Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wreath Making

I know you've already heard about our wreath making from Terri and Mari- however since Terri posted some black mail photos of me- payback is in order!
We did have tons of fun on Tuesday thanks to Karla and Diane being so hospitable and inviting us to their get together. What a great time!

Here are Karla and Diane:

This is Laura and her sister in law Tasha. Tasha is working hard- Laura looks like she's a little frustrated at the moment:

Here is my payback photo for Terri- her wreath turned out great even though she was stealing all my red berries! OH YES YOU DID!

Here's Mari with her wreath- very nice!

Here's my wreath hanging on my front door. Can't wait for next year!

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Slow Cooking Thursday

It's time for another Slow Cooking Thursday. I have come across a slow cooking cookbook from Taste of Home! I love that magazine-so I'm excited to have a slow cooking book from them.
Here's a recipe that I'll be trying soon:

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

1 can (15 oz) solid pack pumpkin
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. biscuit/baking mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 T. butter-melted
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large bowl, combine the first 8 ingredients. Transfer to a slow cooker coated with a non stick spray.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until the temperature reaches 160.
Serve in bowls and top with whipped topping.
Serves 6-8.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Awwww- so sweet

Or not.....

On Saturday morning the girls were having a wee bit of a difficult time getting along. There was alot of bickering going on so after hearing one too many squabbles we made them stand in the middle of the room and hold hands.

It really worked well. They stood there for about 4-5 minutes being stubborn and not wanting to apologize to each other. If you look closely at Halle's face- it really sums up their feelings well. Then finally, they couldn't help but to start laughing.

Hopefully we won't have to use this too often, but when I need to- it does work really well!

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

8 Random Facts Meme

Nancy tagged me to do this meme. You list 8 random facts and then tag 8 people. It's an easy one so thought I'd do it!

-I'm the youngest of 4 kids
-I hate summer- love fall and spring and the beginning of winter!
-My favorite food is mashed potatoes
-My son will be taking drivers training in the spring- help me please
-My favorite Holiday is Christmas
-I like to play around with photography
-I'm 38- almost the dreaded 40!
-I hate my middle name

There you have it-8 random facts. I'm tagging the following people:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Michael W. Smith

Woo-Hoo- there's a great give away here for bloggers who enjoy Michael W. Smith

They're giving away 150 free copies of his Christmas CD. It's very easy to sign up for and if you qualify you get a free CD.
Merry Christmas to us all!!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I just wanted to take a few minutes to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for yet there's so much that I just take for granted.
I'm thankful for my God- that He loves me despite all my shortcomings
My husband- he works very hard to allow me to be home with the kids and is a great dad to them
My kids- they are such a huge part of my life- I wouldn't want to imagine what it would be like without them!
My family- I have been so blessed to be born into the family I have- I'm very thankful!
My Friends- God has truly blessed me with wonderful friends- you are a huge, huge blessing to me.
My country- I'm so very proud to be an American and so very grateful for those who sacrificed to allow me the privileges that I enjoy every day

Hope you all have a wonderful day- enjoying your family not to mention all that yummy food. Speaking of food- I'm mashed potatoes- what are you??

You Are Mashed Potatoes

Oridnary, comforting, and more than a little predictable
You're the glue that holds everyone together.

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Anyone for a little boxing??

Mark has been wanting to play the WII with Nick for awhile and just hasn't gotten around to it. Well Saturday night was his lucky day. We had nothing going on at night so out came the WII for family time.
It started with Mark and Nick going a round or two of boxing.
It was hilarious! I think Mark got a little into it: I almost got nailed a couple of times because I got too close to this action:

This was the result:

They were sweating when they were done- it's quite a workout!
After we saw them having so much fun us girls decided to get into this action- we felt we could benefit from a workout as well so we chose the very physical game of:


I don't have pictures of us because I was playing but I did take a moment to capture the end result:

Now you can see that I had a very respectable score of 124 however it seems my competition has much more skill than I do. Arianna broke her record and scored 147.
Halle however, creamed both of us with her record breaking 182!

