Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

A friend asked me the other day if I did the New Year Resolution thing... I thought about it for a bit and said, "nahh, I don't think I do. I'm sure I've said, Hey I'd like to do this better this year, or that, but I do not think I make what they call New Year Resolutions.... but let me check... if I did make them, I would have written on my blog at the end of 2008 or beginning of 2009".

Ha.... Yup, right there, first post of 2009 is my New Year Resolutions. I should have checked back on these things sooner and compared with how I was doing throughout the year, but obviously I have not... so I'm going to reflect a bit on the things I said I wanted to do more of during 2009. Maybe I can evaluate myself and see how I did.
  • To be more disciplined. - B-
    o This entails both physically (working out and/or eating better) and spiritually (spending more personal time with the Lord). I've learned that when my body is disciplined physically, I am more prone to be spiritually disciplined in my quiet times. I want both of these things in my life to improve and become more constant.
  • To be still more often. - D
  • To read more. - A-
    o Kelly laughed at this one - he believes I read plenty... but he didn't see how often I read before we were married. I love it... I want to soak up more words on the pages of books this year.
  • To work on the house and make some of the dramatic changes we've talked about. - B+
  • To speak my husband's love language more often. - C
    o Kelly actually said this one about his own resolutions, and I am taking heed to his great desires... I want to do the same!
  • And most of all... LESS OF ME, and MORE OF CHRIST. - C-

So looking back... all of these listed are still things I want to continue to work on... things I could ALWAYS get better at, a work in progress, especially those involving discipline, my relationship with my hubby, and my relationship with Christ. I want to constantly develop those aspects of my life and each new year offers availability to reflect and pursue a greater focused effort with each of these.

I am so thankful for the many blessings and life we were able to live in 2009. However, I know that not everyone had a year that they'd want to repeat. Some have lost loved ones in 2009, lost jobs, lost friends or family, some have been ill, some have separated, divorced, or broken up with a love, some have experienced hardships I'm sure I cannot imagine... for those that cannot wait to waive goodbye to 2009 and welcome a new year, I leave you this encouraging verse:
“This is what the LORD says— he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”- Isaiah 43:16, 18-19

As good as 2009 was for me, I am looking forward to the new year... 2010... I feel and see the Lord stirring many hearts right now... and cannot wait to see what happens as God blesses the actions of those pursuing Him and listening to His calling! He has great plans for us (Jer. 29:11). I cannot wait to see what's in store in 2010!

Happy New Year!
Hello 2010!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The ABC Challenge 2010



The Amazima Blessing Coin Challenge

aka The ABC Challenge 2010

Step up and start your new year by doing something for someone else in 2010!

So here's the challenge... step up and commit to collecting your CHANGE for 30 days. In addition, challenge yourself to spread the word and get a friend or two to join the challenge. Starting January 1st, collect your change each day until the second to last day of the month, January 30th. On that day, report to the Verbal Vomit blog post about the ABC Challenge, commenting with how much change you were able to collect and will be donating for Amazima Ministries International... free to leave an anonymous comment if you like. Remember, every LITTLE BIT helps... we'll see how a little bit adds up to a lot when multiple folks get involved!!!

How much can we collect in 30 days simply out of change we usually put to the side? Change we usually do not notice. How much could that "little" make a LOT of difference for the orphans of Uganda?

The final step will be to deposit that change into your bank, January 31st, and cut a check to Amazima Ministries, writing "ABC Challenge" in the memo line, and mailing it to Amazima Ministries International, 1694 Autumn Place, Brentwood, TN 37027. If you're not in the mood to go to the bank yourself and live in Memphis, I'll be happy to pick your change up prior to that date - just let me know!

How many checks can they receive from one small challenge? How many lives can be changed by your change? Dare you?!

Check out this video about Amazima Ministries, this shows them IN ACTION:
video

Why Amazima Ministries? Because they have been laid on my heart and I want to help.

