Archive for November, 2008

How ‘Bout That Bird

November 27, 2008

the-bird

Wow!  Look at that turkey!  As you saw in my last post, the results may not have been so great if it were not for sweet Jane at the Butterball Turkey Hotline.  This was THE BEST turkey I have ever eaten.  Seriously.  It was cooked perfectly and was juicy and delicious.  And check out the presentation. . . I even added fresh cranberries because they were so pretty on my silver platter.  I also made homemade gravy from the turkey drippings.  It was my grandmother’s recipe and it was to die for!  My dad couldn’t believe it when he tried the gravy.  He was pretty impressed with my turkey and gravy.  I was proud of it.  I wish my mom and my grandmothers could have been here to see it and taste it.  The culinary skills I have come from years of watching them and helping them in the kitchen.  Great legacy to pass along. . .

My friend, Bridget, made me this gorgeous arrangement for my new dining room table.  She is so talented and I am so grateful for her willingness to help make my table beautiful.

flower-arrangementAnd here is my table all set for the Thanksgiving meal.  I decided to serve the food buffet style in the kitchen since I still don’t have a table pad for all the hot stuff.

table-settingWe had a wonderful lunch.  A few of our guests had to cancel at the last minute, so it was just us and my dad and Karen.  We had a great time eating and talking together.  Noni played Barbies with Ava Jane while Addison helped to clear the table and help daddy with dishes.  My dad made his famous “dressing” and we all enjoyed being together and thanking God for the many ways he has blessed our family.  Here is my sweet pilgrim girl and a special “Thankful” list she made at school this week.

pilgrim-acl-with-letteracl-is-thankful-for

And here is what I am most thankful for in this world – my wonderful husband and two precious girls.

familyI hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  Now we are off to see more family and eat more turkey!

Let’s Talk Turkey

November 25, 2008

Okay. . . so I called the Butterball Turkey Hotline today to ask a few questions.  I noticed that my 21 lb turkey (don’t ask me why I got such a big turkey) doesn’t seem to be very thawed out even though it has been in the fridge since Saturday.  So, I called to check on what to do.  Here is all I learned from JANE from Butterball:

1.  A 21 pound turkey can take 5-6 days to thaw in the fridge.  Don’t know where I got “3 days to thaw”!

2.  Now I will need to put my turkey in a clean sink of cold tap water and change the water every thirty minutes.  I need to do this for 6-7 hours tomorrow.  No problem.  Like I really have 7 hours to hang around my kitchen sink.  But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, huh?

3.  I was planning on “brining” my turkey.  I already bought lots of herbs and spices and a special bag to “brine” the bird in.  JANE let me know that brining is not good for frozen turkeys.  They have already been injected with flavor and salt.  If I brine my turkey it will be WAY too salty.  Good to know.

4.  I was told to cook my bird for 20 minutes per pound, which would equal about 7 hours for me.  I was planning to get up at 4:30 a.m. on Thursday to tie up my Tom Turkey and get him in the oven.  JANE informed me that it would take 3 1/2 to 4 hours for the bird to cook.  Seriously??  Good thing I called and talked to JANE.

5.  I planned to cover the turkey with foil except for the last 45 minutes of cooking to get it brown.  JANE informed me that I should cook the bird UNCOVERED for the first 2/3 cooking time and then lightly cover the breast with foil during the last 1/3 cooking time.  Also good to know.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for JANE at the Butterball Turkey Hotline.  She saved me from crying many tears this Thursday.  I can invision it now. . . my first turkey. . . still partially frozen. . . I brine it and it is so salty your lips pucker. . . not to mention that it is waaaayyyy overcooked from seven hours in my oven. . . and it is barely brown because I covered it during most of it’s cooking time.  I mean seriously!  I am about ready to chuck the bird and call Honeybaked Ham for an already cooked tasty turkey breast.  I’ll let you know how it goes!!!

What a Sweet Night

November 24, 2008

During this week of Thanksgiving, I am reminded of how thankful I am that we have the freedom to join together in worship at our local churches.  We take for granted that many people around the world are not permitted to join together and worship with other believers and followers of Jesus.  It is against the law in many places around the world.  How blessed we are to gather corporately to praise the Lord and speak of his name together.

We had a sweet experience last night at a local church.  Since August, we have been taking our children to FBC on Wednesday nights because they have a wonderful children’s choir program.  My girls love love love to sing!  They have been enjoying choir and mission friends each week.  During that time, Rick and I have been part of a small group study entitled “Growing Kids God’s Way.”  It is one of the best things we have done together in a long time.  This 18 week class meets weekly and we share together, review our “homework” and watch a series of videos about raising our children according to Biblical standards.  Absolutely terrific!  Now back to last night. . .  the Sunday night service was entitled “He Has Been Good.”  The service featured the all of the children’s choirs (K-5th grade).  Of course, we were there to see Addison sing.  She was so excited.  Here is a video of one of the songs the kindergartners sang.

