Epilogue to Christmas Dinner

I believe that it was a God thing that the turkey wasn't thawed thoroughly on Tuesday. Turns out that this turkey is taking FOREVER to bake. It's on its way to SEVEN hours of roasting and basting and having its temperature taken. Not even the little pop-up-thingy is budging. Had we attempted to have this for dinner on Christmas day, we'd have had a vegetarian meal. Unless we wanted to eat at 10:00 p.m. Not likely. The kids We'd have been whining up a storm about how hungry they we were. "Oh, just a little longer, kids." Not.

Christmas Dinner

For those of you who've seen A Christmas Story, we almost ended up with Chinese duck for dinner. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra.

A Christmas StoryI purchased a whopper of a turkey back in November when all the good turkey sales were happening. The plan was to have Christmas dinner at my sister's house. I made sure that I had a note to remind me to take the turkey out of the freezer the week before Christmas. I am notorious for keeping it frozen until Christmas Eve. Then we get to spend the night soaking it in the sink in an attempt to thaw it adequately for baking. Anyway, I digress.

I transferred the turkey from the freezer to the refrigerator a full six five days before said roasting day. I even remembered to bring it to a family gathering (along with Grandma's roaster) on Christmas Eve so my sister could take it home and they could pop it in the oven first thing Christmas morning.

We all gather at my parent's house for brunch and the opening of gifts on Christmas morning, so my sister and her husband didn't really want to leave the turkey cooking unattended. They figured they'd cook it when they got home.

After our families had all gone to their respective homes, I get a call from my sister. The silly old turkey is still FROZEN! They tried thawing it in water, but it just wasn't going to happen in time to cook and dine upon said turkey that same day.

Fine, we'll go to Plan B. Courtesy of three-way calling, my mom, sister, and I all inventory our current food supply while brainstorming dinner ideas on the phone. At last we decide upon chicken and noodles. My homemade rolls will still go well with that. Ditto for the dessert pies. Okay then. We just need to pick up some noodles AND we happen to know that King Soopers is open on Christmas.

Somewhere around 2:56 p.m., it occurs to me that King Soopers will not be open the entire day, so maybe I should call them. Turns out they were closing at 3:00 p.m. While I am only one mile from the store, I doubt I can get myself out the door and in their store in four minutes Hmmm . . . this isn't working out so well. I try the other two grocery chains. Neither is open at all on Christmas. Fine.

Another conference call and more inventorying (yep, it's now a word). This is when random jokes about Chinese restaurants and ducks show up. Except my sister doesn't like Chinese, so that's not such a good option either. We decide upon chicken barley vegetable soup. Mom will make this one. She has all the stuff and no store trips are needed.

The final menu? Chicken barley soup (although it was quite bland when it arrived at my sister's. It took a bit of doctoring, but we ended up with tasty soup. And no, too many cooks did NOT spoil the broth), homemade rolls, sweet potatoes (the kids were SO anxious for these - we didn't dare wait), and mom's delicious homemade pies (apple & pumpkin) for dessert. Dinner was later than anticipated, didn't feel all that Christmas-y, but was still yummy, and we were all together as a family.

Blessed are the flexible for they shall bend and not be broken.


Have a Very


Christmas Tree '07

We have intended to get our Christmas tree up . . . oh . . . pretty much ever since the Friday after Thanksgiving. Somehow, though, it just never made its way down from the attic and into our living room.

Yesterday we decided that we'd bypass the tree this year. We would be gone both Friday and Saturday nights, which didn't leave a whole lot of time to appreciate the tree. We'd likely spend more time getting everything out of the attic, putting the tree up, decorating, and then doing it all in reverse a few days later than actually getting to enjoy the tree. Besides, I still have santa stars to work on.

Well, then. Where do we put the presents? The foosball table is against the wall where the tree would go. Maybe we could string some lights and garland on it. Then the presents could go underneath. I'm all for unique, but that just didn't work for me.

So this morning, I got some bulletin board paper out of the garage and hung a big old piece on the wall. Grabbed some green tempera paint and a paintbrush, and voila! We have a Christmas tree! I figured the boys & I could draw/stamp/paint some ornaments and tape them onto the tree. The boys participated . . . long enough to make one or two ornaments . . . and then they left the rest for me.

Sorry about the blurry pix. I was just too lazy to take more.

Z woke up with a cracked tooth, so this symbolizes that.

C made a great little snowglobe complete with a snowman and tree scene.

A couple of stamped ornaments by yours truly.

A little blue snowman made by my friend, Jenny.

Last but not least, one of the paper stars.

The cool thing? This will be the quickest tree to take down after Christmas! Other than a few things to take off and save, the rest can be rolled up and be tossed into the trash recycle bin.