Who is Amazima Ministries? Because they DO SOMETHING and are making a difference in Uganda. I'll let them say it best, from their website: Amazima Ministries International is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit based in Brentwood, TN. Amazima Ministries strives to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual encouragement to those who need it most. In the local language, Luganda, Amazima means "truth". Amazima desires to reveal truth to these children. The truth of a bigger world through education, but more importantly the truth of a God who created them beautiful in His image. A God who loves them, values them and wants the best for them. The truth of death on a cross, unconditional love, and eternity.

Amazima Ministries operates a sponsorship program for 400 orphaned children. These children are provided an education, school supplies, 3 meals a day, and medical care. They are also provided with spiritual encouragement and attend a weekly Bible study/fellowship program.

Another aspect of Amazima Ministries, is the feeding program provided to the displaced Karamojong people of the Masese community. These people are Uganda's poorest and often considered outcasts. A lunch meal is served to over 1,200 children Monday - Friday and a plate of food is sent home for dinner. This allows the children to attend school and not go to the street in town to beg. Also provided is basic medical care, Bible study and general health training.

Above all, Amazima desires that GOD is glorified and people who otherwise have no hope, would place their hope in Him, our Lord and Savior. We pray the our ministry will be a tangible example of a glimpse of Christ love!!


READY?! The challenge has been SET! GO!!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Secret Is Out

Well the secret is FINALLY out and I can now tell all about our fabulous Christmas gift for my parents. I was pumped about it and could not wait for Mom and Pop to open the gift, knowing fully well that they'd adore what we did.

In November, my sisters and I conspired with one another to make a photo session happen with us and the hubbies. Considering we're now five kids, three girls and two married-in boys, we're aware that at some point grand babies will come into the mix and we will no longer be the prized possessions of my folks. So with this in mind, we worked out a plan to meet in Nashville, where my middle sis & her hubby live, and get photos taken of the five of us to share with my folks.

We had the pleasure of working with Katie Dunlap of Capture Photography in Nashville. She did a awesome job and we had a great, laid back time. We did our shoot in downtown Nashville, stopping here and there to get some neat backgrounds. To check out some of the shots we got along the way, go to Katie's blog post about our session.

In addition to giving our folks the photo session in general, allowing them to choose to order printed photos as they desire... we also had Katie make us a collage for them to open on Christmas day. Below is the collage we ordered (click on it to view a larger size of the image). We printed it in the 16x20 size and Mom and Dad ran to find a frame the day after Christmas... from what I hear, it's already hung in the living room. I think they liked it... he he. The quick hanging plus the tear filled eyes of my mom suggests it to be true.




I'm pretty sure we're ordering one of these for ourselves in the next coming weeks. In my opinion, it's too good not to have it hanging in our house also. Thanks Katie for the awesome work! And thanks to my sistas and B.I.L. for allowing this project Christmas gift to happen with huge success!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wrecked & Wondering: Part 2

At the beginning of November I wrote a post titled Wrecked & Wondering. Within that post I described how I had been made aware of a young woman named Katie from the Nashville, TN area that is changing peoples lives, not only in Uganda where she serves but here in the States where her testimony is spreading. To understand what I'm talking about better, go check out my post last month... and additionally read the blog of this young woman being the true hands and feet of Christ.

But the gist of what's happening to me is this... I have been made aware... I have been told... I have been awoken to the cause... and since that time I can only describe myself as WRECKED & WONDERING. Wrecked to know of so many children going to bed tonight on the streets, hungry, alone, scared, without Christ... Wondering, God what would you have ME do? Where do I go from here?

You see, I've had a heart for Africa for some time now... I think if I had to trace the deepest roots I would say it developed in 2001 or 2002 when I dove into an upper level college class titled African Politics at Mississippi State University... so take my long running heartbeat for that continent and its many struggles and add it to the needs of children... and a call for Christians to be God's hands and feet, and you have me sitting here Wrecked & Wondering.

