Monday, November 30, 2009

Early Thanksgiving

Okay so I was very slack in posting last week. I never posted the pictures from last weekend when we celebrated my Papa J's birthday and Thanksgiving early with my Mom's side of the family. So I am going to start off my Thanksgiving posts with that.

Saturday morning my Mom and I spent in the kitchen. She was baking and cooking numerous dishes to take to my Nanny's and I was making the pumpkin crisp I posted about in last week's Tuesdays at the Table. Hubby was out hunting, of course. He arrived back just in time to watch the pumpkin crisp in the oven while I showered and dressed for the days festivities.

We were one of the last ones to arrive at Nanny's. Normally, they tell us to be there at 12 and the food isn't ready until 1 or later. But that day they were ready early. So, we arrived exactly on time but were still one of the last ones there. But while we waited on the last of the people to arrive, we let the munchkins play in the yard while I snapped some pictures (all taken with my POS point & shoot since my DSLR hadn't yet arrived).

Lexi smelling the flowers.


Bentley looking adorable and wanting to go back inside.


Some of the littles.


My handsome boy again looking adorable!


Sweet little Sunshine!


My Mom and AK. (She belongs to my Mom's youngest sister.)


The Munchkins found a worm!


This is my grandparents' dog Snoopy.


And their other dog Dale.


Would you look at those curls???!!!!



Finally my aunt arrived with the broccoli casserole and it was time to eat! And boy was there some yummy food. My Nanny makes the best dressing and she is very good about leaving all the gross stuff out of it for my Mom and I (ya know like celery, pieces of egg, etc.). My mom made this really yummy dish that was composed of pineapple chunks, cheddar cheese, and Ritz crackers. OMG it was sooooo good! And the pumpkin crisp was a big hit too. There was nothing left at the end of it!

After everybody ate dinner, they decided we all needed a walk around the field to burn it all off. I wasn't able to go because of the still healing ankle so I contented myself to document the trek with photos. It was starting to cool down some so that is why you see several family members with coats or sweatshirts on that don't match their outfits. They were raiding closets to find something warm enough to wear.

This is my Papa, the birthday boy!


My Nanny and my Aunt P.


My Mom and my cousin B.


My little cousin May-May being silly.
This is my girl! She is my Aunt P's (pictured above) oldest and my little sweetheart, MB.

Mama's Munchkins!

Getting ready for the trek.

AM, MB's little sister. Isn't she precious?

This is Ramsey's. He is my cousin B's dog. We're not really sure just WHAT he is!

Little Red Riding Hood? Nope, just adorable AK.

Sisters MB and AM.

On the porch ready for the trek.

PD throwing a temper tantrum because she wanted to go. And of course she got her way!

There they go!

B's dad after eating so much turkey. And yes he WAS snoring.

Coming back from the walk around the field.





Hubby and Bentley.



Me & Lexus. (Sorry for the squinty eyes.)

The whole munchkin family!

After hanging out with the family, hubby was getting antsy to go hunting. I agreed to go sit with him just to have some together time. So the munchkins and I went to the farm with him and watched for deer. We didn't see any but we did see a turkey and then two grey foxes on the road to my Mom's house.

When it was dark we headed back to Mom's to drop off the Munchkins before meeting hubby's family for dinner to celebrate his mother's birthday. Bentley got comfy with my baby brother in the tv chair.

All in all it was a nice early Thanksgiving and double birthday celebration. Lots of good food and good company. More on our 4-day Thanksgiving weekend tomorrow (I hope).

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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wishful Wednesday

For many many many months this is what I have wished for:

Courtesy of Google Images


But now I have to wish no longer! It will be arriving today. I am beyond giddy with excitement. I can't wait to read the manual (yes I do actually read the manual) and start clicking away! And since I recently won a Shabby Straps blue and brown argyle DSLR strap at dot...dot...dot..., I only need to find a cute camera bag and I'm all set. Any suggetions?

So now what am I wishing for? Well, there's this:

Courtesy of Google Images


But I'd settle for this:

Courtesy of Google Images

I know, I know, I just got a car to replace the one that hubby totalled for me and it is GREAT. But a girl can dream, right?

What else am I wishing for? Almost the entire store full of merchandise at Francesca's!

Seriously though, I am wishing that all of you, my dear bloggy friends, have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. I know I will be enjoying the holiday AND the four day weekend tremendously.

Just as a side note: I am working diligently to get caught up on your blogs. I fell ridiculously behind this weekend but am slowly widdling away at the unread posts. I hope I am able to get relatively caught up soon so that I can start commenting again. If not, you may have to settle for me commenting on REALLY old posts as I catch up until I get totally caught up.

Also, for those of you that commented that you wanted to try out the recipe I posted for yesterday's Tuesdays At The Table (see below), if you do end up trying it out please let me know how it turns out! I'd love to hear what others think of it and what changes are made so I can try them out.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesdays At The Table

This passed weekend we celebrated our Thanksgiving holiday with my mom's side of the family. It was a little early but it was a celebration in conjunction with my Papa's birthday, so it worked out well. We had tons of fun and yummy food! I'm not normally someone who cares for pumpkin much, I'm not fond of the texture of pumpkin pie at all, but this dish I made for our Thanksgiving celebration was AMAZING!