Each grade (K-2) sang two songs and then the 3rd-5th grade choir did an entire performance, complete with songs, motions and speaking parts.  It was such a sweet night.  I think I relived my childhood during the night.  I have such wonderful memories of musicals, memorizing lines and learning to LOVE to sing!  I teared up several times as I listened to these young children singing praises to our wonderful Saviour and raising their hands in worship.  One 5th grade girl quoted Psalm 27 in it’s entirety.  It was such a blessing to hear.  I remember memorizing scripture and standing before the church to quote it.  There is something about hearing a child quote scripture that fills my heart with such joy!  We are working on some short scripture memory in our house.  What I love most about so much of the music that kids sing is that they are singing words directly from scripture.

Everyone was asked to bring toys to church for the Toy Store, where parents in need will be able to pick out toys for their children for FREE so that they can have a special Christmas.  At the end of the choir performances, they asked every to bring their toys down front and place them on the stage.  The church was packed and there were oodles of presents that had already been donated in the bins around the sanctuary.  It was so neat for my girls to be able to take their gifts to give and literally “lay them on the altar.”  That’s what we do when we give to others, we give to Jesus.  It was a great word picture and lesson for our girls.  What a night!  I am so thankful for the opportunity that we had to be part of it!

One funny note:  The last song was “We All Bow Down” and there were 10 little girls all dressed in white with gold crowns on their head.  They did a beautiful worshipful dance along to the words of the song.  They removed their crowns and laid them at the foot of the large cross on the stage.  Ava Jane looked at me and said, “Mom, that is NOT ballet.”  I explained to her that it was in fact, not ballet, but worshipful dance to the Lord.  Her face softened and she said, “Ooohh, dancing to the Lord.”  It was too sweet.  She also praised Addison for what a great job she did singing.  These girls are such a blessing to us.  And I am so thankful that God has blessed us with them. I love this time of year to focus on all we are thankful for.

What? No Bow??

November 13, 2008

first-up1

Okay. . . here is what came barreling down the steps this morning all dressed and apparently ready to go.  Ava Jane had this new outfit complete with headband, a first for her.  So, I hear her jump out of her bed and move around a little bit upstairs.  After a few minutes she emerges before me already dressed and she announces that she has fixed her own hair today.  Don’t you love it?

oh-yes-baby1

Sweet muffin.  She had no idea how to wear a headband.  I kinda like the punk rocker look, except that it doesn’t really blend well with the cute scottie dogs!  She was so excited to get to wear the headband.  She wasn’t so sure about it when I fixed her hair. . . so we compromised a little as to how it should “look” and this was the end result.

final-product1

Better.  Not great, but better than the “just out of bed fixed my own hair in a headband” look!  And she could not wait to show her friends at school today.  I hope they were encouraging of her new look.  Personally, I prefer BIG, HUGE hair bows in this girl’s hair.  But the scottie dog headband made her happy, so I let the bow slide (but just for today)!

Voting Day Funny

November 4, 2008

Addison came home from school yesterday and was telling me about her day as I looked through her folder.  I saw a little “voter registration card” that they filled out with their name, teacher’s name, etc.  I asked her what it was for.  She said, “Well, mom. . . today we got to vote for president.”  Okay, so I had NO idea that they were doing their own mock election. . . we haven’t been talking much politics with our children (as you know from my previous post and Ava Jane’s vote for the cool chick in line).  So I cautiously ask her who she voted for.  Her response:  “Arock Arama!”  Oh for the love!!!!!!!!  I gasp and choke and manage to say to her, “Honey, why did you vote for him?”  I think she can tell I am a little uneasy about it and she puts her head down and says “I don’t know.  I mean, lots of the kids were voting for him.”  I assure her that all is well because her vote doesn’t really count anyway.  HAHAHA!  Just kidding.  I didn’t tell her that.  I just gently told her that we voted for McCain, NOT Arock Arama.  But I did tell her that it sure did sound like a cool name that man had.  🙂

And then this morning when I turned on the news, she said, “Mom, there is that man I voted for.”  And sure enough, peeps, it was Arock Arama.  I shudder to think of the number of Americans, who like my 5 year old, will be voting for Arock Arama because they think everyone else is voting for him.  Just another reminder that God is on His throne and will remain there regardless of who wins and who loses today.  Praise the Lord for that.   Just thought you could use a smile on this historic day in our nation.

“For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” Romans 13:1

Weekend Wrap Up

November 3, 2008

Addison on “MisMatch” Day at school.

Ava Jane on Farmer Day at school.

These are not our Halloween pictures. . . but dress up days that both the girls had at school over the past week or so.  I just thought they looked cute.  And yes, farmers DO wear hairbows!  And yes, Addison actually went along with looking so mismatched on this dress up day.  I was shocked. . . but since she missed pajama day earlier in the week (thanks to her brilliant mom) she really wanted to take part in the dress up days.