The Manna Jar

As we approach the end of yet another year, I found a wonderful idea that I want to implement. Today's post by Lynn at The Internet Cafe tells about having a Manna Jar. Go check it out - you might even decide to make your own.

Note to Self

A number of years ago, I started a tradition to help me with the holidays. Within the first couple of days after Christmas, I sit down at the computer, and I write a letter to myself.

I tell me how Thanksgiving and Christmas went. I make note of the things that went very well and that I'd like to include next year. I also write about what didn't go well, or maybe what was of little to no value, so I can bypass that the next time.

When my letter is complete, I fold it and seal it in an envelope, along with the previous years' letters. On the front, I write the year that it was written. Then I place it in my dresser drawer.

In my calendar for the upcoming year, I make a note to read my letter somewhere around the first of November. As much as I'd like to think that I'll remember things from one year to the next, it's just not true. But it's a tremendous help to pull out my letter, review the previous years' holidays, and begin to plan anew. I also enjoy reading the stroll through memory lane as I read the older letters.


Wordless Wednesday - Gummy Art

Gummy, "Fat-Free Food" Art

You can see more WW here and here.



I was paying my phone bill via telephone today and utilizing the automated system.

The conversation with the mechanical man voice (MMV) goes something like this:

MMV: "I see you are calling from 123-4567 (not my real number). Is this correct?"

Me: "Yes."

MMV: "What can I help you with today? You can say things like, 'pay my bill' or 'add services'."

Me: "Pay my bill."

MMV: "Okay. Let me look up your account. Hmmm . . . I can't pull up your information. I will need to transfer you to a customer service representative. Please hold while I transfer you."

Whoa. Excuse me? Mechanical Man Voice is pausing with a "Hmmm . . . " as if he's deep in thought about how to proceed?!?! Get real! All he's doing is following a series of yes/no, 1/0, or on/off options. It's nothing more than programming logic. Don't try fooling me into thinking that MMV is actually thinking or pondering this matter. I am SO not buying into that. It's just too weird.


What's That Supposed to Mean?

Any ideas?!?!?!


We were walking downtown and here was this building. Naturally, I couldn't pass up a photo op. I don't have the foggiest idea what this building houses - or who, but it was certainly amusing.

What if you had to write a story about what/who is in this building? What would you have to say about it?


Souptacular, a Little Late

It's A Soup-Tacular!

Well, I ended out creating the "Oh my gosh, it's 5 o'clock and I don't have any soup started yet, nor do I know what I'm making" soup. That's probably a little hard to remember, so maybe I'll go with "Last Minute Chicken & Wild Rice Soup" or maybe just "Last Minute Soup."

Last Minute Soup

Dash to the store and buy the above items, unless, of course, you actually have them on hand (or on the shelf).

  • 1 can each cream of chicken and cream of celery soup

  • 1 package Tyson pre-cooked chicken or 1 can of chicken (Now if you're on the ball, you might actually have pre-cooked chicken in a ziplock in your freezer. Clearly, I wasn't on the ball. Not really anywhere near it.)

  • 2 packages Uncle Ben's Long Grain & Wild Rice (the kind you nuke in 90 seconds)

  • 1 loaf of french bread (you know, they park it by the register to remind you that you didn't have time to bake anything homemade, so you'll settle for the doughy store-bought stuff

  • Pour the two cans of soup into a pot. Add one can of water and one can of milk.

  • This is where you'll add some seasoning (otherwise it's very bland. Regardless of your other seasoning choices, sprinkle in a little salt and some fresh ground pepper. Then add your choice of seasoning. I like rosemary and a dash of oregano. If you're lacking for ideas, check out this site.

  • Heat on medium-low, stirring occasionally.

  • In the meantime, pop the Uncle Ben's rice packages into the microwave. You can even nuke them both at the same time - 135 seconds (that's 2 minutes and 15 seconds on my microwave).

  • Turn oven on to 200-225 degrees and put the loaf of bread in to warm it up.

  • Add the chicken and rice to the soup, stirring occasionally. Heat until thoroughly warmed.

  • Serve soup with warm bread.

p.s. - You could also add some vegetables to your soup. If it's a last-minute venture, go for some canned or frozen peas and carrots. Of course, frozen will require a bit longer cooking time. Just toss them in a few minutes before the rice and chicken.

Paper Stars

I promised Dawn that I'd send her the instructions for these paper star ornaments. I figured if I was going to type it up and provide photos, I'd just post it here and maybe someone else could use it as well.

Sorry the picture quality isn't better - I was in a bit of a hurry.


  • 6x6 double-sided, patterned paper. You can use paper with a white back if you prefer; the inside/back of the star will just be white. Mine were made with 12x12" patterned paper, cut into fourths.

