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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Time Out!!

I seem to have opened a can of worms with my question regarding your opinion of wearing leggings and short skirts to church. PLEASE know that I was not referring to anyone in particular, because I have seen several females (of varying ages) in this attire. I know that I feel it's inappropriate for church and just wondered if I was being overly sensitive. I repeat I was not talking about any particular individual.

Drum Roll Please

Well, here it is...the moment you've been waiting for all month: the last day of the year and my 100th post! This goal wasn't as difficult to reach as I had thought it would be. Who knew that I would have so much to say? (Hush, now! No comments from the peanut gallery!)

In honor of this my 100th post, I am doing a random drawing for a giveaway. And you don't have to do anything because you've already done it. I wrote down the names of anyone who had ever made a comment on my blog and randomly drew one out of a bowl (no hat available). The winner gets a small token of my appreciation.



This is a wonderful little book by Robin McGraw (Dr. Phil's wife). She is very interesting and funny herself. The other thing is a small wooden plaque that has graced our home for years. But I no longer have a place for it since we re-did the kitchen. Time to let it bless someone else.

So, to end your suspense, the winner is.....ASHLEY! Congratulations!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

First, thanks for your prayers for Darrell. He is doing better every day.

Anybody making resolutions for the new year? Seems like I make the same ones year after year. Exercise regularly, pray twice a day, read my scriptures every day, be kinder.... I don't usually make it past February. So this year the only resolution I'm making is not to make any resolutions. That one I think I can keep.

Do you ever wish you could tell someone exactly what you think? Of course, then you'd be fair game for the person to be blunt with you, but sometimes I think it'd be worth it. Ever see someone at the mall or Walmart and want to ask them if they have mirrors in their house? Like the woman I saw who was wearing bright pink underwear and white pants. Or the cashier with the tarantula eyelashes. I bet she uses up a tube of mascara in a week. Ever want to ask someone to take their screaming kid out of a movie or sacrament meeting?

Opinion time here. I see girls wearing leggings with short dresses all the time. Are these appropriate for church? Is it better for them to be at church wearing something like this than not to come at all? Would you let your daughter wear a skirt that short if she was bare-legged or wearing hose or tights?

Why do TV stations change their lineup just when I get used to it and know when my favorite shows are coming on? Does anyone but me like to watch the 'paid programming' that comes on late at night or early in the morning? The things for sale now are amazing. Just wish they worked as advertised. And how come the people in ads for wrinkle creams, etc are about 20 years old?

Why do leaves gather by my back door? The only trees in that vicinity are pine trees. Far as I know, they don't have leaves. So where are all these leaves coming from? You can't walk out the door without wading through a foot deep pile of leaves. So they invariably make their way into the house.

Okay, that's it for now. Just random things that run through my head. Leave a comment so I know I'm not the only oddball out there.


Monday, December 29, 2008

A Special Request

When you say your prayers this morning (or if you've already done so, maybe add a P.S.), put a word in for Darrell. He is in a lot of pain from his knee, but has to work anyway since he's the chief cook and bottle washer. It's just one of the perks of being self-employed. I can't drive that big truck or handle those heavy buckets and drums. So he's on his own, hobbling around, climbing in and out of the back of the truck.

Thanks from both of us.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We Survived the Holidays!

For several years now, Darrell and I have hosted a post-Christmas open house. It's an adults only time to eat, visit, and recuperate from all the busyness of the past couple of months. We get a little flak for banning the kiddies, but we feel that children have so many activities and such all December and this is a chance for the grownups to have a little time to themselves. Being mom and dad is wonderful, but remember we're first and foremost husband and wife and need to keep that special relationship alive and well.

Anyway (not anyways), we had a smaller turnout than in years past, but still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and hope all those who attended did, as well. How can you not with shrimp, cheese, crackers, chips and salsa, banana pudding, Red Velvet cake, cookies, Chex Mix, etc, etc. I'm stuffed to the gills!! I had set a weight loss goal for myself that I wanted to reach by Christmas Day. I succeeded, but have probably gained it all back in the past day or so. Oh, well. To quote my favorite heroine "tomorrow is another day".

I'm off to bed and thanks to FlyLady, my dishes are done and my kitchen is clean. I can sleep with a clear conscience tonight.

