Monday, November 29, 2010

Playlist Caution

When I changed my background for Christmas I also changed my playlist to the Christmas one that I had used lastyear. Thankfully, I was sitting here listening to it, hopefully before anyone else did. One of the songs I had on there had been changed to a very vulgur song. The title and artist were the same as they had been, but the song was completely different. If any of you happened to be listening and heard it I apologize, though I suspect you would have immediately realized that it was not my doing. I also noticed that quite a few of my songs were no longer available. I am currently going back and listening to each song to make sure I don't run into that again and if you have a playlist you may want to do the same.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


The Thanksgiving festivities are now finished for my family. We've enjoyed our week and have especially been thankful to have my wonderful hubby home for 4 days straight. Here's the rundown of our week.

Saturday (20th) - My Mom's family met for our annual Thanksgiving meal at my Uncle David's house. My Mom is the 9th of 10 children, so this is a very large gathering. This was our 1st Thanksgiving without my Pappaw, so of course it was a bit bittersweet. The turnout was great. There were a LOT of people there and a lot of great food. My hubby was at home in the bed sick. I was very sad that he couldn't go with us and had such a hard time leaving him. I think he was glad for a bit of quiet time, though.

Monday (22nd) - Our homeschool group has an annual Thanksgiving feast. We were not planning to go this year because we had two appointments that morning and I was just not sure we could get there in time. However, a friend called my girls and wanted us to come to the feast and then come to their house afterward. I'm also friends with this girls Mom and she has a brother my son's age, so it's a great fit for our family and we get together whenever we can. There is a lot of time for fellowship at the feast and I got to meat a Mom that I hadn't met before and chat with her for a while as well as catch up with some Mom's that I hadn't seen in quite a while. There never seems to be quite enough food there, but there are always 2 pots of community soup. Everyone brings an ingredient for the soup and it all goes in the pot. It's actually quite tasty. There is a pie baking contest, so there are plenty of desserts. I had a piece of pecan pie and it was very yummy. There are also costume and weapons building contests as well as a skit. We left there and thoroughly enjoyed spending a couple of hours at our friends house.

Tuesday - My Mom had a cousin that babysat my older brother and I from the time we were infants until I think I was three or so. Her name was Lois and her husband's name was Bob. My brother dubbed them Mama Lois and Daddy Bob and those names stuck. That's what their grandchildren called them and most everyone else. When I was 16 she died of breast cancer, but we have remained very close to the rest of her family. Several months ago their son and daughter-in-law moved in with Daddy Bob to help take care of him and began having a Tuesday night meal for friends and family. We go once or twice a month and it is truly a highlight of our week when we get to go. They live in a cabin in the woods. It's such a neat place to be. Tuesday night we had our Thanksgiving meal with all of them and had 59 people in attendance. It was such a good evening.

Thursday - We went to my Mom's and had homemade pizzas. Very nontraditional. Honestly, I wasn't thrilled with the idea. The theory was that we had all had traditional Thanksgiving meals and might be growing tired of it, but I had actually not had much traditional thanksgiving food and we already had plans to have a pizza night on Friday night. It was really an oh well kind of day I suppose. I didn't get a vote and it's my Mom's home and if that's what she wants to do that's what we will do. So, we had pizza and cookies. I woke up on Wednesday with a bit of a sore throat and by Thursday I knew I was coming down with something so I felt pretty yucky most of the day and we decided to head home a bit earlier than usual.

Friday - I got up early and headed out to do some shopping. I usually do a lot, but I was just feeling so yucky and tired and it was rainy and cold. I got several things that we needed for the holidays and bought a gift to put up for my son's birthday (which he already found, because I'm a dork and sent him to the van for something before I remembered I had not yet gotten the gifts out of it....) I came back home and went to bed for a couple of hours. Then I got up and we got some cleaning done and watched the Alabama and Auburn football game (better known as the Iron Bowl). It was a very interesting game. Auburn was down 24-0, but we've spent most of the year being a 2nd half team and in the end we came back and won 28-27. WAR EAGLE!!! Later that evening my cousin and her family came over for a homemade pizza night. This is a tradition that we started with them a few years ago. We do it at both houses and typically only do it with each others families. It seems weird to do it with anyone else.... Their daughter is in her 2nd year of college, so we usually try to have pizza night when she is home. We made 5 pizzas and they were very good. My girls also made some cake mix cookies and those (especially the caramel ones) were a HUGE hit! We always have a ton of leftovers, so we got to have that for supper last night as well. YUM!