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Monday, November 19, 2007

The Concert

Last night we went to the concert: I'm going to try to put this into words- I don't know how successful I will be!
The concert consisted of 3 bands: Newworldson- Kutless- Newsboys

I had never heard of Newworldson before but we enjoyed them. They had a bit of a "funky" sound to their music. If I saw their cd I would probably get it. They were a great start to the show.

The next band was Kutless. I really liked "Strong Tower" and "Sea of Faces". They were good but unexpectedly my least favorite of the night.

Then came Newsboys! They were so incredibly good! We went to a Third Day concert last year and they blew me away but I have to say Newsboys were even better. Wow- what a show they put on!

Even though my better judgement is screaming for me not to post this (I hate myself in pictures)- here we are at the concert before it began. This is the only picture I got because it said no cameras. We didn't bring ours and then every other person had cameras- I was bummed so you'll have to deal with a camera phone picture- it's really bad quality!

This was a very powerful concert. We had outstanding music but I also love that he spoke TRUTH! He spoke about growing up as a ministers kids and always thinking he was a Christian but then realized it needed to be a personal relationship not just religion.
They had great effects also. My 2 favorite parts of the night were:

At the end they had a drum contest between the drummer and the lead singer. They had a walkway from the stage to the middle of the arena. At the end of the walkway they had a round platform. The drummer was on the stage and the lead singer walked down to the other round platform to another set of drums. They kept taking turns trying to "out drum" the other. Finally the lead singers platform rose up about 10-15 feet in the air. It made me a little nervous- I kept thinking don't move- you'll fall! Not to be out done the drummer's platform rose and then started spinning. Kind of like the "Tilt A Whirl" ride at the fair. I would have been sick but it was so cool!

My other favorite part of the night was when they (we) sang "Blessed Be the Name" That is one of my all time favorite songs. It was especially moving when after we sang it the band went almost quiet and the whole stadium sang it accapella- It was so beautiful to hear thousands of peoples voices singing His praises and worshipping him!

I did take a little souvenir along home with me- a pretty pounding headache but I didn't care- it was so worth it! What a great night- I strongly recommend this concert to anyone who has the opportunity!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another Award

I'm sorry but I have another award to hand out today. I also apologize because you're about to hear some proud mom bragging going on here!

As I was driving Nick to work after school he says to me- "Mom, you're never going to believe what Max (his friend) offered to me!"

He proceeds to tell me that Max is going to the Newsboys concert with his youth group and his mom won 2 tickets but can't use them. If we want them he'll give them to us!

Nick likes Newsboys but he knows I love them and he told me that he wants Me and Mark to go because we deserve them! He is such a good kid- I don't know what we did to deserve him, whatever it is we're thankful!

So you can think of us Sunday at 6:00- get ready- we're going to be in row 9- at the Newsboys concert. It's supposed to be extra special because it's the last concert of their tour. I'm so stinkin excited I can't stand it! The bummer is they don't allow cameras so I won't be able to take any pictures.

Thanks Nick - we love you very much!

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I have an author on my hands!

I just went into Arianna's room to get her laundry and on her desk was a story she was writing. It's called "The cleaning issue" Well I had to read it and I was laughing so hard by the end I had to share it: Enjoy this word for word rendition of the masterpiece I found!

The Cleaning Issue- By Arianna a made up story

Once there was a family called the _____ Family. There was a dad named Mark, a mom named Cheri, a big brother named Nick, a sister named Anna and another sister named Halle. One day mom said "Halle clean your room." But Halle just played and played. When it was Sunday her mom said to clean your room again after church. But after church Halle never cleaned her room. Then Anna came into her room and she went to mom and said "Halle still never cleaned her room up yet." Then it was a week later and Halle's room got messier and messier. Then that evening on Saturday, November 31, 2007 Halle still never cleaned her room. So mom told her she can not come out for nothing until that room is cleaned up. But she just sat their and did nothing.
Then she needed to go to the bathroom so she cleaned her room but all she did was shove it under the bed.