Off topic: Happy Birthday, Erin!!

Off topic x 2: Clayton has a secret, but won't share. Lauren has a secret, but it will come to light all too soon. If you'd like a hint, see her blog (which you can find a link to on the sidebar).

Friday, December 26, 2008

A Few Christmas Pictures


Think Cam liked his guitar?



Almost as much as Darrell liked his game of Pick Up Sticks!





But not nearly as much as Beverly liked her Roomba!!



Easiest Ever Baked Meatballs

2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large egg
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tbsp each instant minced onion and dried parsley
1 tbsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 400. Line 15x10 jelly roll pan with foil (for easy cleanup). Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Form into 1 1/2" balls. Place 1/4 inch apart in the lined pan. Bake 12-15 minutes till browned and no longer pink in center. Makes approx 32.

I'm a Scrooge

I've been sitting here wondering why Christmas is always such a letdown. It was wonderful when I was a kid, but being on the grownup end is not nearly as much fun. There are so many things to do ahead of time: cooking, cleaning, planning, shopping, wrapping, going to visit Santa, etc, etc. There's such a build-up. Then it's all over in a matter of minutes. Wrapping paper, bows, bags, boxes strewn everywhere. Kids asking if that's all there is. Like they didn't just open a dozen gifts. Then there're the family members--the extended ones you don't see very often, but that's still too much. I think I'm gonna take an idea from some friends and go on a cruise next year.

Now for a bright spot. Darrell sells products to a guy in Murfreesboro, who also runs a small church. He collects toys all year long and distributes them to poor children at Christmas time. Darrell has donated money each year to help him out. This year over 500 children were made happier by the toys they received. That's what Christmas is all about. Helping others and making them happy. Not just wondering what's in it for me.

Off my soapbox now. Sorry. I just haven't felt the yuletide spirit this year and from what I've read, I'm not alone. Happier thoughts tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours

Hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and get all your hearts desire. Enjoy this video from Darrell and me as we celebrate this most glorious time of year--the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. May we share our testimony that He was born, He lived and taught on this earth, He atoned for our sins, and was lifted up on the cross. But most of all, we testify that He was resurrected and we, through repentance and belief on His name, can live with Him again.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StdeSKFJjVk&feature=related

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

For the past five years or so, Darrell has played Santa at his sister's church. He has a blast and the kids are great. One year a little boy tried to follow Darrell out so he could see Rudolph. So far no one has succeeded in discovering Darrell's true identity! He makes a terrific Santa, if I do say so myself. Enjoy these pictures from tonight's dinner and program.

Some got into it right away.....







Others not so much.....






Even the 'young at heart' got in on the act....



Now isn't that the cutest Santa you've ever seen??

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Grazie mille!

Thanks to everyone who voted on my poll and helped decide what to give Melody for Christmas. We are headed out to watch the BYU football game with some friends and I plan on stopping by Walmart on the way home to finish shopping!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Italian Herb Chicken

You know that section of the grocery where you can find taco mix, gravy mix, etc? Look around there for slow cooker mixes made by McCormick. One is exceptional! It's Italian Herb Chicken. Get it! Use it! It's delicious!

Besides the mix, you'll need the following:
2 1/2 lbs chicken
1 pkg (8-oz) fresh mushrooms, halved or sliced (I consider this optional--I don't eat fungi)
2 cans (14 1/2-oz each) stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (6-oz) tomato paste

Follow the instructions on the mix package. You'll have a delicious dinner that is really easy since it's been in the crock pot all day. What a wonderful smell to come home to--be it work, church, or Christmas shopping!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aggravation

Do you know the serenity prayer? "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference." I am really struggling with this right now. How do you motivate someone who refuses to be motivated? How do you let them fail and fall, when you can see where they are making mistakes and you know their life would be easier if they'd only listen to you! How do you serenely accept the things you can't change? What if you gather the courage to change the things you can and it blows up in your face? How do you accept that some things are out of your control, no matter how much you want to help? It's one thing if it's just affecting the one person, but what if there are children? Or others who are being adversely affected? When do you stop beating your head against that brick wall?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Beef Taco Bake

1 lb ground beef
1 (10-oz) can tomato soup
1 (16-oz) jar medium or mild salsa
1/2 cup milk
6-8 flour or corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup grated shredded cheese (I use the packaged stuff)

Heat oven to 400. In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain grease. Add soup, salsa, milk, tortillas, and half the cheese. Put mixture into a 9-inch square or 7x11-inch baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Serves 4

Help!!