For Christmas, my husband and family showered me with literature... of the six books I got for Christmas, seven if you count the one I bought for myself, I have three books currently ready to "give it to me" in regards to a Christians' response and need to respond to the social injustices of the world. The three books are: When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa by James Cantelon; Interrupted: An Adventure in Relearning the Essentials of Faith by Jen Hatmaker; and Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan.

I am currently diving into James Cantelon's book, When God Stood Up: A Christian Response to AIDS in Africa. Thirty-five pages into the mix, I'm totally wrecked and wondering! Cantelon writes, "I would join the army of those fighting for the greatest victims of HIV/AIDS - the orphans and the widow" (pg. 2). He continues on page three, "In the book I'll try to describe how the Almighty sees orphans and widows. ... I hope this book changes your life. My life and my wife Kathy's have been changed. And isn't that what scripture does? It's a might transformer wrestling with our self-absorption. So, wrestle with me. As we're changed, maybe we can change the world."

The amount of underlined, starred, circled, written about text I have within the first thirty-five pages of this book is amazing... I could write them all, but I will leave you with this one... it has left me pondering tonight as I am about step into the pages to come...

"John Milton, the great poet, put it this way: "Truth and justice are all one; for truth is but justice in our knowledge, and justice is but truth in our practice. ... For truth is properly no more than contemplation, and her utmost efficiency is but teaching; but justice in her very essence is all strength and activity, and hath a sword put into her hand to use against all violence and oppression on earth" (John Milton, Eikonoklastes, quoted in Systematic Theology by A.G. Strong, Judson Press, p. 292). So when the "alien, the orphan, and the widow" cry for justice, the righteous had better respond, quickly, consistently, and with strength- if there's any justice. Otherwise, all is lost" (pg. 27-28).

Wrecked and Wondering.

If you're interested, here are a few more blogs/websites that are spreading the word regarding orphans and how we can help:
http://147millionorphans.com/ - you can even buy apparel here that helps feed orphans!

Ps. I'm learning that every little bit helps. If everyone chipped in something small, lots of folks together make something big. Here is a link to Amazima Ministries International, this page shows how EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS: http://amazima.org/projects.html

James 1:27 - "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."


Saturday, December 26, 2009

My B.I.L.

Meet my B.I.L. (aka. Brother In Law)...



For Christmas, one of the items we gave him was a Red Ryder BB Gun...
What boy/man (what's the difference, really?) wouldn't want the Red Ryder BB Gun?! We were very excited to give it to him and looked forward to seeing him open the gift. Yup, not to our surprise, the man was very glad to receive our gift, even if his wife, my sis was not so happy.... "You'll shoot your eye out!!!" So to help settle my sister's possible concerns, we also provided my B.I.L not only with BB's to enjoy, but some safety glasses also. Ralphie did not have such a luxury in A Christmas Story... so hopefully my B.I.L. will head the warning and not "shoot his eye out" by wearing those.

Following our Christmas day festivities, my sister and B.I.L. traveled back to their home in the Nashville area to celebrate Christmas with my B.I.L.'s side of the family. Ironically, and completely unplanned, my B.I.L. opened a gift from his family that held a full body Pink Bunny Suit!!! How perfect and classic.

Wow. In one quick day my B.I.L. turned into Ralphie Parker. Merry Christmas, Brent! We love that you're such a good sport! Check it out:




Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Traditions: McGugan Mailer 09

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!
May you and your family be overwhelmed by God's grace this season and remember the true reason for the season: the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!

One of our annual traditions is to publish a yearly, McGugan Mailer. Below is this year's mailer.

McGugan Mailer - 2009

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Real Meaning of Christmas

Today, as we enjoy Christmas Eve with anticipation of Christmas morning tomorrow, I want to take another moment to stop and think about the real meaning of Christmas. With the hustle and bustle of present buying and visiting one house to the next, I'm certain that often the true meaning gets pushed aside. My hope and goal for our family, is that we are able to stop and remember, stop and recognize, and stop to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. I think Linus from the Peanuts says it best in A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Listen and watch his speech below, and take notice of his blanket (security blanket) that he's known for possessing at all times... something neat happens during his speech regarding that blanket. Enjoy.