Isn't that amazing in that made up story how it seems a little too real and what a well behaved child that Anna character is in the story. The Halle character seems to irritate the Anna character a bit by her obviously messy ways and not obeying her mom!
Wow- I'm so glad that is a made up story!!!!!!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A little bit of this- A little bit of that.....

I don't know if any of you saw the sunset on Tuesday but it was absolutely splendid!
This is what I saw from our back deck over about 10 minutes time.

Now onto another subject. Yesterday Arianna came home from school all excited because she had made a Birthday card for Halle. When I read it I had tears. Now some of you know that there is quite a bit of jealousy between Arianna and Halle so when I saw the love displayed in this card it just made me melt!

In case you can't read it- this is what Arianna wrote:
Dear Halle,
Have a wonderful birthday today. I can't believe that you are so nice and
cute and that God sent you to us. I think that was nice of Him to do that.
I'm glad you are six. Love Anna

How sweet is that! I praised her up one side and down the other for being so kind to Halle on her Birthday. It's these moments that I have to remember- when lets say.. the love isn't exactly flowing out of them!

1 more thing for today- If I could ask- please pray for Arianna's teacher- I'll just give her first name- Martha.
We were just notified today that she has larynx cancer. She says that the prognosis is very good but she's going through chemo and radiation. She will only be at school on and off for 6 weeks. She is a wonderful teacher with a huge heart for the kids that she teaches. I'm sure she would appreciate any prayers.

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Just a quick one

Bonnie is having a nice give away

I love her blog and I think it will bless you too. Head on over and check it out!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Smothered Hamburgers

I have a great recipe for you:

It's called Smothered Hamburgers

1 onion or dry onion soup
1 pound hamburger
1 c. water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. dry brown gravy mix

Mix the hamburger and the dry onion soup mix. Form into patties. Fry the patties in a skillet on medium heat until cooked. I used my George Foreman for this part.
While patties are cooking, add soup, water and gravy stirring well. After patties are browned add this mixture to the skillet. Reduce head to a simmer and turn patties one or twice as the mixture warms. Let mixture simmer about 5 minutes till hot.
Serve with mashed potatoes.

This is a very inexpensive supper and it's really delicious. All of my family absolutely loved it and have already asked for it again. Love when that happens!!

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Halle

Well my baby turns 6 tomorrow. I really can't believe that she's 6 already.
It truly seems like about 2 years ago not 5-that I was holding this sweet little thing in my arms:

To Halle:
It absolutely amazes me at the plan God had for me and daddy. He first blessed us with Nick, then after many struggles he blessed us with Arianna. We thought our family was complete but we didn't know what we were missing----you!!
You have grown into such a sweet girl. I just love your compassion that you have for others. When your teacher told us that you always are concerned with the kids who are hurting it just makes us so proud.
You are a spunky little girl and yes sometimes you leave me exhausted- I wouldn't change who you are for anything.
You are my peanut- you always will be. We love you so much!

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Soldiers coming home

Thank you!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Shopping Adventure

I'm still trying to rise out of my bummed state of mind that our shopping day is done. We all look forward to this day all year long and then in a blink of an eye- it's over. Sigh......

We started off at 8:00 a.m. and headed out to the stores. We had lunch at a place called Camilles- it's fabulous! They have the most delicious wraps, pannini's, sandwiches etc... We split our sandwiches and had a delicious bowl of alfredo soup. I can't remember the exact name but it was so yummy!

We continued on our quest and before we knew it the time was 5:15 and it was time to venture out to Olive Garden. It was quite busy but we got lucky because I said first available. They seated us in the smoking section but no one smoked until we were ready to leave so it all worked out!