  • Scissors

  • Stapler

  • Gold or silver thread

  • Needle

  • Mini glue dots or adhesive

1. Score at one inch intervals (5 score lines total) across one side. You can use a scoring blade in a paper cutter or a stylus or bone folder with a ruler.

2. Accordian fold so that you have three folds on the "top" and two folds with the ends on the "bottom." The top is the side that will be the front of your star.

These are the three folds on top.

These are the two folds and the ends

3. Mark the center (3") and staple here. Don't worry about fun things like colored staples, because the staple won't show when you're done.

4. Cut from about 1/2" outside the staple down towards the opposite corner to form the tips of the stars. Because my paper was thick, the tips didn't always turn out the same length, so I made sure I went back to trim them to be even. Be sure you do this on both sides of the staple.

5. Fold in half, both ways, at the staple, just so you have a crease at the center.

6. Push your finger up into the part of the point nearest the staple.

7. Press the point down and press & crease up to at point at the staple. Repeat with all six points

8. Attach a mini glue dot in between each pair of star points (or you can use adhesive).

9. Using a needle and gold or silver thread, run it through about 1/2" from the tip of a star point and tie at the top so that you can hang your star.

If you're feeling extra sparkly, you could also add glitter (or, better yet, used glitter paper!) to your stars.

If you make any, send me pictures. I'd love to see them.


Soup's On . . . Friday

Since I've been involved in stuff at the HSBA, tending to a son with a sinus infection, and working on Christmas cards, santa stars, and paper stars, I've fairly well neglected the rest of my favorite blogs (sniff, sniff!). But things have quieted down a bit, so I'm off visiting again. Also hoping to get something posted here more than a Wordless Wednesday and one other post per week.

So I'm out socializing perusing and commenting with folks like:

Carrie who graciously shared her most recent find treasure on her archaeological dig from the tub of eighties stuff. If you're feeling like a little time travel back to big hair and tight spandex, go take a look.

Barb who is honest-to-goodness the craft queen of the blogosphere, no make that the world! I could never accomplish so much - my fingers go numb. But I can marvel at her handiwork.

And then . . . I was over seeing what's up at BooMama's place when I discovered that she's hosting . . .

get this . . .

I can hardly wait . . .

for THIS:

It's A Soup-Tacular!

So guess what I'll be doing on Friday? Making soup. Yes indeedy. I'll probably even throw in some homemade garlic breadsticks or cornbread, too (depends upon the soup). Now, if I were Barb or BooMama, I'd actually take step-by-step photos and post them here with a complete tutorial for your viewing and duplicating pleasure. But last I checked, I'm not the craft queen of the world, nor am I just the funniest southern gal around. But I can handle the posting of a recipe.

btw - isn't that BooMama just the cleverest when it comes to making up a motto? "...because it's cold y'all!" You SO rock, BooMama! Thanks for letting me play.

If you need to shake things up in the soup departments (certainly not literally, or it might look a bit like Mom's gravy thickener flying around the kitchen - but that's a story for another day), check out BooMama's Souptacular on Friday!

Oh oh oh . . . I can't believe I nearly forgot! I sauntered out to pick up the mail today and surprise, surprise! I had a book AND a bag of Jelly Bellies! I won them over at A Peek At My Bookshelf, courtesy of sweet Deena. The timing couldn't have been better - I'm fresh out of a novel to read. I not only have a new book, I have Jelly Bellies that I understand are integral to the story. Thanks, Deena!!


Wordless Wednesday - Red

To see more Wordless Wednesday photos, go here



Every time I come over here, I think, "Has it really been a week/five days/whatever since I posted? I should post something." A majority of my online time has been spent helping to get the Homeschool Blog Awards up and ready for voting. I'm very pleased to announce that it's finally here! The polls opened very early this morning.

Hopefully the entire team will be able to get back to regularly scheduled life and blogging. A couple of controversial issues came up during the nominating process (who'd have thought?). So between that and just the work it takes to put that entire thing together, we've all been a bit busy.

So go check out these great blogs and vote for your favorites. I think you'll find some very interesting homeschool blogs.


Mystery Disks Revealed

We play cards (Liverpool Rummy, mostly) with my parents on a fairly regular basis. In case you aren't familiar with Liverpool Rummy, you can end up with a LOT of cards in your hand, resulting in a rather tired and cramped hand. Hubby & I were at a local game store and saw these seemingly nifty card holders. Since they were only $1.99, we decided it was worth taking a chance.

(for the record, this is not a lot of cards)

Amazingly, they actually work quite well as card holders. There's styrofoam in the center of the plastic disk and your cards go between the two pieces. Relieves the hand strain and keeps the cards snug but not too tight. Not only that, you can set your entire hand of cards down and they stay neat and orderly. We've even found some fairly creative ways to stand them up.