Did you catch what happened to his blanket? I was not aware of this until someone pointed it out for me yesterday, but think it's so cool... when Linus says "FEAR NOT" and begins to recite the words of the angels, he too is able to internalize those words from the Lord, "fear not, Linus!"... he then lets go of his security blanket, letting it fall to the ground and enjoys the freedom, security, and comfort of God throughout the rest of his speech. Very cool.


Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Legend In My Own Mind

Well, it happened... Mr. McGoo has entered into the blog-o-sphere. He is now a blogger and has his blog up and running full steam ahead. Check it out: www.mrmcgoo.blogspot.com.

I am actually very excited about this endeavor, even though I told him last night that I wasn't happy that he was blogging because I quote, "I was afraid he'd take all of my readership". I said that just for kicks. he he. In all actuality though, I am very excited about his blog for a few reasons. First, it's my man, and I support him - we're a team. Second, he's a good writer and it'll be good for him to utilize the blogging outlet. And thirdly, my hubby wrote BEFORE I came into the picture. He wrote often, actually, and those writings are partly how I got to know him when we first met. He had a myspace account back then and often posted his "journaling" on myspace. When we became friends, I was able to go back through those postings and read them all... read how he wrote, read how he thought about this or that, read about his walk with Christ as he jotted it on the "page"... it was awesome. For some reason though... after I came into the picture as a significant other, the writing stopped. I joked with him last night saying the reason for that was because he knew he'd write only about me now that I was in the picture, but of course that's silly. I don't know why he stopped writing...but as of Monday night, he has begun again. I can't wait to see what unfolds.

Add him to your blog reads: A Legend In My Own Mind is the title, and he already has three posts up. The first of which gives a good "here is what you can expect" description. I cannot and will not always endorse what he will say... because let's face the fact, he likes to wind people up sometimes, it's a gift, him being an instigator at times... but I can promise this... somehow, someway, you'll be entertained. I have been since the first day I met him.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Cookie Extravaganza!

Along with three other fabulous ladies, I hosted a Cookie Extravaganza last night. It was an evening of edible sweets swapping, salty appetizer devouring, beverage drinking, and a good time of laughing and visiting with friends.




I believe this was my first "cookie exchange" experience... if I've been to one before, I do not remember for sure. This event was perfect... totally laid back, a group of ladies, good conversation, good laughs, good food, and good drinks. Each lady brings a double batch of their favorite cookie or treat... and then at the end of the night, you walk away with all the delicious treats brought by the group. You swap: I bring one thing and get to walk away with twelve or more other options. Make lots of one, and get multiples of many.


Hostesses: Me, Erin Marie, Lindsey, Emily

For our Cookie Extravaganza, we not only changed the name of the event to give it a more festive feel, but the hostesses also provided salty appetizers for the ladies to enjoy while we visited with each other. What woman could want more... a little salty and a little sweet... gab awhile and eat a treat!? In addition, we asked each gal to label the treats they brought to share. Here is a list of a few of the items we enjoyed: Partridge in a Pear Tree Peanut Butter Sensations, Reindeer Drops; Santa's Strawberry Delight; The $250 Cookie Recipe; She'll Snicker Your Doodle; Santa's Breath Fresheners; Christmas Tree Bark; Reindeer Patties; The Can't Bake Cookies Cookie; and Grandma's Famous Oatmeal Cookies.



I think one of the highlights of the night came about after my dorkiness was put into plan sight. I not only brought our Canon camera to catch photos of the event (not so dorky, more historian like of me... always want to capture a photo of an event... everyone loves photos after the fact to reminisce about the experience), but in light of my desire to catch a group shot of the ladies attending, I also brought my TRIPOD with me... thus equals the dorkiness! Needless to say, this got quite a few laughs... and even caused one of my fellow hostesses to catch a shot of me setting up the trusty tripod. But back to the highlight of the evening... we took quite a few group shots, which was fun... but when the ladies got a chance to go through the photos and see how they turned out - now THAT brought about a load of laughter!