We still weren't done after supper so we had a few more stops to make. We finally made it to the hotel at about 8:00 I think.
It's always a relief to make it to the hotel because by the end of the day we're all about dead from shopping. Let me try to remember all the stores we hit throughout the day:
Circuit City
Best Buy
Fields FAbrics
Bed, Bath and Beyond
Bath and Body Works
The Body Shop
Celebration Cinema
The Icing
Payless Shoes
Kirlins Hallmark
Old Navy
Rue 21
Toys R Us
Gander Mountain

Makes you tired just thinking about it doesn't it!

Some of the highlights of our day were: While at Meijers- we ran into Melissa she was being a little disruptive but we kept her in line.
While we were at Olive Garden we had a moment of not being able to stop laughing while Mari was trying to take pictures of us. That got a little embarrasing when the waiter came back and some of us couldn't regain control!

We got back to the hotel, unloaded all our packages and got them organized.

We relaxed for awhile and then it was time for dessert:

Looks fabulous doesn't it! It was too!

It was all going fabulously well until we tried to go to sleep. I fell asleep before Terri but then suddenly I was awakened by the most horrific sound. I can't really describe it other than to say it sounded like a foghorn with a little bit of dying cow mixed in. Turns out it was coming from our room and actually in the bed right next to me! Now look at this picture:

That would be Terri underneath all those pillows. You see snoring or actually breathing of any kind bothers her terribly- so she wears ear plugs and then on top of that burrows into the pillows and puts them over her head as well. Well it wasn't Mari or I making any noise- it was her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So after Mari and I were both awakened by her snoring, Mari tried gently prodding her to no avail so I had to take further action. After pounding her (gently) she awoke and we told her she had to wait for us to fall asleep before she could go back to sleep. We managed to sleep for awhile but there were further disruptions throughout the night. Love ya Terri but next year you might be sleeping in the van!!!!!
I do have to give her props because we did find her very apologetic in the morning- and you are forgiven.

All in all it was so much fun- we laughed so hard numerous times that we had tears flowing. What fun times and we got a lot accomplished. Can't wait for next year!

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

Malls.... here we come!

The day we wait for all year is finally here. Every year, Mari, Terri and I take a day and do our Christmas shopping before the rush hits. At the end of the day we go out for supper- usually the Olive Garden and then go to a hotel for a relaxing night. We always have so much fun on this day- I can't wait.
I'll have pictures and tell you all about it on Monday!

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

2 More Awards to Hand Out

I am feeling so very inspired today (Maybe it was this not so subtle reminder-

That is great!!! She will love it!!!! By the way, I believe that I have gotten awards from both of your sisters too:) Hint Hint. HaHa!!!)

Well LeighAnn- You asked for it so you're getting it:
I am so very proud to present LeighAnn with the fabulous:


I know- it's almost too exciting to take in isn't it!!

Now- I did a lot of research to make sure I was awarding her with an appropriate award. I am pleased to be able to present you with words from her very own mouth- this was what she planned for her sisters visit:

- Shopping in the boutiques on Devine Street, Five Points, Forest Acres and The Vista
- Taking her to shop on the other side of town: High Cotton, The Willows, It's Personal, Invitation Station, Carolina Pottery and The Nifty Gifty
- Shopping at Sandhills (Ulta here we come)
- Shopping in the Northeast: Nan's Notes, Ashley Rose, Woodleys

Also a photo- and some more of her words just to cement my case:

"We were able to visit Dena at her store on the way to Charleston. Of course, we both had to walk away from the store with some bags of stuff. As I said before, my sister and I both love stuff!!!"

Happy to award this to you LeighAnn- It takes a shopper to know and appreciate another shopper!!!! Enjoy and you make me proud!

Now before there is further uproar from the other trouble maker in this group- I'm going to hand out another fabulous award to...............

I'm also thrilled to present Dena with the very honorable:


I bet you never thought you'd reach that high and lofty goal did you?!!

Again, I have done research and I present to you the following evidence out of her own mouth:
"We did rock it out so hard that the policeman came and shut our party down!"

