Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We were so eager to have a week off from our busy schedule. Well, except Craig since he still had to work most of the week.

The week started off with Turkey Bowling after church service on Sunday. Families donated toilet paper to a local charity and then pizza was served before bowling with turkeys. The kids always have so much fun. They have balloon animals on their heads that our children's pastor made.

On Thursday, it was time for our annual Thanks-Christmas-Giving with the Kelley side of the family. There are 5 Kelley kids and we all gather at their parents house just north of us. It's the one time of year when the entire family is able to be together.

We had a huge meal of turkey, ham, and all the yummy sides. We also had tons of desserts, including the 2 pumpkin cheesecakes and pumpkin pie that I made. None of us were starving at the end of the day.

I decided to do something special for my mother-in-law this year. I've seen the idea on Pinterest and thought it would be great to do. I printed off a blank tree onto cardstock. Then, everyone stamped their fingerprint on the tree to look like leaves. It turned out so great and will be a nice tradition to continue every year.

Next, it was time to move away from the Thanksgiving holiday and open Christmas presents. We all got some really great things. Of course, the kids loved all their new toys.

My mother-in-law loved this cake stand that I made for her.

There are 4 nephews and 3 nieces that we have to shop for. I try to get them all similar items and usually stick with a theme. Last year, I made movie buckets. This year, I gave them all white coffee mugs with hot cocoa, mini chocolate chips, and marshmallows. On the outside of each mug, I let Kaitlyn and Preston write their cousins' names and draw a picture. They were a hit!

Ashley and Tyler

Warren, Ashley, and Tim

We also did a white elephant gift exchange (I got fingerpaints, Craig got a Texas shaped cutting board) and played games. Oh and we ate some more.

Granddad and Preston playing on the Wii

It was a great time and we loved being with the family. I really enjoyed the break from everything, but now it's back to reality.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Things We Forget To Be Thankful For

I've noticed a lot of people on Facebook are doing the 30 Days of Thankfulness. I thought about doing the same thing. Now, I can sit here and list each family member one by one and say nice things about them. I can list off all the living necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter and state how appreciative I am for these things. Or I can be spiritual and be thankful for my salvation and relationship with God.

These are all great things and I am very thankful for each and every one. However, what about things we overlook and take for granted? I've compiled a shallow list of things I'm thankful for this year. Remember, it's written in good humor and fun. Those that know me, know it's not really about what's in my life, but who's in my life. If you don't have a sense of humor or don't like to have fun, stop reading here.