Saturday - I would have to say that yesterday was the highlight of my week. My husband has a son from his first marriage. Patrick and I have been married for 15 years, so Josh has been in my life for 16 years (including the year that we dated). I love him like my own and miss him terribly. Josh joined the Army in January and was recently selected for Special Forces. He will spend the next year and a half going through the training required to actually become SF. Thankfully, he is now stationed about 8 hours away and his eventual station will be about a 7 hour drive. I'm so thankful it's driving distance! Anyway, he was home for Thanksgiving and he and is fiance (we LOVE her) were able to come over to spend the day with us. I prepared a meal (Turkey, dressing, garlic and rosemary potatoes, blackeyed peas, green bean casserole, corn and cranberry sauce) and we headed over to our friends house. The provided the drinks, desserts (brownies, pumpkin pie and flan) and rolls. The meal was very yummy. Afterwards the guys and our soon to be daughter-in-law headed out for a game of volleyball (Paige is 5'11" and went to school on a volleyball scholarship. Her senior year her team won the national championship and she is now a graduate assistant coach for the team, while she gets her master's degree, which the school is also paying for.) Why the guys wanted to get stomped by her I don't know.....LOL Needless to say the team that Paige was on won and it didn't seem to matter who played with her. My very favorite moments are those when all of our children are together and having Paige here has been such a blessing to our family. She was drawing with the kids yesterday and drew a picture of all our children. It was very cute, but my favorite part was that she included herself in the picture. It was such a wonderful day.

The only negative part is that we have been fighting sickness in our home for 2 1/2 weeks now. It started with our children, then my hubby and now me. I'm fairly certain that mine is a sinus infection and I feel horrible. A "doc in the box" recently opened about 10 minutes away from my house and I do believe I will be in their parking lot when they open this morning. It's so frustrating that the only thing that seems to make me well when I get these things is a steroid shot. I've tried everything else I know to try at this point (Sinus rinses multiple times a day, herbal teas, probiotics, homemade cough syrup as well as over-the-counter meds) and I'm getting worse daily. Maybe the shot will speed up my recovery and give me the energy to get my Christmas decorations put up......

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Big Fat Honkin' List

I had planned to get a lot done before thanksgiving in order to be ready for the company, shopping, Christmas decorating and crafting. However, I've had sickly people around here for about a week and a half. Needless to say that put me a bit behind. We've been doing a pretty good job of keeping the house straight, so the things that need to happen are mostly deep cleaning type things or cleaning up things that just get overlooked. I have 4 days to do that this week. I also have several goings on, so I've made a list of when I need to do what in order to not allow things to sneak up on me. The kids have a pretty good list, but they will be helping each other. If they work well without arguing they should spend an hour or less cleaning each day. That's probably about what I will spend cleaning as well. I've also got some sewing that has to be done this week. I'm making and embroidering stockings for my cousin's family (4), finishing a key fob, embroidering two burp cloths, making two hair bows and appliqueing two shirts. I'll spread that out through the week so it won't be too overwhelming. Just in case you're curious, here are my lists. For some reason I LOVE looking at other people's lists. Weird I know, but I'm a list person....

Monday -
9:00 Chiropractor
10:10 Dentist
11:00 Possibly head to homeschool groups Thanksgiving Feast
2:00 Possibly hang out with friends

Tuesday -
Make dish and go to extended family Thanksgiving

Wednesday -
Home all day; no church tonight
Begin to thaw the turkey

Thursday -
Make a dish or two and go to Thanksgiving at Mom's

Friday -
Hubby is home
I'm going shopping
Possibly pizza night with cousins (Could be Wed. night)
Brine turkey
Cook cornbread for dressing

Saturday -
Step-son and his fiance are coming for Thanksgiving lunch; we'll be having lunch with some friends, too.

Monday - Bedroom Dresser; Kitchen Counters (Busy day. This will probably happen after the kids go to bed.)
Tuesday - Sewing Area; Laundry Room Cabinet
Wednesday - Desk Area; Refrigerators
Friday - Change Bedding and Vacuum bedroom; Check Kids Rooms

Monday - (We'll be gone most of the day, so I tried to choose the lighter chores for this day. They should be able to do most of this while I make supper.)
Living Room - Clean off tops of things and under things thoroughly
Kitchen - Wash fronts of Cabinets and Appliances (Give all three of them a washcloth and some spray and the love it! Who knew????)
Bathroom - Clean out baskets
Halls and Stairs - Organize Drawers
Laundry Room - Clean off counter; make sure laundry is sorted properly and in baskets
Son's Room - Clean off beds (He has two beds and he likes to put his laundry on one of them instead of putting it away.)
Daughter's Room - Clean off tops of everything
(Remember all three of them will be working on each of those tasks. Should take about 10 minutes per job.)

Tuesday - (We'll be home all day, gone in the evening)
Kitchen - Wash top, sides and legs of tables and chairs (see note about washcloths and spray..LOL)
Living Room - Clean out couches and chair and basket (I think half of everything ever lost in my house has somehow ended up in the couch cushions!)
Bathroom - Wash walls (there tile....we need an update!) and cabinets
Halls and Stairs - Organize school bookshelf
Laundry Room - Wash off washer and dryer
Son's room - Wash bedclothes and remake beds; Clean off tops of trunk and dresser
Daughter's Room - Pick things up out of floor (You know...a pre-teen/teenager's favorite place to store all their stuff.)