Your help is needed ASAP! Christmas is a week away and I'm still not finished shopping. One of my dilemmas is what to get Melody for her "big" present. I have a few small things, but am undecided as to the final gift. I've put a poll on the side where you can vote for the two I've narrowed it down to. The poll ends Saturday morning, so I can still find whatever ya'll choose, so don't delay! If you have other ideas, feel free to put them in the comments. (You probably need to know that she's asked for an Easy Bake oven since she was 6.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chicken Pot Pie


1 can mixed vegetables, drained
1 can cream of mushroom (or cream of chicken) soup
1 (6 1/2 oz) can boned chicken, drained
2 frozen pie shells

Defrost pie shells. Combine chicken, soup, and veggies in bowl and mix well. Pour into pie shell and cover with second pie shell. Crimp edges closed. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or till brown.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Watch This!

Take a few minutes and watch this great YouTube video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Fe11OlMiz8 It's awesome! Thanks, Alex, for sharing!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Quick and Easy Recipe

I know. I hope you were sitting down when you saw I was posting a recipe. I don't like to cook or spend much time in the kitchen, so I'm always on the lookout for fast, simple things to make. Quick and easy are words I look for in cookbooks. Since this is a busy time of year, I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you and therefore make your life easier. I'll try to make a link on the side so you can find these recipes, if you are so inclined.

EASY MEXICALI CHICKEN

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tbsp oil
4 ounces shredded cheese blend
1/2 cup salsa (mild, medium, hot--your call)

Pound the chicken breasts to 1/2 inch thick and divide into portions, if needed. Place a large, heavy skillet over med-high heat, add the oil, and saute the chicken breasts for about 5 min, or till the bottom is golden. Turn, and saute for another 3-4 min. Top the chicken with the cheese, turn the heat down to med-low, cover the skillet, and let the whole thing cook for another 3-4 min, or till the cheese is melted.

While the cheese is melting, nuke the salsa in the microwave for a minute at half power.

Remove the chicken to serving plates, top with the salsa, and serve. Add sour cream if desired or maybe some fresh chopped cilantro.

Drawing a Blank

I have nothing to blog about today. But I have to post in order to reach my 100 by the end of the year. So here ya go. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Almost....

Got the tree up and decorated!! Got most of the outside decorations done. Anybody know what I did with the wreath that goes on the front door?? No? Me neither. Stick a fork in me cuz I'm done for the day.

Friday, December 12, 2008

No Joy in Mudville

We got our electric bill the other day and--are you sitting down?--it was $250. Now that's a lot considering it's just me and Darrell most of the time. And I don't cook much. I do like to stay warm, but we try to keep the thermostat set at about 68. All we can figure is the hot tub is using way more than its share of electricity. So we had to make the decision to pull the plug. Tomorrow we drain the hot tub. Sniff, sniff. Hang on while I get a tissue. I will certainly miss sitting out there in that blissful water, looking at stars, and watching planes. Guess I'll have to mollify myself by sitting in front of the gas logs.



Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow???

Guess who got snow today?? Not us. Not our friends in NC. Lauren in Baton Rouge! What's up with that? Since when does it snow in Louisiana? And six inches to boot! Before you envy her, you should know she's just gotten electricity back after being without it since 8 or 9 this morning. Fun stuff with two little ones.

Still, it would be nice to have a white Christmas. I don't think we'd had one here in maybe 5 years--unless you count ice (and I don't). I like the stuff that comes down in big fluffy flakes, sticks, then goes away. I don't want it to hang around and make everyone crazy!

So, how do you react when the weatherman calls for "frozen precipitation"? Do you hightail it to the grocery for milk and bread in case you're snowed in for weeks? Has that ever actually happened in Tennessee? (Darrell says yes, in 1966.) Do you stay home cause you know YOU can't drive in it--and wish the other idiots would, too? (I'm not saying you're an idiot. But people who drive in bad weather the same way they drive on dry roads ARE idiots. Am I just digging my hole deeper?)

