'm convinced she reads the newspaper word for word. Don't get into a discussion about the current economic conditions in this country unless you want to hear from Mimi how we got here and what needs to be done about it.

Here are a few pics from Mimi's party on Sunday. Happy Birthday, Mimi. I hope you have many, many more:

P.S. - I forgot the funniest thing about Mimi's party. About 15 minutes before people started showing up, my mom broke her front crown off - tooth and everything. I'm talking nothing was there. My mom and Mimi were dressed just alike, and everybody kept commenting that they looked like twins. Mimi's reply: "She's 15 years younger, but I'm the one with all my teeth." It was hysterical. I'm still chuckling about it. Also, I do have a picture of my mother with no tooth. I'm saving it as bribery.

BooMama's Souptacular Crockpotalooza


This sounded like a very fun thing to do. Just click on the button above and it will direct you to everyone that is participating in this Souptacular Crockpotalooza carnival.


1 2-3 lb. boneless sirloin pork roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 medium onions, cut into wedges
2 cup root beer
2 tablespoons minced garlic
Barbecue Sauce

Trim fat from pork. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, brown roast on all sides in hot oil. Drain off fat. Transfer roast to a crock pot. Add onion wedges, 1 cup root beer, and garlic. Cook, covered, on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

Using two forks, pull pork apart into shreds. Spoon barbecue sauce over pork and onions to desired taste. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato or coleslaw.

*Note: I made this for my next-door neighbors when they had their second child. Within six months, they were expecting their third child. When they told us they were expecting again, Mike put in his order for more barbecue.


2 tablespoons butter
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded (1 cup)
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup water
1 can (10 1/2oz) condensed chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half

Melt butter in 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. cook celery, carrot, onion and bell pepper in butter about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

Stir in flour and pepper. Stir in wild rice, water and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in half-and-half. Heat just until hot. (Do not boil or soup may curdle.)
*This recipe is from Betty Crocker's One Dish Meals

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Praying for MckMama and Baby Stellan

*Update: Baby Stellan was born at 10:19 this morning. He weighed 6lbs 10 oz. At this time, they can find absolutely nothing wrong with him!

Many of you may have noticed the button over to the right of my blog with an adorable family that says "Praying for MckMama and Baby Stellan".

If you haven't clicked on it and read their story, you have missed an enormous blessing and testimony of faith and the power of prayer. I committed back at the beginning of August to pray for this family everyday.

Here is a small description of the background for MckMama and Baby Stellan written on another blog that has set up a prayer vigil for today:

Mck Mama is a wonderful Jesus loving mommy to three kids, ages 3, 2, and 1. Tomorrow she will be delivering her fourth! Here's a quote from her blog about this special little guy: "He [Stellan] was quite unexpectedly given to us, and even more unexpected was his diagnosis of heart failure: Premature Atrial Contraction at 20 weeks; Supraventricular Tachycardia, hydrops, and intermittent advanced secondary heart block at 23 weeks; and enlargement of the heart at 32 weeks. We were told at 24 weeks that he would surely die. God performed a miracle and MckMuffin is still with us! The doctors are unsure about what will happen to our baby when he is born. But God is not unsure!! We are praying for MckMuffin's full healing, but we know that God is good no matter what He decides."

Today, October 29 at 9:30 am, baby Stellan will be born.

There are literally thousands of people all over the country, and yes, world that are praying for this family today. I would like to ask you, my friends and family to pray for this family as well. Pray for them to be filled with peace, not anxiety as they prepare to have Stellan. Pray for the many doctors and nurses that will be on hand to attend to MckMama and baby Stellan. And, finally, pray for the complete healing of baby Stellan.

Again, if you haven't clicked on the button on the side, please do so. You may need a little time, because you will be hooked. MckMama is one of the funniest, engaging, faithful, God-loving women I've encountered in a long time. It has been such a testament to her that so much glory to God has come out of such a difficult situation.

I hope everyone has a great day - we are heading to take MiMi out to lunch for her 80th birthday. I'll post some pics later.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

You Showed Up Right On Time!

If you are a mother, you know how challenging the job can be sometimes. Don't get me wrong, it's the best thing in the world - but it's challenging.

And we all know there are no shortage of critics. The key word there is "critics": "why aren't you doing this?"; "you need to put a stop to that"; "I'd tan my child's behind if she acted like that." They question whether you are honestly trying to do what is best for your child or not. I could lay out a whole list. And sometimes it is particularly difficult when your biggest critic is somebody you respect - maybe a family member, or a friend.

Here's the problem: Critics demoralize. They wear you down just when you are at your wits end anyway.

But, there is an opposite to this, and it is what we as mothers need the most: encouragers. (I'm getting to my point here).

I was at Hobby Lobby on Friday afternoon. Chuck was coming home that day after being gone for six days. Allison and I had been to order Mimi a birthday cake; we went and picked her out some new music for the car (mom's, you know you have to change the cd every couple of months); and we went and bought Daddy a few of his favorite cookies to welcome him home. Our last and final stop was Hobby Lobby.

Now, I don't know about you, but Allison cannot go into Hobby Lobby without getting into a cart; otherwise, this story would be far worse. So, I put her in a cart. Things were going pretty well on our way back to the fabric department. All I needed was some orange tulle to finish a tutu for a neighbor. But once we got to the fabric department, Allison wanted DOWN!!! And she pulled out every trick in the book including: "Mommy, I just need to get out so I can hug you and kiss you better!" Yeah, right.