Enjoy the group shots... I think they speak for themselves in regards to the personalities of the ladies involved last night! One of our hostesses is missing in the group shots, as she had to leave a bit early. We missed you, Emily!






And last but not least... I must include a shot of Emily's awesome, yummy, adorable Mini BLT's. I was impressed how their color went with the Christmas theme also.



Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Decor

With every Christmas season comes the unpacking and displaying of Christmas decor. Having been raised in a home where the Christmas tree was always lit and covered with ornaments during this time of year, as well as having the stockings hang from the fireplace... these items are something I too equate with Christmas time. It's amazing how a lit tree and some stockings can instantly bring a warmth within a house, not only looking inviting to others, but also offering comfort to those living here. There is nothing like turning off the lights in the house, except for that tree... sitting on the couch under a warm blanket and reflecting over the blessings in our life.

Every year, my hubby and I debate over the type of lights we will put on the tree... white or colored, white or colored? Each year, we put up colored lights. Not only are these the lights of our childhood... both my man and I were raised with Christmas trees hosting colored lights, so it reminds us of many childhood Christmas memories... but there also becomes a decisive reason for displaying colored lights on our tree rather than white. My man and I both are attracted to white lit trees... they look so put together, so sophistated, so nice... but when we look at who we are and what we are like, it's too easy to make the decision, like my man has said before, .... "who are we kidding? We're anything but sophisticated!" ha ha, so colored lights it is this year, and colored lights it probably always will be.

Here are a few of the pictures of our current Christmas decor - it's the most wonderful time of the year!


My fabulous Aunt Terri gave this adorable mat to me while we were in KC. It's quickly become one of my favorite happy decorations around this holiday. Too cute! I've received multiple compliments on it. Thanks ATerri!



The Christmas Tree, colored lights and all. My hubby puts the red garland on it every year and it is a great touch to fill out the tree...


The mantle... one of my favorite aspects of our Christmas decor - 4 stockings, one for my man, one for me, and one for each of our furbabies. The stocking hangers spell out J-O-Y with a pine cone decoration to hold the fourth stocking.


And last but not least our welcome wreath on the door - Pier 1 purchase a few years ago. I love it.

Christmas is only a week away! I cannot wait to celebrate our Savior's birth with my family!
Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

4 day weekend

I was off work today and will be again tomorrow... the plan was to take these two days off and travel to Kansas City this weekend... however when my Grandma's thyroid cancer took a turn and developed tumors in her brain, my hubby and I changed our annual Thanksgiving in Kentucky plans and went to Kansas City to spend time with our KC family, and definitely time with my Gma. Although we missed spending time with my hubby's fam, I am so glad we went to Kansas for Thanksgiving and were able to see everyone and spend some quality time with my awesome Grandmother.

Once we decided to head to KC for Thanksgiving, we figured we'd switch this planned long weekend travel to Kentucky, however my man's mom will not be there... she's flying south to Florida - - - so we've decided to enjoy these two days off anyway and stay here at home... it's a 4 day weekend, I'll get another next week. Today, I've enjoyed sleeping in til 9am, lunch out with my handsome husband, shopped a bit for a few gifts, wrapped presents, worked a bit on the remaining Christmas cards I have left, watched some TV, and vegged a bit. It's been a good day and we have another one to enjoy tomorrow even before the weekend is fully underway! Yay.

Now as I sip on some delicious coffee from the Lexington Coffee Times Coffee House, I've pulled off photos from my camera in hopes of making room for the numerous photos I'll capture over the next week. Here are a few of my favorites from the mix and some descriptions of the things going on within the photos or events taking place. enjoy....

