Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

We enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend this year. On Thursday we drove over to Atlanta to share Thanksgiving with my Aunt Sara and Uncle George and their family, just as we have for the past two years. Once we arrived, we devoured a delicious Thanksgiving dinner. The food was so yummy. Sara made her sweet potatoes in orange peel bowls. They are my favorite sweet potatoes ever. Brett and I brought our favorite green bean casserole (not made with any canned soup or french onions on top. . . but a different recipe that I love), a yummy cranberry-fruit jello, and a pumpkin roll. I have been looking forward to making the pumpkin roll for a whole year. See, I love a good pumpkin roll so much, that I cannot make one for just my small family because I would eat the whole thing. I seriously have zero restraint. So I can only make one when I get together with other people. However, even though I took the roll to the Parkers to share, I think I still ate at least half of it (or more) all by myself. mmmmmmmm. I cant wait until next years pumkin roll!!!
After dinner we talked, played around and Sara and I dove into the Black Friday ads to create our post Thanksgiving shopping lists. We are not such hard core black friday shoppers that we will wake up before 8:00 in the morning, but we are serious enough shoppers that we are usually out for several hours. I think this year was a total of 4. (that is a long shopping trip for me!!)
Brett decided to come shopping with us this year and it was nice to shop without the addition of three year old shopping buddies. :) We found several good deals (my favorites were: an $80 pair of boots that I picked up for $18 and a disney princess sleeping bag, pillow, flashlight and nightlight all packed in a cute tote with wheels for only 10 bucks. yeah for good deals.) Then we spent the rest of Friday afternoon/evening doing truly after Thanksgiving things--eating turkey and watching movies.
On Saturday we had planned to help the Parkers go pick out a Christmas tree. Since we only set up a little artificial tree, I was very excited to get to take Emmeline and Mabel out to cut down a live tree. I woke up very excited and went downstairs to notice that it was pouring rain out. Of course. We had a good breakfast and waited a little while. The rain slowed down a bit and we decided to brave the storm and go get the tree anyway. lollol. It was awesome. When we got to the tree farm the rain was just coming down lightly so we waited for the wagon to come get us. By the time the wagon got there and we all got in the wagon it was POURING down. The few umbrellas that we brought hardly even made a difference. During our wagon ride up to the big trees, we sang Christmas carols and laughed at ourselves. Then we walked around and debated which tree would be the best one. Finally, after some deliberation, George and Brett cut the tree down and carried it back to the wagon. Once we got back to the barn, we all enjoyed some hot apple cider and candy canes before driving back home.
Back at Sara's house, we had some lunch and then packed up to drive back to Birmingham.
It was a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am very thankful for the wonderful family that I had to share it with.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Twilight Girls Retreat

On Saturday November 22 I saw Twilight the movie with a bunch of friends. First we all met at Olive Garden and had a nice lunch, then we headed over to the theater to watch the show.

I really enjoyed the movie. I haven't read the book for a long time so the details weren't all screwed up in the movie. (I did that intentionally.) I thought the actors were well cast for their characters and I loved the humans. I totally had friends like that in highschool (I was probably just like that in highschool :) ). I thought they were dead on. The only complaints I had were that I didn't like how Edward took Bella to the meadow. Without giving any spoilers I'll just say that that part was lame. And I didn't like how the movie minimized the strength and importance of Alice's ability to see into the future. Also, I think that if I hadn't read the book first then I would have hated some of the acting, especially near the beginning. I mean honestly, how do you portray an intense, passionate desire to drink someones blood. . .I guess looking like you have a sudden, intense case of diareah and nausea combined. . is as good a way as any. If I hadn't read the book first I would have hated Edward's first reaction to Bella and also Jaspers continual constipated look. However, since I had previously read the book, I got what they were trying to do and so it didn't bug me so much. With all of that said, I did really enjoy the movie. I loved the drama and passion between Edward and Bella, just as much as I did in the book. I loved some of the cinematography elements of the movie as well. I've heard some people say they didn't like all the time Edward and Bella spent up in the trees, but I did. How romantic would that be. . to spend the afternoon playing in treetops, looking down at the rest of the world as though you and your lover are the only two people in the world who exist?!!! But I regress, back to the movie. I loved it and can't wait to take Brett and snuggle during all the romantic parts. . .okay, maybe that will have to wait until I buy the movie on dvd.