Well, she ran out of excuses why she needed to get down by the time we got to the checkouts (where there were two very long lines). Her excuses turned into very LOUD pleas; she started trying to climb out of the cart herself (which I stuck to my guns and made her stay in). To make a long story short, I stayed very calm, but I was at my wit's end by the time we left. And now, the point of my story is here:

A lady came to my car as I was getting my screaming child into her car seat and she said this: "I know you are probably frustrated, but I just wanted you to know that you are doing a good job." What? Excuse me? She continued. "You were in a tough situation. You stayed calm. You didn't give in. You can't. Once you do, she'll scream even louder next time. And I just wanted to let you know that, as a mother, you did a good job."

You see, this lady was an encourager. I'm sure there were no shortage of critics in that line, but this lady knew what I needed. And she, without knowing, has taught me a valuable lesson. She was an encourager just when I needed it the most. A stranger. I can only hope and pray that I might be an encourager to, as well as friends and members of my family with kids, complete strangers when they need it most....on the spot.

Thank you Lady at Hobby Lobby...I don't know your name, but I have no doubt that I will remember your sweet face for a very long time!

Friday, October 17, 2008

It's Out!

....the stick (aka splinter) that Allison got at the Pumpkin Patch on Sunday if finally out of her hand. I do have some new heroes in this: Ms. Cindy and Ms. Shelley. Those are her Mother's Day Out teachers, and apparently, they have a lot of experience getting splinters out of hands.

Now, I thought Allison was just being a drama queen again when I picked her up yesterday and she had this neon green band aid on her hand. So, I asked Ms. Shelley if that was the case. "No, before she even knew what happened I held her hand down on the table, and Ms. Cindy plucked it out. She didn't cry or anything. She didn't want us to throw it away though. It's in her cubbie in a tupperware container. She wants to take it home to show her daddy." I thought it only necessary to share it with all of you as well:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Something we can all agree on!

Start talking about politics, and it becomes apparent very quickly on just how much division and differences there are in this country. We all have an opinion on the environment, the economy, whether we are rescuing it or bailing it out, whether Barack Obama has enough experience or not, whether Joe Biden has a little "work" done to his face on occasion or not, whether John McCain is too "erratic" or not, and Sarah Palin.

But, I would like to say that I have come across the one thing that I think that we can all agree on: dessert! I found these on Hostess with the Mostess. Now, if we could just get Mickey's to make these with a little amaretto frosting, the time left until election day might just be a little less painful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trauma at the Patch!

If you come to my house today and ask Allison about her trip to the Pumpkin Patch yesterday, she will look at you and say "I Not Go Back!!"

After church yesterday, Allison and I drove to Conway to meet up with Nana before heading to the pumpkin patch. Allison was soooo excited about going....she didn't even want me to get her any lunch. "Allison, are you ready for some lunch?"...."No, I just need to get Nana and go to the pumpkin patch." So, that is where we headed.

It started out pretty good. Lots of swings and slides to play on:

Then, we set off to pick out a pumpkin to take home. Things are still going pretty good:

Here is where things started going downhill. My mom wanted me to take her picture with Allison in front of this little set-up:

And this is what Allison got after messing around on the log my mom was sitting on:

That's right. A Big Splinter. Right in the fatty part at the bottom of her thumb. It's still there if you would like to come over and help hold her down for me to take it out.

It only gets better.

Allison decided she wanted to ride the kiddie Tractor pull. She was very excited about it at first:

Then the tractor took off:

And went down here. Between "those big corns". "Far, Far, Away":

And this is her face when they came back around:

The End. The Pumpkin Patch 2008 - "I Not Go Back".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Anniversary C!

This is what happened four years ago today:

Also, it rained like seven inches in 24 hours and we were suppose to get married outside (I digress - but it still gets me since there was only like twenty meteorologists at our wedding).

C, so much has changed and happened in the past four years, but one thing remains the same: there is no one else that I would rather spend my life with than you.

We have laughed a lot. We have cried. We have learned what being together in sickness and in health was all about. We have learned what it means to be together for better and for worse. It has been fun. It has been hard work. It has been the greatest adventure of my life.

Happy Anniversary C! I love you!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Home for Opie

Today was the day for finding "Opie" a home. He spent the night on a table in the garage, but Allison and I decided to make "Opie" a more permanent home on the front porch. We brought out some friends from last year...."Sam" and "Libby" (ok - I was dreaming about shoes this afternoon and ended up with these names for the scarecrows). We went to the garden center down the road to buy a bale of hay and cornstalks. We also picked up a "crazy green gourd" (C's desription) to decorate the place up for "Opie".

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Making of Opie

Opie....that is what Allison has named our very first Jack-O-Lantern that we have ever made. Now, if someone could tell me where she got the idea to name it Opie, do tell. Keep in mind, she has never watched "Andy Griffith".

When I was growing up, I can't really ever remember us carving pumpkins. So, I thought this would be a grand thing for us to do today. Allison was excited, too....until I cut the top and took it off. She thought it "smelled like a skunk".

Anyway, here is the great transformation from "pumpkin from Wal-Mart" to "Opie":

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Do It Again!

Our friends, John and Cindy, came over last night for a belated birthday dinner for Chuck. Every time they come over, after dinner turns into "The John and Allison Show". John gives Allison a run for her money, with Allison constantly saying "Do It Again".