Pumpkin Crisp
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 (18.25 oz) pkg butter-flaved yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup butter, melted

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle cake mix evenly over pumpkin mix; sprinkle evenly with pecans. Drizzle butter evenly over pecans.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour - 1 hour 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serve with whipped cream, if desired. Sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.

I would definitely check it often because it only took 40 minutes for mine to cook in my Mom's oven. Oven times defintely DO vary!

Even if you aren't a pumpkin eater, you will LOVE this. Trust me. It's so wonderful and so tasty. There wasn't a crumb left for me to take home!

Now mosey on over to All The Small Stuff to see what everyone else is cooking.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

An Award & Giveaways

First I want to say a big THANK YOU to Go East Memphis Mama for passing this award on to me! Girl I LOVE your blog!




Now, for the rules. I have to list 10 interesting facts about myself (yeah, good luck with that), and then pass the award on to 10 bloggers. Now I can't promise that these things will be interesting but I will try!
1. I have two birth marks on my abdomen that are the result of my mother frying chicken and getting popped with the grease when she was pregnant with me. No kidding, true story. Freaky, huh?
2. I do not wear make-up unless I think I have to, meaning I do not wear make-up to work and only wear it on the weekends if I am going somewhere and even then only some of the time. Should I wear make-up so I don't look dead? Probably! I'm just too lazy to fuss with it because my hair takes so darn long to dry and flat iron.
3. When I go shopping, if there is a section for pet stuff, I ALWAYS have to check it out even if I don't buy anything. It's a compulsion (or obsession) really.
4. I hate driving. It stresses me out WAY too much and I have serious road rage so I just prefer to let hubby do the driving when we are together.
5. I have natural french tips. Don't believe me? Here's photographic proof:
I left then unfiled just for you to show you they are indeed my real nails.

6. I have progressively gotten clumsier as I have gotten older. I went from a very coordinated child and teenager to someone who walks into walls. :Sigh:
7. I have freakishly long toes. They look like fingers! All of my toes are as long as my big toe or longer except for my pinky toe. I would take a picture but I am badly in need of a pedicure.
8. I met my husband when I was 13 years old and we have been together since.
9. I am a HUGE advocate of canine car safety.
10. I love photography. I love taking pictures (with a camera that isn't a POS), and looking at brilliant pictures to get ideas. I took a black & white photography class in college in which we developed our own film and prints. It was AWESOME!

I am passing this award on to all of my followers who do not already have this award. If you want this award, feel free to take it and post away!

In the last awards post I mentioned as one of my facts that I have naturally curly hair. Several of you wanted to see photographic evidence of this phenomenon, so here ya go! This was after a long day of work and running my hands through my hair in frustration so it is a little limp but you get the idea.



Now onto the giveaways! Wow there are so many in preparation for the holidays! First I want to tell you about the giveaway going on over at It Ain't Always Pretty But It's Real. She's not divulging the entire contents of the giveaway but if the sneak peak is any indication, it's going to be awesome! Go on over and check it out but hurry because you only have until the 25th to enter!

Next up are all the amazing giveaways going on over at dot...dot...dot... Seriously, it is a HUGE giveaway event! Go on over and check it out! Which ones do I have my eye on? Well, let's see! There's the:
1. Craft Junkie 28 Giveaway. Can you say ADORABLE?
2. Wire Wrapped Designs Giveaway. I have been browsing through the site for several weeks now and I LOVE all of the cute jewelry. It is VERY hard to choose just one piece!
3. Pet Elegance Giveaway. Super cute collars, harnesses, etc. and great prices to boot!
4. Herb'n Development Giveaway. These are some of the most scrumptious sounding soaps, bath bars, scrubs, etc. I've seen! I have a feeling I will be revisiting this etsy store again.
5. Anderson Soap Company Giveaway. Oh wow! These are all-natural AND sound super deliciously yummy!
6. Shabby Straps Giveaway. Just what the photographer ordered!
7. Red Clover Clutch Giveaway. There is bound to be one of these adorable clutches that will suit everyone. They are too cute!
8. Purse Hanger Giveaway. This is something every purse-carrying woman needs!
9. Coach Giveaway. No purse is complete without an adorable Coach change purse! I want need this!!!!!

There are more giveaways at dot...dot...dot... than what I've listed here. Please take a moment and go check them all out. But hurry! They all end on November 22nd!

My Google Reader now reads 479 unread blog posts! It's getting worse instead of better!!