We were all quite pleased with the functionality of these colorful little disks, but little did we know that they would offer some wonderful hilarity following our card games.

It began with the simple act of rolling them across the table at the disks of each other. Then we discovered that we could actually "shoot" them across the table - at other disks as well as other people. They REALLY take off, too! Pretty soon, we're having full-on disk wars with these things flying ALL OVER THE PLACE! They'll run up someone's arm, ricochet off another disk, or go winging across the room. As one soars off the table, we'd look in the direction it was headed, only to find that it had apparently done an about-face and was on the opposite side.

If I wasn't laughing so hard that I couldn't breathe, I might have tried to video tape this entire adventure, but I doubt I'd have gotten anything recognizable. So go get some of your own. Have some fun!

Wordless Wednesday - Mystery Disks

They are very handy and provide extreme hilarity in their secondary use. What are they? No fair giving away the answer, Mom.

Identity and use to follow.

Go here, here, or here to see more Wordless Wednesday.


Thanksgiving Gratitude

As posted at HSBA today.

"As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common, everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness -- just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breathe it; just warmth and shelter and home folks; just plain food that gives us strength; the bright sunshine on a cold day; and a cool breeze when the day is warm."

Laura Ingalls Wilder

May you consider the common, everyday things for which you are thankful today. May you have a greater awareness of the small blessings that may be overlooked. May you nurture a heart of gratitude today and in the days to come.

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1Thessalonians 5:18


Wordless Wedneday - Tired & Cold

Go here or here for more Wordless Wednesday.

Muchas Gracias!!

Last month, I participated in the HSBA Swap. Participants were paired up, some personal info was shared, and each person sent her swap buddy something. Well, let me just say that my swap buddy ROCKS!!! Learning of my great love of Dr. Pepper, she promptly picked up some of the good stuff from Dublin, Texas. That would be Dublin, Texas, home to the oldest Dr. Pepper plant. Dublin, Texas, where they still make REAL Dr. Pepper with pure cane sugar. Dublin, Texas, the place I might just travel to one day. She doesn't even live in Dublin, Texas. But she thought of me in her travels!

So here it is . . . the real deal Dr. Pepper. We'll be sampling it alongside the current, corn-syrup version to assess the difference. Although I'm sure the stuff from Dublin will be SO much better than that from my local grocery store.



I haven't participated in a meme in quite awhile. Then I got tagged by Amy this morning. Since I have nothing else exciting to blog about, here goes:

sinclair ZX81 keyboard: 8 key

8 Things I'm Passionate About
Knowing God
My awesome husband
Raising our boys to be godly men
My girlfriends
Dr Pepper
Food not touching on my plate
Lavender oil


8 Things I Want To Do Before I DieWhile I Live
See the fall colors in New England
Take an Alaskan cruise with hubby
Lots of scrapbooking
Be a better photographer
Make a quilt
Meet some blogging friends IRL
Go to the Atlantic Ocean
See Transiberian Orchestra with hubby

Pewter Number 8

8 Things I Say Often
I love you (to hubs & boys)
Don't make his problem yours
Put on deoderant!
Wash your hands first
Hope you sleep well
Just get away from each other
Arguing is of NO value

On the ferry

8 Books I've read recently
Split Ends by Kristin Billerbeck
Light From Heaven by Jan Karon
Gift From the Sea by Ann Morrow Lindbergh
A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'engle
Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson
The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whithall Smith
Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson
Breaking Free by Beth Moore

Coach Park 8

8 Songs I Could Listen to Over and Over
Only You by David Crowder Band
Planet Claire by The B52s
Burn Us Up by Shane & Shane
Amazing Grace by Chris Tomlin
Our God Reigns by Delirious
Madame Blueberry by Paul Colman (Veggie Rocks)
Majesty by Delirious
Never Let Go by David Crowder Band
plus many more . . . hard to nail it down to just eight

crazy eight

8 Things That Attract Me To My Best Friend
He's ever so handsome
His servant's heart
His gorgeous blue eyes
He's a wonderful listener
His ability to problem-solve
He's a terrific father
His desire to glorify God
He's SO good to me


8 Things I've Learned This Year
God isn't disappointed in me, even when I blow it
How to use Quark Xpress
Proxy surfing
How to use layers in Photoshop Elements
My way isn't always the best way
Daniel was around 80 years old when he was thrown in the lion's den
How to play Sequence
Plans are really important


8 people to tag

Nope. That's not quite eight. I don't have anyone else I would tag. Some were already tagged. Others don't know that I "know" them. Ya' know? I'd probably be considered a lurky friend. Kind of creepy, really.
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