Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope your day is lovely!My parents are here from Indiana, and we're having a great time so far. They brought along their dog as a surprise for the children. The kids refer to them as "Sparky Grandpa and Grandma," so it was fitting.This morning, some friends hosted a Turkey Trot 5K, and we had fun running the beautiful streets of Atmore. Jason and I made it a whole family event, and took the jogging stroller along. My Dad, who started running on Labor Day, ran too! It was his first race. I am so proud of him.
These lovely oranges awaited us at the finish line, along with a delicious breakfast buffet inside. My favorite was the Nassau grits. No pictures, so you won't have to worry about wiping drool off your screen.
On to the next item on the list:
And then the big feast will come this evening. (Rub hands together in suspended glee.) I'm off to make the gingerbread dressing while this guy is sleeping!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

(More than) one of these things just doesn't belong here!

Ever play Travel Bingo? This is what I checked off today during my run.

a recliner
3 dog food bags
a deer skin
empty beer cans
fast food wrappers
a change of clothes--medium wash, high-waisted, tapered-leg jeans included
carpet remnants
a toilet
a zippered gun case*
empty cigarette boxes
Solo cups
4 four-wheelers (5 adolescents included)
a possum with tire tracks across its nasty dead back (I almost stepped on this one!!!!)

Thank you, Ewing Drive for your endless entertainment!
*Actually discovered later to be a heated/vibrating?! seat cover, a small disappointment for my opportunistic husband. ( :

Friday, November 20, 2009

Party II: Owen Turns Five

It is still hard to believe I have a five year old! Owen hit this big birthday on October 19th. Somehow, it just seems pretty old! With our firstborn turning five this fall, I know that this is the end of an era. Next fall, for the next howevermany years, we'll be enrolling kids in school and embracing the whirlwind of activity that comes with our involvement there. As hectic as our lives can be now, and as irritated I get with food and toy messes, sometimes I want to hit the pause button and hold the kids, remembering every detail about how they looked, what they said and what our relationship is like. I treasure this time in their lives! Our kids love us and they want to please us. What a humbling thought to realize the responsibility we have to them.

Owen and I finally decided on a 5 cake for him.
What can I say, but that I got in a hurry decorating and messed up a few details?

Owen was still delighted with his cake, and that is what mattered.
He opted not to blow out his own candles this year. Too many people staring at him, I guess! We had a great little party with immediate family. And then I had about two weeks to rest until it was time to bake the next cake!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Party I: Choctoberfest

Looking through my pictures, it would seem all we have done lately is eat cake. In order to avoid sweet tooth overload and a bad case of gut rot, I'll post the parties in installments.

The MOPS Choctoberfest was a chocolate party I hosted in October (if the title of the event wasn't self-explanatory enough.) MOPS=Mothers of Preschoolers. Hurrah for MOPS of Atmore, but that is an aside.

Choctoberfest was a blast, and we quickly decided it will have to be an annual event. That much fun oughtta be illegal. We loved being together, able to talk without being interrupted. It was a wonderful girls' night out on a Friday evening. And did I mention no kids were there?!

I gave prizes for the most chocolatey dressed, and let me tell ya, we had some people in all the brown they could find in their closets! I myself appeared as a cup of hot chocolate with a marshmallow on top, my creative description of brown pants and a white top. We even had some women wearing chocolate accessories, I kid you not! Tootsie roll necklace and earrings, Hershey's Kisses dangling from a bracelet and a Reese's cup foil-wrapped medallion necklace and hoop earrings! Their creativity amazed me. Quite a bit of effort for a nice-smelling candle, some chocolate-flavored lip balm or chocolate-named fingernail polish, mmm-hmm.

We also had some games, like NUM3ERS, where we guessed the number of Hershey's Kisses in a jar. We played Are You Smarter Than a Candy Bar? and guessed at unwrapped, non-cut candy bars. And of course, we had to vote for the new Iron Chef Atmore! We voted on the best chocolate desserts and gave out candy bars as prizes.

The chocolate itself was extremely delicious, but there was so much there that after we had served ourselves, we had made barely a dent! As we munched, the conversation slowly was overtaken by groans of too much chocolate, so one sweet and thoughtful friend popped a bag of popcorn she had brought for that very purpose. My sister in law really wished she had brought some chocolate-flavored Tums to pass around!

We filled plates to present to our families, those of us who could stomach the sight of another full plate of chocolate, and one by one, my friends left, all smiling, glad to have had a night away from responsibility at home.

I got my idea here and here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


What to do when my child believes humor to be the most highly prized quality in a person?

Our little Helen is our resident humorist, and she knows it. I have even heard her nearly deadpanning into Owen's Leapfrog recorder. "Helen is a funny girl," she said with a only a very small hint of hilarity. She regularly cracks us up with her actions, faces and words, and we mostly love her sense of humor, because we love to laugh.

But there's the really annoying side of her that cannot be serious. We look into her deep brown eyes and try to impart some wisdom to that sweet little face without busting a gut. She leads the game by a split second, and plays it well, a twitch in the corner of her mouth, as soon as she senses it might be forgiveable to laugh. She has learned very early in life that quick smiles and jests might possibly get her off the hook, should she ever find as much as her pinky toe in trouble.

Tonight before supper, Jack who has just learned to walk, had a tremendous splat of a fall, and nearly bit through his lip. In fact, Jason fished a chunk of his cheek wall out of his mouth, so we knew it was a bad bite. We got the bleeding stopped, made some phone calls to nurses in the family, and figured out he was going to be all right. And yes, yours truly had to sit down in the recliner and close my eyes while I waited for my nausea to subside, my tunnel vision to go away and my hearing to return. As I was sending Helen to bed later, I told her give Jack a kiss on the head, not the mouth, not thinking that she might leverage herself against him to lean in for the kiss. Sure enough, his lip got another sharp bump on an end table, which set his mouth to bleeding again and his pitiful soul to ear-numbing wailing. Helen's response was to sing the alphabet song at a louder decibel level to comfort and/or tease him out of his sadness. I sent her to bed, and while we were discussing Jack's ouchy, her effect on it, and praying for him, a half smirk settled onto her face.