Also- a picture for your consideration:

Now this is not a picture of Dena- but look at the hooligans that she associates with- definitely a cause for concern!

She has also mentioned on her blog that she partied pretty hard with the doodlebops as well. I don't know this for sure, but I'm guessing if there's any partying activity Dena will be around there somewhere!

Maybe that's what keeps her so young- perhaps I need to find a Doodlebop party near me and I wouldn't feel so old!

So there you have it- 2 awards for 2 fabulous people! Enjoy girls!
Whew- after all that research and investigating of suspicious behavior- not to mention photo shopping all those awards- I'm going to now go put my feet up and eat a bon bon.... Shoot- I guess I'd have to actually have bon bons around here for that to happen.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I have an award to hand out.....

It has come to my attention that I am a slacker. I have a dear blogging friend who I have let down. You see both Mari and Terri also have the pleasure of being friends with Leslie also. Apparently, they are better bloggers than I am and have already awarded Leslie with numerous blogging awards. I am deeply saddened and slightly embarrassed about this oversight on my part. Although I do believe that they got around to it faster than I did because I'm much busier than they are with cleaning my house, doing laundry and other very important things and not using my time being on the computer. Excuse me while I recover for a moment from that huge fib!!!

OK, I'm back. On to the award. I am very pleased to award Leslie with the very prestigous

Contraband Jailbird Award

This award goes to someone who exhibits sneakyness, a little bit of Dutchness in their blood but also exhibits southern charm.

Leslie is a shoe in for this award. Let me prove my point:

Exhibit A: She snuck in cans of coke onto the cruise ship on her luggage.

Exhibit B: She was obviously too cheap to pay the very fair(-hee hee) price of $2.00 for a drink on the boat.

Exhibit C: She smiled that innocent smile and laid on the southern charm to get out of this blatent bad behavior! See picture below:

I'm sure you all agree with me now that Leslie is the perfect candidate for this award and it is my pleasure to bestow it upon her! Enjoy it Leslie and wear it with pride!!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Christmas Ideas

I need help! I'm going Christmas shopping in a few days and I'm getting desperate for ideas for Nick. Does anyone have any ideas for a 15 year old boy that don't involve video games. That's the only thing he can come up with and Mark's family won't buy that for gifts. They also won't buy gift certificates so that rules that out as well.
I really need ideas for a couple of gifts that are about $20-30 each. I'm really getting desperate! If anyone has any ideas- I'd love to hear them!!

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A Quick update

Just a quick update to let you know that my niece Heather (Mari's daughter) had an appendectomy today- I'll let Mari share the whole story. Just wanted you to know that surgery went well.
Thanks to those of you who were praying for them!

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

What's a girl got to do to eat healthy?

It really is a difficult thing to try to eat healthy. Just look at the picture below:

What you say...You can't make out what that picture is?
Well that would be Halle at 8:00 Saturday night with a spotlight shining on the grapes outside.

She came upstairs and wanted her snack. She looked around and could't find anything that she wanted. She wanted to eat something healthy and the green grapes and apples were gone. She decided that the grapes outside were the next best option. So without saying anything to us she went into her room and put on her shoes and her sweatshirt and came into the kitchen with the spotlight. She told us about her plan to go in the backyard and get her some grapes.

Grandpa and Grandma were over so we were all laughing quite hard as we watched the spotlight flying all over the backyard and around the neighbors houses. They probably wondered what the world was going on over here.

Halle picked out her grapes and brought them inside and she was so proud of herself.
I'm happy too that she's making smart food choices!

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Friday, November 02, 2007

4 or 5 Seasons in the year?

Halle was looking at the calendar today and flipped it to November and says to me-
"Mom - it's almost my season!"
Wow times have apparently changed because the last I knew your birthday only lasted 1 day- now apparently it's a whole season! I guess she's really going to make the most of her day or week or month or season depending on how you look at it.

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