I didn't grow up with a fireplace, but when the electricity would go off, we would light candles and roast marshmallows over them. Miniature marshmallows over miniature fires. I loved that! Hot chocolate. Snow cream. One year, I didn't have snow boots, so I put on a couple of pairs of socks and my regular shoes. Then my mom put plastic bread bags over it all, duct taped it at the knee, and put a pair of my dad's wool army socks over that. Worked great to keep my feet warm and dry, but the snow stuck to that wool till my "boots" looked like a snowman's feet! Good times....

Same Song, Second Verse

What do you get the man who has everything?? Or wants stuff you can't afford?? Any ideas?

Are We Done Yet?

How many of you are finished Christmas shopping? Got your tree up? House decorated? Cards mailed? Wait, don't answer that! I don't want to know after all.

I do this every year. Make myself wait to decorate and put up the tree. Then I think "good grief, it's the middle of December! Why bother?" I almost put the tree up last Saturday, but I made myself wait till this coming Saturday. Now I'm not sure I even want to do it at all. Is that bad?

We are thinking of buying a small tabletop tree and just using that. But we're the grandparents! Our house is supposed to be wonderful to come to, right?? So I just need to put on my big girl panties and get out the tree. Okay, I vented. I feel better. Just needed to get that out of my system.

BTW, anybody busy Saturday.....??

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Came Early!


Most of you know that my sweetie does the 12 days of Christmas for me. He doesn't usually start until December 13, but this year he surprised me. He has given me some clothes and a diamond and sapphire necklace and earrings. But today's gift was the best of all--and it better be the last one this year!! We had decided (I thought) not to buy gifts for each other, because we bought new gas logs and a fireplace screen.

Today Darrell calls me and wants me to drive the Cadillac to Crest Honda. Not to bring something he didn't have on the truck, but to pick up MY NEW CAR!! At least it's new to me. A 2005 Honda Accord. Beautiful blue color with gray interior. Fits me like a glove. I am so excited. Of course, it was pouring rain and dark by the time we drove home. So I can't wait for tomorrow when I can actually see it in the daylight. I'm sure I need to go somewhere--anywhere!

P.S. This isn't my actual car, but it looks just like it. I'll take pictures as soon as I can.


You People!

I am declaring today unofficial Update Your Blog Day! Some of you haven't posted since before Thanksgiving!! It's like you actually have a life outside the computer! Come on, people, help me out here. I've read the same stuff over and over and over. Get with the program. The house doesn't need cleaning. Laundry can wait. Homework isn't that important! Call in sick. Let the kids cry. I want you to sit down in that chair and stay on that computer till you have posted something new on your blog! I mean it! Don't make me come over there!

Monday, December 8, 2008

All Bundled Up

If you happen to call our home number, you may get a message that it's been disconnected. That's because it has been. You can call our cells or the business line. If you get the answering machine, it'll be a message for the business, but go ahead and leave a message. We have gotten tired of dealing with AT&T and have bundled with Charter. Not that they're much better, but their prices are.


Sunday, December 7, 2008

Just One More Reason

In case you didn't know, I have the best husband in the world. I could list the reasons, but there's not enough room for them all. Here's one just for the record.

He knows I don't like to cook. I think you have to like food in order to like to cook. I'm a picky eater and thus don't like the kitchen in any way, shape, or form. It's my least favorite room in the house. If I could eat out every meal--or have my own cook!--I would be a happy woman!

When Darrell comes home from work each night, I make sure I look presentable and the house is clean. But it's not unusual for nothing to be going on the stove. He never complains. Sometimes we go out. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes he makes something. And on occasion I even fix a meal!

Right now, my sweetheart is making pancakes and bacon while I sit here on the computer. I'm sure he's starting to hate this computer, because of this blog and Facebook. But again he doesn't complain. How could you NOT love him??

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What the Heck!

For the first time ever, I got a flu shot. This was a good month ago. So why do I feel all cold and achy today? My head has hurt all day and my eyes are swollen from sinus pressure. Just what I get for patting myself on the back the other day about avoiding a cold so far this season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I Surrender

con⋅form⋅ist


–noun
1. a person who conforms, esp. unquestioningly, to the usual practices or standards of a group, society, etc.
2. a person who conforms to the usages of an established church, esp. the Church of England.