On Friday, Addison’s class had their fall harvest party.  Since I am the Room Mom (aka – in charge of all things fun for her class!!  woo hoo!) I had lots to do to get ready for the afternoon.  We had games, crafts, and lots of yummy food for the little ones.  We had a great turnout of parents to help and the kids had a blast.  Here are a couple of pictures. . .

It was a fun day for all.  Friday night we went trick or treating in our own neighborhood.  This is really the first time we have lived in a neighborhood full of kids.  It really was fun for the girls.  Now, let me say that Halloween is not my favorite holiday.  We didn’t celebrate it in my house growing up AT ALL.  I don’t like all the scary, gross evil stuff that comes with the day.  That being said, we don’t make a big deal of it in our house.  We just don’t really talk about it.  But as time got closer and the kids realized it was Halloween, they began asking what they could be.  We have oodles of dress up clothes, so I told them to take their pick. . .  any princess would do – we have all the outfits!  Ava Jane chose to be Tinkerbell and Addison wanted to be an artist (which is her profession of choice right now as a kindergartner).  Easy enough.  We painted up an old shirt and had a palette and paintbrush.  I did find Addison a hat at a party store going out of business, so I bought it for $2.  And here we have our Picasso and Tinkerbell.

And here they are together. . .

Yes. . . they do have on lipstick.  They thought it would be fun and so I let them leave the house with bright lips for the night.  It didn’t last long, Ava Jane said it tasted good and proceeded to lick it all off.  What I did love about the night was that we had a great opportunity to meet so many of our neighbors.  We introduced ourselves and the kids, and I loved that!  We are so excited about our new neighborhood full of families and kids.  The girls decided that they wanted to give out candy too, so we came home and they stood on the porch and yelled “Free Candy. . . We have Free Candy!”  Okay. . . so this isn’t exactly what you do on Halloween, but there aren’t many houses near us just yet, so our trick or treaters were limited in number.  They wanted to be sure that people saw us.  🙂  It was cute.

After too much candy, they finally went to bed.  On Saturday, Rick took us to breakfast at Cracker Barrel.  What a yummy morning treat.  I went to a church Bazaar and found that most of what was there was more crafty than my taste, then headed to Target to look for some good “fall” deals. . . not much there but tons of candy on sale – and we DID NOT NEED any more candy.  Saturday afternoon we went to a fun fall celebration at the home of a dear friend’s parents.  It was fun to catch up with long time friends and enjoy watching the kids play together.  There was a spread of soups and other yummy goodies.  Perfect fall foods!  We made our way home and got everyone bathed and ready for bed.  We were planning an early bedtime since we had such a busy day, but then realized it was daylight savings time, and decided to push off bedtime a little.  We all crashed pretty early, even with the time change.

The sun came up early on Sunday morning, so we didn’t have to wake the girls up like we normally do.  We enjoyed church together and then came home for the rest of a beautiful day!  Even with the extra sleep, both the girls took a nap on Sunday afternoon.  Yippee!  I managed to do laundry and go through the piles of junk on my kitchen counter.  Such fun!  We had a birthday party that afternoon and it was a wild time!  Lizards and snakes and other reptiles.  And BOTH of my girls loved it and opted to pet the scaley creatures.  Yikes!  We came home and enjoyed a healthy dinner of cereal.  YUM!  Then watched Extreme Makeover Home Edition.  We love to watch that together on Sunday nights.   It is probably the only night of the week we have the tv on during family time.

So, here we are at the start of another week.  It is suppose to be beautiful outside this week and the kids are out of school tomorrow for the election.  Which reminds me. . . I voted early last week.  Ava Jane was with me and as we walked into the building, she asked me what it meant to vote.  I tried to explain that we were choosing the people that would be in charge of our city, state and country.  She asked if I knew any of the people and I could only say that I knew one of the ladies that I was voting for (in the local election).  So, we are standing in line.  There is a young lady (maybe 19 or 20) in front of me.  She has a cute hot pink purse and her hair is blond on top, black underneath.  Ava Jane is fascinated with her purse and hair.  A few minutes go by and Ava Jane looks at me and points at the lady and says (very matter of factly), “Mom, I vote for her!”  I laughed out loud.  It was too cute and very funny.  I explained that she was not up for election, but made sure to let her know that Ava Jane was choosing her in the election.  She thought it was cute too.

Sadly, I think many Americans are taking that same approach to who they are voting for in this election.  They are hearing something or seeing one or two things they like and basing their decision on that, instead of looking at the candidates for who they are and what they stand for.  I voted for McCain.  He is not my favorite, and not who I voted for in the primary. . . but he is PRO-LIFE and that is HUGE for me as a Christian.  I am a little fearful of what the outcome of this election may be.  But the good news for all is that God is still on His Throne and is in control.  Regardless of who is elected and what happens, my faith is in Jesus, not in our president.  Now, GO VOTE!!