McWane Train

The McWane Center has put their train exhibit back up and we are enjoying all the fun it has to offer. They have a cute little train that you can ride outside. Emmeline has ridden it twice now and loves it. Here are some pics of her riding the train with some friends. These cute little kids got to ride in a car all by themselves. I'm not sure which they liked better. . .riding the train or riding it without moms in their car. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Take the Quiz

While I was going through some old pics of Emmeline and Mabel, I saw how similar they look as babies. All of these pictures are from sometime during their first year. Have a go and guess who is who. I'll leave the answers in the comments section. Good luck!!


Monday, November 17, 2008

Astronomy 101

Today Emmeline gave me an astronomy lesson. She informed me that "the moon is the mommy of all the stars." You learn something new everyday!! :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to School

"Back to school! Back to school, to prove to Dad that I'm not a fool!"

It is official. I am going back to school next semester. I just received my acceptance letter from UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) and I'll begin working towards my masters degree in History this January. It just turns out that this is a great time. I can finish my program by the time Brett finishes his PhD in May 2010. (I can't believe that is only a year and a half away!!) I'll mostly be taking night classes and I have a plan to do my homework during the girls naps and in the evening. So I should still be able to be an active mommy. The girls still get my mornings. Brett has been really supportive and encouraging in this whole process. I love being a wife and a mom. . .but for now. .

"I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don't get in a fight! Ohhhh, back to school!"

Friday, November 7, 2008

The glass is half full

Throughout this election process I have been a "glass is half empty" person. I didn't love either candidate and most of the discussion I was involved in dealt with all the negative aspects of both candidates. This is not surprising since most of the information I got, either from t.v. or from the internet or from other people, was largely focused on these negative aspects of the candidates and their campaigns. When I voted, I chose the candidate which I felt was the "lesser of two evils". I loved voting, and I felt very privileged to live in a country where I could cast my vote and express my preference. But throughout the day I couldn't shake my feeling of dread and fear for this country. Because of all of the negativity, I couldn't stop feeling like our nation was doomed. Needless to say, I was feeling rather discouraged when it was announced that (in my opinion) the "greater of two evils" was announced the winner and the next president of the United States of America.

On Wednesday I called my mom to chat and I ended up having a lengthy discussion with my dad. I love talking with my dad because he is very intelligent and he thinks about things in a way I dont. He'll bring up points I hadnt even thought about before. This is not to say that I agree with everything my dad has to say. Sometimes I dont, and politically, we don't see exactly eye to eye. I'll admit, at first, I wasn't thrilled to be having a political discussion with someone who doesn't share my political sympathies, especially after the democrats had just swept the election. However, my dad did something great for me during our discussion--he reminded me that the glass is half full. He said that he felt both candidates were great men and that they both would have good contributions to give as president. Instead of dwelling on the negative of each candidate--he talked about the positives of each. (Had he given me an Obama is better because speech. . .I probably wouldn't have listened for half a second). But I felt that he was right--every administration has good and bad to contribute, and we are so blessed to live in a country where there are checks and balances placed on the governing body. Perhaps it is time for the nation to begin admonishing some of the good things that are happening in this country instead of all the bad. After all, I was still able to go and cast my vote--whereas, there are others in the world for whom that is not an option. And hey, there is always the hope of Mitt Romney in 2012 or Eric Jensen in 2020.

My fear for the country further dissipated when I learned that Proposition 8 passed in California and similar laws passed in other states. I realized that the country was fighting to protect marriage and families and God given moral values (as opposed to the view that it doesnt matter anymore--which is pretty much all that is seen on t.v.). As long as this country keeps fighting for the things that are right then I say "the glass is half full!"

God bless the USA!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Champion Eater

Mabel has officially been admitted into the nursery for our church. Normally children can begin attending nursery class at 18 months, but since Brett and I both serve in the primary, Mabe gets to start nursery now at 14 months. She loves it. Last week when I dropped her off, she ran away from me straight to the toys--and she didnt look back. Oh, to be a loved and appreciated mother.

Last sunday when I picked Emmeline and Mabel up from nursery after church, their nursery leader told me that they had a new "champion eater" in the class. Yes, that would be my youngest daughter, Mabel. Apparently she can eat circles around all the other children. . . including the three year olds. Thats my girl!! :)