I have recently been called a conformist by my son. And based on the first definition above, I guess I am. I gave in to blogging when Lauren set me up with one. I gave in to Facebook after much coercion. Yesterday I added texting capability to my cell phone. And now I am getting Bluetooth. I am still not as technologically astute as I'd like, but I guess I'll allow the tide to sweep me along. Kicking and screaming not quite as strenuously as before.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I Made It!!!

Look at the sidebar on the right for A Few Faves...go ahead...I'll wait. Okay, one of the links there is for Overheard in the Ward. A couple of weeks ago, I submitted something and it's finally there. It's called "But That's MY Favorite Thing To Do".

Names have been changed to protect the mother!

If I Had a Million Dollars....

Someone asked me yesterday what I would do if one hundred million dollars was suddenly dumped into my lap. Didn't take me long to come up with a list. I don't take questions like this very seriously. I mean the chances of it actually happening are pretty slim. Therefore, the first item on my list is plastic surgery. I know, I know. But it wouldn't have been invented if the Lord didn't mean for us to use that knowledge! Under the heading of TMI, I won't go into the gory details of all the things I want fixed on my body. Item two would be permanent makeup. This could be considered tattooing, but it's not like I'd put a butterfly on my cheek. Eyeliner, lipliner, a little blush. And I've heard you can even perm and color (not dye!) your eyelashes.

After satisfying my narcissistic whims, I'd pay off our house and rent house. Then start plastic surgery on them in the form of new flooring, windows, etc. Which makes me pause for a moment. Would I fix up this house? Or move to another? Hmmm....
Might seem a no-brainer to you, but there is a lot of this house I'd like to take with me, if I were to move. Of course, since I'm now a gazillionaire, I guess that wouldn't necessarily be a problem.

New cars, a boat for Darrell, new clothes. Homes for the kiddies and their kiddies. Travel.

Darrell sat the whole time I was spouting my list with this little smile on his face. When the same question was posed to him, guess what he said! He would open and run a homeless shelter and name it after his father. All righty, then.

If there are errors in this post, it's because I'm having trouble typing since I've been cut down to 2 inches in height and it's hard to reach the keyboard. Talk about taking the wind out of my sails.

P.S. If the title of this post is now stuck in your head, don't blame me. Blame The Barenaked Ladies.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

No Excuses

And here is the post for yesterday!

My Post for Today

ACK!! I'm already falling behind. So here is my post for today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

If You Can't Beat Em, Join Em

After much prompting and guilt inducing, I have been persuaded to join Facebook. And it has wound up being a GREAT thing!! I have searched reunion.com and classmates.com looking for a girl I was best friends with back in the day. No luck. I wasn't willing to shell out the money they wanted. She and I lost touch after high school graduation and I've always wondered about her and where she was. After making my page, I looked for friends from my graduating class and lo and behold there she was! First on the list! Guess it was meant to be. I immediately contacted her and she wrote back! Finding Audrey will be one of my Christmas gifts to myself this year.

Thanks, Clayton and Liz, for being so persistent!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Latest Blonde Moment

So, today I stopped at Kroger to get gas. We have to put premium in the Cadillac and they had the lowest price. Not being used to the machine (which isn't that different from all others), I read the instructions carefully. Or so I thought. There's a bar code reader for your Kroger card to get the 3 cent discount. It read my card, but wouldn't read my credit card. I finally located where to insert the credit card. The card went in, but nothing happened. I looked and the card was stuck. I couldn't push it any further in and couldn't get it out. So I go get the attendant. Before he got to the pump, I realized what I had done. I inserted my credit card in the slot where the receipt comes out. The attendant had to use a special key to open the compartment and retrieve my card. Luckily, no Discover cards were injured in this procedure.


Challenge

Think I can reach 100 posts by the end of the year? Does anyone care? I have 64 as of the end of November. One of my "quirks" is even numbers and rounding things off. Ending the year at 100 posts seems like a good, round thing to do. So expect lots of inane, unimportant posts for the next few weeks! Luckily, it's Christmas time and that should make things easier. (Hope I didn't just jinx myself!)
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