I'm a little bummed at how few photos I took during our Thanksgiving KC trip... usually I have plenty to choose from, but the choices were sparse this go around. Nevertheless, here are a few...


This is my youngest sis... on our way to KC we stopped in Sikeston to visit Lambert's Cafe - Home of the Throwed Rolls! Kelsey is showing off the roll.


The T-shirt says it ALL... here is my favorite shot of Madison. Too cute!


She's getting so big - I remember when I could hold her with one arm.


My cuz, Lyndy and her youngest of 3 - Coleton. He's a cutie!!!

My company had our Christmas party last week on Friday and we had a fantastic time. It was a great opportunity to visit with each others' significant others and cut loose outside of the office. So thankful for stable and steady jobs with so many folks unemployed these days.


I try not to be too sappy too often on here, but I must say... my hubby is a hottie!


Mr. & Mrs. Jay Dawson - awwwww


The hot ladies sitting at our table: me, Laura, Jeni, and Shan

Since September I've been missing my Bunko Divas... I've had stuff come up every month so I've missed them... but this past Monday I was able to enjoy the game of bunko once again and get to visit with my fellow divas. Our Big Bunko wear this month was a leopard print SNUGGIE, only at Kali's ha ha. I have to share some shots from that also... I still cannot believe someone is making MILLIONS on adding sleeves to a blanket, or really turning a robe backwards.


It's so silly... but they are selling millions of them.


Did I mention that Candace got something crazy like 6 big bunko's that night?! What the heck?! I think she just wanted to keep the leopard print SNUGGIE - maybe I should share with her hubby, so Santa can drop one by her house next week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thankful for Day Planners

This past week has been a WEEK... seriously filled with crazy busy-ness! I would say that "it's that time of the year"... but I do not want to resign to the idea that it HAS to be that way! I want to find a way to pursue a worldview where the season of Christmas is more known for Christ's birth, joyful songs, the fun fellowship, family, love, and great eats, rather than getting sucked into the busy nature and staying on the run. I want my family, especially when kids come along to know that Christmas is a time of fellowship and togetherness where we celebrate the birth of our Savior. This year, I'm not sure that I have accomplished that task. I have found our schedules packed full and although most of the things we have going on are all "good" things, piling too much on our plate can quickly turn into a stressful thing rather than having availability to bask in the blessing of the events at hand.

Don't get me wrong, we're TOTALLY enjoying all the activities going on right now... extremely blessed to be a part of them and be surrounded by so many awesome people. It's fabulous once we get to the event and are able to enjoy them, but the hustle and bustle of getting to and fro is when you can start to say, "wait, am I really stopping enough to acknowledge the great reason for this whole holiday? Am I spending adequate time with my family during this time?" We're living and learning, and I want to do better at carving out the time needed for me and my hubby; for me and my family; for me and my closest friends... not forgetting to stop together and praising God for the blessings He's given us.

So back to our busy week, and week to come... (some extra posts coming soon on some of the festivities, providing some pictures and all)...

In addition to having festivities after work throughout every weekday this past week, we had my awesome Company Christmas Party Friday night, Bible study with a girlfriend Saturday morning, wrapped some presents, hungout with my rents from 4-8pm Saturday, dropped my man off to watch the UFC fights with friends while I decided to go home and clean houes a bit before crashing after a full day, church today, then a surprise engagement party for Erin Marie & Johnny (CONGRATS!!!!), and a Christmas dinner with friends tonight! Tomorrow is BUNKO time with the ladies, hopefully using our massage gift certificates on Tuesday, Singing Christmas Tree event with friends on Wednesday, and a few days without activities on the calendar before a wedding to attend Saturday and a Cookie Extravaganza Sunday... the calendar is filling up quickly!

Gotta jet... Friend Christmas Dinner Gathering is calling.... Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Greatest Christmas Decoration EVER!

I absolutely love this email that has been forwarded around. Check out the photo below and be sure to read the "story" at the bottom. Well worth it...