Things We Forget To Be Thankful For:
1. My Starbucks Barista-Though I don't know his name and he doesn't know my name, he knows my drink order. That's really all that matters. I see him every Sunday morning before church and he always asks how the kids and I are doing. Plus, he makes a great cafe mocha. I truly appreciate you Sir!
2. Garbage Man-After a party, holiday, or even a big meal, I'm eager to get all the stinky garbage bags out of my house and into the garbage bins. I'm even more eager to get the garbage bins full of stinky garbage bags out of my garage and placed at the end of the driveway, ready for pick up. It's not a glamorous job, but someone has to do it. I thank you Garbage Man for taking away my garbage every week, no questions asked, no matter what you see.
3. Newspaper Man-Early in the mornings when you hear a truck racing around followed by a series of thuds, it's usually the newspaper man. I don't know why he's in such a hurry when he's usually late to begin with. Plus, his aim is not very good. If the paper's not sitting almost in the street, rather than my driveway, it's on the sidewalk by the neighbor's house, sitting in the dew filled grass, or right behind the tire of one of our cars. However, at least I get the news I've already read online and the coupons and sales ad delivered to the vicinity of my house. So, thank you Newspaper Man for bringing me the hours old news, rain or shine!
4. Black Friday-What a depressing name for such a great holiday. Yes, it is considered a holiday. This year I'm having a huge dinner and gift exchange on Black Friday to celebrate (not really, but that would be fun!). This is the one day of the year that you can legally take out your aggressions on complete strangers just to save a few dollars on that one toy or appliance that is all the current rage. I've had to push my way into groups of people, fighting for the toy on the bottom. I've only come out with scratches, no broken bones. Plus, why not join the other crazy people willing to get up at 2 am, unshowered and in pajamas to stand out in the freezing cold until the store opens at 4 am. Thank you to the retail stores that are willing to put up with people like me!
5. Wal-Mart-Gasp! I know! How dare I be thankful for the #1 competitor in my husband's field of work? Going to the store always makes me feel like I'm dressed to the nines, even if I feel like I'm having a bad hair day. It also makes me very thankful to my dentist (double thanks on this number!). I've seen the website 'Nuff said! Thank you Wal-Mart for always making me feel better.
6. Craft Stores-Craft stores are not just for the ladies. I've seen plenty of men in there too. I've used craft stores to buy craft supplies (duh!), home decor, picture frames, baking products, gifts, and so much more. Plus, I'm always getting coupons so I rarely buy anything full price. Thank you all craft stores for inspiring me to spend money in a crafty way!
7. Heels-As in the shoe, not part of the foot. Heels were first worn in the BC era during Hellenic times. I find the root of that word very fitting since that is how your feet feel at the end of the day sometimes after wearing heels! Anyways, I am not-so-tall person. I blame my parents. I have worn heels as long as I can remember. I don't even remember how many pairs of heels I have in my closet. As long as I'm a not-so-tall person, then I will continue to wear heels. Thank you to the inventor of heels for making my feet stylish and my height not-so-short (part of the time at least).
8. The 80's-I could go on forever about this decade: the clothes, the hair, the lingo, and best of all, the awesome music. I do not know one person that cannot name a song or band from the 80's. It's usually the go-to decade for any type of dress up party or spirit day activity. Thank you 80's decade for giving me a great 10 years during my childhood.
9. Google-Remember Encyclopedia Brittanica? Exactly. Why use books when you have Google at your fingertips? Google is all knowing and gives great answers. Plus, it provides maps, directions, and blogspots (like what you're reading) for free! Thank you Google for letting me waste my time on useless info!
10. Chocolate-milk, dark, creamy, Swiss, I can go on and on. Chocolate has saved me many times from unwanted feelings. Thank you Chocolate for always making everything better!
11. DVR-Gone are the days of recording shows on a blank VCR tape. Gone are the days of watching commercials. Gone are the days of watching anything live. I love my DVR. DVR, I appreciate you for waiting for me until I have the time for you.
12. Texas-Everything is bigger in Texas. This is so true. The other day my hair was abnormally big and Craig said "This is Texas. Everything is big here." You can drive forever and you'll still be in Texas. I am a 3rd generation Texan and proud of my Southern roots. Thank you Texas for not becoming your own country and always surprising me with your weather each day.
13. Bob Fosse-He is the man that gave me my big break. Bob Fosse is the legendary director/choreographer for shows like Cabaret, Chicago, Pippin, Sweet Charity, the list goes on and on. I did my very first show in college and it was called Legends of Broadway: Bob Fosse, a musical revue. That is when I really came out of my shell and found my love for the stage. He has a signature style with his all black attire, bowler hats, and cane back chairs. He has signature moves with crisp movements and isolations. Words cannot express my gratitude to you Bob Fosse for all you've done in my music career!
14. Movie Theaters-Where else can you go and pay too much for a movie ticket? Then, you go inside and have to take out a loan to get a popcorn and drink. Thank you movie theaters for teaching me to appreciate Netflix even more. Big thanks for making me think of sneaky ways to bring my own food into the theater.
15. Pinterest-Oh, Pinterest, how I love thee. You've inspired me in so many ways with your craft tutorials, yummy recipes, and awesome home designs. I'm so glad I found you and hope we never part! You are my favorite!!!
22. Post Office-The cost of one stamp is just plain ridiculous. It has inspired me to use much more. I also may just place a family Christmas photo on Facebook this year rather than mail them out. While I know the post office prices have inflated due to the lack of use by the people, I just can't justify mailing anything with one stamp costing $2.49 (this may be exaggerated). It's a vicious cycle, I know. But thank you Post Office for still sending my mail to my house.
23. Facebook-Although it may cause an addiction problem for some, it's also a great place to air your dirty laundry! Seriously, I've reconnected with people from elementary school and up. It's so easy to catch up with family instead of spending 30 minutes on the phone when you just wanted a quick recipe. Facebook, you're the best!
24. Girl Scouts-Thin Mints are the bomb! Especially after being placed in the freezer for awhile. Thank you Girl Scouts for satisfying my sweet tooth every year.
25. Sense of Humor-Where would I be without a sense of humor? I'd have the dullest, most unhappiest life. I try to see the humor in every situation and try my hardest not to take things too seriously. My favorite thing to do is laugh so hard that I start crying. I definitely would not have been able to come up with this list if it wasn't for my sense of humor. To my Sense of Humor, thank you for teaching me to take things lightly.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veteran's Day Program