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My Nanny's 60th Birthday Party

I am a terrible blogger right now! I apologize to all of you who follow me and whose blogs I follow. I am so behind right now. Normally I catch up on blogs during my free time at work (SHHHHH....) but this week I have been soooo busy. The nerve! Don't they know I need time to blog and catch up on blogs? LOL. Guess not! Seriously though, my Google Reader is saying 443 unread blog posts and counting. Not only have I been neglecting this blog and all of your blogs posts, but the munchkins are mad at me for neglecting to help them blog and read all of their furiends' blogs. :Sigh: A woman's work is never done.

I have had this blog post semi-ready for weeks now but never got around to finishing and posting it. Since I have been limited in time this week, I decided it would be more time-effective to finish this and post it instead of starting a whole new post for something else. So even though this post is so terribly late, it will have to do for now!

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Several weeks ago we celebrated my Nanny's 60th birthday! Since I didn't post about it then I wanted to share now. Birthdays are on my mind since my MIL's was Monday, my Papa J's is this weekend, and my Dad's is on Thanksgiving.


The planning for this party began several months before the actual party date. As you can probably tell above I have a fairly young family. Both sets of my grandparents are in their very early 60s, my parents will both be 40 on their birthdays this month and next, and I am 24. I knew, very well actually, 5 out of my 8 great-grandparents, the last of which passed just over a year ago. My mother has 4 sisters, all of whom but one have children well under the age of 18. So, the number of grandchildren is steadily growing (I am the oldest grandchild if you are wondering) and pretty soon we will start the count on the great-grandchildren. It has been my Nanny's wish to have a comprehensive family portrait done for many years, especially since her youngest daughter (who is only 4 years my senior) had her first child. So, my mom and all of her sisters planned to have them and all of their children get together to take a family portrait for my Nanny's birthday. That was back when the temperatures were still vacillating between high 80's and 90's. The family photos were very well kept a secret from my Nanny until her party.


We had her birthday party at the church that I was raised in and that all of my aunts, my mom, and my Nanny all attend. The whole family was there, even some of the husbands who tend to stay away from estrogen-heavy events such as this. Since I live an hour away from my family it was so nice to have everyone on my mother's side all in one place. I was able to see all of the little cousins of mine that I adore, the cousin who is like a sister to me, and all of my aunts who I hadn't seen in at least a month. We are a very close family; they all live within 10 minutes of each other, but since I moved to Charleston I don't see them as much as I would like. So I am going to enjoy the holidays so very much! But I digress.


As you can see, my Nanny was ecstatic to have all of her girls and their children in one place at one time to celebrate her birthday.


(Yes, she IS as short as she looks!)


This is my littlest cousin who my Mom refers to as Sunshine. She is such a hoot and so very sweet.



This is the cake. I didn't taste it but was told it was very good. I think the hubby enjoyed a slice. Isn't it adorable?? LOVE polka dots!



My Nanny and my Papa. I think he blinked in EVERY photo. And yes that is a cane he has. He worked so hard for so many years that he injured his back on the job, so he is forever stricken with a cane.



Here is the birthday's girl's spot and the backdrop that my aunts created. They had to work with what the church had, but they made it work as best they could. I did the flower arrangement in less than 5 minutes. Not my best work but it worked for the occasion.



My Nanny, Papa, and all of their girls. This was just before we revealed the framed family photos they all gave her for her birthday. She cried and was amazed that we were able to keep it from her. Secrets aren't easily kept in our family! (My mom is the one in red, in case you were wondering.)



After this they played a slideshow of pictures. There were TONS of pictures of all of us. Pictures of each of her girls as babies, as toddlers, tweenies, teenagers, etc. There were pictures of each of their wedding days, and pictures of all of their children. They even put in pictures of my wedding day. It was enough to bring a tear to anyone's eye. But they snuck a photo in there that totally made me lose it. There was a picture of me and my dear sweet Tiny baby. I had to excuse myself from the table and couldn't eat a thing afterward. Had I been warned, I would have been prepared to not let it affect me. But seeing his sweet face just below mine pop up on the screen without warning totally ripped my heart out. This followed by pictures of my (great-)Granny Ida who I was so very close to was just too much for me handle. I did recover but I was very sad for a while. (I'm not usually so emotional but it hit me hard that day!)



Here are two pictures my Mom took of me and hubby. Gotta love that Aloette skincare regimen and make-up for making it undetectable that my eyes were leaking mere moments before!



We had a nice time celebrating Nanny's birthday and catching up with all of my aunts and little cousins. We had attended a Pet Expo earlier that day and then had an hour drive to our hometown for the birthday party so we were both pooped by the end of the party. Plus we still had to go back to my Mom's and feed the munchkins.

I haven't seen all of my family together since the party. I don't think I've seen any of them except for my Mom and my brothers since the party. Sad, I know but that is the price I pay for living in another city. So I am very much looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Papa J's birthday with them all this weekend. I am making a delicious pumpkin crisp and will share the recipe on Tuesday (I hope).

We spent last night packing up our stuff and the munchkins' stuff so that we can head out this evening after work. If I can remember to charge the battery for my camera tonight when I get to my Mom's house, I will have some pictures to share with you next week.

I hope you all have a great weekend. I am sending good-weather vibes your way!

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