"Good news is that I truly out did myself this year with my Christmas decorations. The bad news is that I had to take him down after 2 days I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever.Great stories. But two things made me take it down.

First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by.

Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn't realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn't take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard."



I'm tempted to put this up at our house... we live in a neighborhood surrounded by renters and college kids. My guess is that no one would try to help the guy down, rather they'd stand there and take bets as to how long he'll stay up and/or when he'll fall. Ha ha. This is hilarious, complete with the Christmas lights partially hanging down. Props for super creativity by the homeowner! Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Never Hear the End of It

People do stupid things all the time, but you know you've done a "really good one" when you realize that you'll "never hear the end of it" from those around you. Such is what I'm experiencing with my Stupid List experience. To best appreciate the following information, you'll want to make sure you've read this post.

"never hear the end of it" example 1: Following the incident of me spilling the beans directly to my hubby about his Christmas gifts, I later sent out another email regarding an additional gift I had gotten for my man. This email was sent to the extended family... to which my brother in law replied to everyone, "We won't tell him if you won't."

"never hear the end of it" example 2: Today I sent an email to my coworkers, letting them know that I would work through lunch (being catered in) and would take my hour after everyone was finished so that I could go to my parents and wrap some of the gifts I had purchased for my hubby for Christmas. Quickly someone replied, "Why wrap them, he already knows what you're getting him!"

Never going to hear the end of it... this is a story we'll tell for a long time, such are the stories of stupidity. Way to go Mrs. McGoo. Let the laughs continue. ha ha.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Something New: Chicken Florentine Pasta

So thanks to a friend posting something about Chicken Floretine Pasta on her Facebook status, I was able to inquire with her about the recipe and later enjoy this delicious dish! Because I was only feeding my man and myself, I halved this recipe and put it in a 8x8 baking dish. We had plenty and even leftovers. Also, I used penne noodles instead of bowtie because that was what I had in the pantry. Mmm Mmmm good.

Ingredients:
4-5 Chicken Breasts
1 box Bowtie Pasta
1 pk Frozen, chopped Spinach
8 oz Sour Cream
2-3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded

To Do's:
Boil & chop chicken breast.
Cook & drain pasta.
Mix spinach (thawed & drained), sour cream, cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup, chicken and pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake covered in greased dish at 350 for 45 minutes.
Uncover and bake till golden.


bon appetit!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carpe Deal'em 2009

I cannot believe Thanksgiving has truly already come and gone... December is here and that means we're getting into Christmas cheer. Okay, I don't know why I keep rhyming - I found myself doing the same thing on our Facebook status. And they are not even good rhymes...

Anyway... Thanksgiving. Stepping out of our normal tradition as Mr. & Mrs. McGoo, we did not go to Kentucky this year for the holiday, but found our way to Kansas City to visit with my Grandma and other KC family. We were more than happy to be there, but we also knew that by not going on our yearly Thanksgiving Kentucky trip, we not only missed seeing my hubby's family, but also missed out on the Carpe Deal'em Tradition.

Carpe Deal'em (as seen at this link) is a special Riser family tradition that my hubby has been allowed access into the brotherhood. Because we were to miss the event, we ended up making a Carpe Deal'em Kansas City Version. It was a raggamuffin group, composed of my hubby, Uncle, Father, and even a GIRL (me), but we got some of the main aspects of Carpe Deal'em accomplished. We woke up at 3:30am on Black Friday, left the house by 4am, and visited as many stores as needed. We worked as a team, complete with a driver, line stander, and shoppers. And last but not least, we SEIZED THE DEAL.



Above: 3 handsome men in my life - UFrank, My Man, and My Daddy!