The entire 2nd grade put on a Veteran's Day Program at our school. Preston saw the afternoon performance and we all saw the evening performance. It was so cute and very patriotic.

The kids had to wear red, white, or blue shirts and jeans. I also made Kaitlyn a special red, white, and blue hairbow. You can see her on the 2nd riser in the white shirt. Let me just say that I'm super proud that she got to stand on the 2nd riser. That means there's hope for her height. In the whole 14 years of being in choir and standing on risers (12 years of school, 2 years of college), I always stood on the 1st riser. So, yay for her!

She volunteered to have a short speaking line. She said it very nice and clearly!

At the very end, the kids lifted up this flag and some of them poked their heads through the holes. George Washington is on the right side of the flag.

It was a super cute program and some other kids dressed as the Liberty Bell, Abraham Lincoln, soldiers, etc.

Thank you to all the men and women who are serving or have served for our freedom. We honor you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Falling For Fun All Weekend Long!!!

What a busy weekend! Saturday started off with a friends birthday party, lunch with Craig at his new store, lots of errands, and then finally having a Hocus Pocus Party.

The Hocus Pocus Party only had 3 guests: me, Kaitlyn, and Preston. We always watch that movie when it comes on around Halloween time. Last year, we had a Wizard of Oz party on Halloween so this year we had a party around Hocus Pocus. I planned it at the last minute, but thought it would be something fun for us to do.

We started with a Jack-O-Lantern pizza from our local pizza place.

I also bought a foam haunted house kit from Michael's for $3.

Kaitlyn read the instructions and they did a great job putting together the house.

Here's the finished product. Now, be warned. It's inexpensive and looks so pretty, but it doesn't say glitter will be everywhere!

Time for the movie! I'm actually a huge Bette Midler fan so that's another reason I like this movie. Plus, she sings "I Put A Spell On You" in the movie. Looovvveee her voice!

While the kids were making the haunted house, I got some Pillsbury Sugar Cookie squares and stuck them in the oven to bake. They were cooled by the time the movie started so the kids could decorate them. Notice Kaitlyn is watching the movie while spreading on the icing?

Here are the edible masterpieces. Can you guess who used the orange icing?

While that was going on, I also had to get ready for the next day. Our church was having a big tailgate party after service. This is the 4th year doing it and it's a great time of fun, food, and fellowship. We have a big piece of land next to our building so we use that for all our activities. I was part of a large tailgate group so I made 2 batches of Rice Krispy Treats. Look at those marshmallows melting away!

This picture is to show how wide the field is with tents lined up on the far side.

This is just one of the tables of food at our tailgate.

There's always a Pass, Punt, Kick competition in the different age groups. Craig loves participating. Yes, he's in his Longhorn shirt and cap.

Afterwards, we helped set up for the Fall Fest that was happening the next night (I said it was a busy weekend). Halloween day was a super busy day for us too. The kids had school, then came home and put on costumes, took Kaitlyn to her art lesson, then went straight to the Fall Fest at our church. Batgirl and Batman came along with me.

There were tons of fun games like this giant bowling set.

This was a fun fishing game. The "fish" actually scared a couple kids. It was pretty funny though.

Here is ALC's version of Angry Birds.

Even the Chick-Fil-A cow made an appearance! His helper passed out lots of coupons.

Kaitlyn won the game of Clue in a scavenger hunt game they played. There was also a chili cook-off, concessions, a Harley Bike Riders group, photo booth, bounce house, and hay ride. Our Children's Pastor, preschool director, and their team always does an awesome job of putting it together.

Batman and Batgirl wanted to show us that superheroes can be serious too.

It was a great, tiring weekend. We have a super busy November ahead of us next. Can't wait!