Wednesday - (No plans to be anywhere, so I put the heavier chores here.)
Kitchen - Thoroughly clean counters and backs of counters
Living Room - Clean out corner and take care of Kids Market Bags (We've been cleaning out and several boxes and bags have been piled here. Gotta make room for the Christmas tree!)
Bathroom - Clean out tub (for some reason it seems we hang on to the empty bottles...) Clean tub and tub walls
Halls and Stairs - organize large bookshelf
Laundry Room - clean up floor (the dogs hang out here when we're asleep or not home, so we have to pick up their toys and spilled dog food, plus stray clothes that may not have made it to the basket.)
Son's room - clean up floor (apparently also a little boy's favorite place to store his things.)
Daughter's Room - Clean under everything; Wash Bedclothes and remake bed

Friday- (We'll be home most of the day and Daddy is home too._
Kitchen - Clean sinks and stove top; mop (My kids LOVE to mop!)
Living Room - Vacuum thoroughly including baseboards and under things (The girls also really like to vacuum!)
Bathroom - Clean toilet, sink, counter and mirror
Halls and stairs - sweep and mop
Laundry room - sweep and mop
Son's room - sweep and mop
Daughter's room - sweep and mop

Hubby's potential list
(He's still sick , so he may not be able to get to all of this and most of it depends on weather.)
Clean his corner of the bedroom and his things in the closet
Clean off carport
Change oil in van
Clean up leaves in the yard
Bring food buckets in from storage room

That's probably more list than any of you ever wanted to see, but it's what ya got....I warned you in the title...LOL With the exception of Monday we will get up in the morning and knock out our chores right away, so we'll have most of the rest of the day for the other stuff we want to do (probably no school this week). My kids like to do chores together, it makes it feel more manageable to them. The fact that I divided the rooms up into one chore in each room per day also makes us feel less overwhelmed. Usually they will set a timer and kind of race themselves to see if they can get the chore done before the timer goes off. I think we'll get most if not all of it done. I'm looking forward to a week of accomplishments mixed with lots of family, friends and good foods!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Super Easy, Not So Greasy Boston Butt

Tonight for supper we are having shredded pork sanwiches with coleslaw and baked beans. I thought I'd share with you my method for cooking Boston Butt.

I put it in the crockpot on low overnight. The next morning I pour off all of the grease, pull out the bone and slice off the fat (once it's cooked it's easier than slicing butter). Then I put in about 1/2 a bottle of barbecue sauce (Honestly I can't tell a very big difference, no matter what brand I use) and I add 1/8 to 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar. I just pour it in 'til I'm happy with it. Then I let it cook on low most of the rest of the day (My crockpot has a warm setting, so I will eventually switch it to warm). I check it periodically and use a fork to shred a little each time I check it. That's it, the whole process....I think you'll be surprised that you barely notice it doesn't have a smoked taste, like the barbecue joints have. The pork really supplies it's own flavor and it is GOOD!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Another Kitchen Creation....

I've been trying to be frugal about groceries lately and came up with another really yummy meal out of things I had on hand the other day.

I always cook my rice in the microwave. I haven't used any other method in at least a couple of years. I use one part rice to two parts water (for my family that's 2 cups rice and 4 cups water). I put it in a covered casserole dish, microwave on high for 5 minutes, then microwave on medium for 15 minutes and let stand covered for 5 more minutes.

For this recipe I put the rice on first and then begin with the rest of the ingredients. In a pot on the stove combine 2 cans blackeyed peas, 1 can rotel (can use mild or tex mex tomatoes), bell peppers and onions (I used minced dried) and smoked or polish sausage (sliced). I actually used little smokies that we had on hand. Bring to a boil, then simmer until rice is ready. Serve this over the rice and add salt and pepper to taste.

This was a hit with the whole family.

Cough Syrup

When I was growing up my parents made homemade cough syrup. They used equal parts honey, lemon and whiskey. Well, we do not have alcahol in our home. I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with using it for medicinal purposes or even drinking it (as long as you are not over-indulging). However, it is a personal conviction of ours that we do not drink. So, I was wondering how I could make similar cough syrup for my kids without the alcahol. A week or so a go a friend of mine actually posted a solution. She was very sick and nothing was helping, so her mom made her the same cough syrup, but used apple cider vinegar instead of the whiskey. I made this for my daughter last night and it seems to have worked and honestly the taste and smell is very similar to what we had growing up. It is best warmed a little. I gave her two teaspoons before bed and the nice thing is she can take it as she needs it, because none of the ingredients have any adverse side effects.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Tour of Hell

On Saturday our church had a HUGE Harvestfest and over 3000 people from our city attended. (Keep in mind we are a small church with between 150 and 200 in regular attendance). On Sunday we followed that up with an illustrated sermon entitled Tour of Hell. We had around 600 people between the two services. The sermon investigated the lives of some people in the Bible that almost made the decision to follow the Lord, basically of people that almost went to Heaven, but ended up in Hell (one example would be the rich young ruler). These two videos were used during that sermon and they are incredible.

The 2nd one is definitely hard to watch, but it is needful. We need to realize that we have a very real enemy and then we need to get in the Word of God and learn how to recognize him and how to stand firm against him.