Below is a video I put together of our Carpe Deal'em 2009 experience away from Kentucky. Click the play button and listen to the ways of Carpe Deal'em KC Version. (ps. The opening screen sits for 10 full seconds - a little long, sorry - but will soon embark into the 14 minutes or so of interviews about our experienc). Enjoy.

video

My uncles take on Carpe Deal'em can be found HERE on his blog.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Stupid List

So although I'm a list person by day and love checking things off a "list", and keep a day planner for all activities... I am not.... I repeat.... I am NOT a list person for Christmas. Seriously, I don't like it, I'm not good at it, and it's not fun. Call me crazy, but I never really know what to put on a list for Christmas. Sure, like anyone I see something at the store, on TV, or on the net and think, "ewww, I'd like one of those"... but the problem is, I can NEVER recall those items when it's time to make a list. So I don't like them. I usually do not make them.

Well this year, apparently I got a stray hair and I made a list BEFORE I was ever asked. Following our arrival home Sunday evening from Kansas City (more to come later about our trip there), I sat down and made a Christmas list. I hand wrote it on a notecard and gave it to my hubby following completion. To say he was shocked would be an understatement. I think he actual said when I handed it to him, "What's this?" and when I replied "My Christmas List", he responded with something of this nature, "YOU?! wrote a Christmas list.... Oh Wow... uh....". See, I don't usually make such lists.

So I tell you all of this to get to the main point here...

Yesterday (Tuesday), I sent out an email to the family regarding Kelly's Christmas list. I typed it up all nice and neat, shared with the family what he's mentioned as wants, what he's interested in, and even included what I've gotten him to help them coordinate accordingly. I send the email.

Following the email I get a reply from my hubby's dad.... "Where is your list?"

Considering all that I've told you about my actual dislike for Christmas lists, and the fact that I actually made one on my own without coxing this year... I was a little anxious and extra assertive to my father in law's inquiry.

Without thinking, I clicked reply and cc'd my hubby onto the following response, "Your son has it. Should be typing it up."

My intension was that my husband would see what his dad was still waiting on my list, and therefore he needed to get on the ball and send that out to those inquring about it. What I didn't think about was the email my father in law replied to and that I was sharing that info with my hubby considering I just CC'd him on the email!!!!

This reality did not hit me until minutes later when I received a gmail chat im from my man... his words:
have you looked at that email you forwarded to me


As soon as I read those words, I completely realized my mistake... Uh Oh.... I just gave my man a spelled out list of the items I was giving him for Christmas... GEEEZ LOUIZZZ... items I had worked hard to decide on and find... stupid stupid stupid.

So rather than blame this incident on my stupidity (the reality), I'm choosing to blame the reason my hubby now knows what he's getting for Christmas is because of STUPID CHRISTMAS LISTS.

Moral of the story... when working with surprises... slow down and THINK.


Fireside Dinner

Last night I came home after a Bible Study with a friend and arrived with take out dinner in hand. As I walked up to my front door, I noticed that the lights inside the house were completely out.... did the electricity go out? Worried that I might trip with food in hand, plus my hands were full with another bag in the car to be grabbed, I hollered out for my man to lend a hand. He met me at the door, smile on his face, and took the bags from my hands. Right before I asked, "is the power out" I noticed a flickering of light back into the farthest part of my home... "is that a fire?"

I lean into the house and see directly to the back where the outside porch/deck is lit up with our burning firepit, beautiful flames rising over the wood within its gate. "What's this?"

What awaited me was a wonderful evening!

My hubby had prepared the set up for a fireside dinner... all I had to do was walk in with the food! We walked out onto the back porch/deck and the firepit was lit and ready to provide me warmth in the cool evening. TV trays and chairs were set and waiting, and a blanket was laid on top of the trays to gain the heat from the firepit. Once I sat down, my man covered me with the now warmed by the fire blanket, served me some homemade delicious hot chocolate, and set out the food for us to eat and enjoy. And to top it off, Christmas music played out of the speakers for the perfect background music.

It was a good GREAT night. I couldn't have asked for a better night - just me, my man, and our two furbabies enjoying the cold weather outside by a fire. Picturesque!

Thank you honey, I am a very lucky and blessed woman! It was a great surprise last night.