Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

This post has been a long time coming.  I've had the pictures saved in a post since we got back from W.H., but I just haven't taken the time to write anything about it.  We had a GREAT visit with my Winter Haven family.  Here are a few highlight pictures...
James with Grammy and the turkey...
Me with Momma and Daddy - um, I love them A WAY LOT, btw
YAY - my sister....I love her a way lot too :)
This picture cracks me up - James is looking at the Black Friday ads with Landon and Richie
HAHA - cute
James and Grammy reading about Johnny Tractor
James in his "I'm Stuffed" turkey shirt that I paid a million dollars to have shipped
Aunt Krista and James
James and his cousin - oh, and that's Landon face down
James and his cousins again :)
Matt, Krista, and Daddy
Me and Uncle Stephen :)
James investigating his raisin box
Mommy and James on Thanksgiving morning - clearly, he did not care :)
Watching Sesame St. go by on the Macy's parade

I know this is a post with few words...which some may appreciate because usually I have many words and not many pictures.  We had a great holiday.  Now back to the BUSY-NESS!!!! :)

Black Friday. I did it. Sort of.

Before I even begin to post about our Thanksgiving week, first I need to tell this story.  I need to remember for many, many years why it is not the greatest idea for me to venture out into the night...ever...but mainly on a night like Black Friday early, early morning. 

Thanksgiving at Granny's was fantastic.  I was thankful we were able to travel down there, but wait, this isn't my recap, this is only supposed to be about my shopping trip.  RIGHT.  I decide Thursday morning, after looking at all the ads, that I want to shop at Beall's Thursday night at midnight when the store opens.  They had a special $10 off $25 coupon you could use between 12am and 1am, plus the first 100 people got a scratch off ticket and you could win an ipad or $250 to Beall's.  Beall's is right down the street from Granny's.  I mean, it's close.  We had gone there looking for a Christmas shirt for James to wear Friday shopping the day before Thanksgiving, and that's when I realized they had a ton of great Gator stuff there.  And, some gifts we could buy and check off some people's Christmas lists.  So, I am ready.  I am doing this thing.  I recruit Landon.  He is in.  I recruit Krista.  She is in.  She recruits Matt.  He is in.  Mom is in.  Dad is supposed to stay home and make sure he listens for James. 

Thursday evening arrives.  The time has almost come for us to leave.  We pause our rousing Phase 10 game to get ready to shop.  We figure if Granny lives like 5 min from the store, we'll just leave around 11:25pm and get there 30 min early.  Should be plenty of time.  We load up.  Matt drives, Landon's in the front passenger seat, and Mom, Krista, and I are in the back.  I have my coupons.  I am ready.  Oh, and James is asleep (duh), and Dad is in the bed with the baby monitor right next to his head turned up so loud it's BBBBUUUZZZZZZIIINNNNGGG constantly - ha.  We go the back way to the store.  As we round the corner, all of us are in total shock.  There has to be over 200 people in line winding their way around the entire side of the store.  Um, what?  Already, I've missed the scratch off.  Well, Shoot. 

Was this trip a waste?  Oh, not yet.  Landon wants to get Taco Bell.  We all feel we should make the most of being out of the house, so we drive to Taco Bell.  After sitting in the drive thru three min or so, even though the light was on in the drive through and in the restaurant, after closer inspection, we see they are CLOSED.  The only place we see open is Checkers.  There are about a bazillion people in the drive through, but oh no, we are having fun.  Landon and Matt almost get Big Bufords, but Matt decides it's not on his diet, so we get some chicken, some fries, some drink...whatever.  We are laughing and having a good time. 

Then, in my genius brain, I think, Hmmm...even though we won't get a scratch off, we could still go there and shop and use our $10 off coupon before 1am.   Yes....let's go there. And with encouragement from all involved to "seize the moment", we drive back to Beall's.  Matt and Krista drop us off.  We divide and conquer.  We pile up everything we want - which, trust me, was not really that much.  Here come Matt and Krista in the store.  Krista's about to have a panic attack because she doesn't operate well in situatons with lots of people...B.O., frantic-ness, etc.  So, exit Matt and Krista back to the car to wait for us.  We (Mom, Landon, and me) meet in the men's dept to evaluate our purchases.  Yes, we've got it all. And then....


There are 3 registers, I REPEAT, 3 registers open in the entire store.  The lines are wrapped around each other down the aisles and around the back - the lines are actually passing through each other - if that makes any sense.  We step in line.  Lan sends me on a recon (sp???) mission to evaluate other lines.  They are all just as long.  He doesn't believe me so he goes on his own mission, but he agrees when he returns that I am right.  A lady gives us a second $10 off coupon that she doesn't need.  SCORE.  We stand there.  We stand there.  It's 12:50am.  We inch up a little.  We stand there.  We stand there.  I am tired...In my mind I am thinking of just a few hours when James will be awake and how because I am his mom, I will be the one who gets up with him.  I decide to abort the mission.  We all three decide to leave.  No, I'm not kidding.  That's right.  We put our stuff down, and we left.  The ladies behind us in line couldn't believe it.  They tried to convince us to stay, saying we were already "invested" :)  However, we clearly were not invested enough.  We were fairly confident it was going to be at least another hour before we got to check out.  We were sure of this since we overheard a Beall's employee say, "Wow, we didn't even expect a crowd like this.  We were completely unprepared."  Always what you want to hear in the line.

So...17 hours later, at about 6pm on Friday evening, Mom and I went back to Beall's...just to see.  All our stuff was there still.  We bought it all, with a different coupon.  I believe we paid probably $10 more than we might have if we'd waited another hour to check out in the wee morning hours. 

Lessons learned?  When you have a small child and you cannot go home and sleep for many hours, do not get up at midnight to attempt Black Friday sales.  If you think a store will not be busy, you are probably wrong.  You should always err on the side of large, raucous crowds being in huge lines wrapped around buildings.  For some sales, you might be really saving a lot of money to show up in the middle of the night.  I don't think we were.  Evaluate how much money will actually be saved.  If it's not a lot, DON'T DO IT!!!!!  Although...I cannot put a price on spending time with my family in the middle of the night on a holiday.  Thankful, but thankful doesn't mean I'm not an idiot :) 

Monday, November 21, 2011


2 things right off the bat.
1.  I have a really bad headache again today.  It must be the weather :(  Thankful for Excedrin.
2.  The turkey shirt I ordered and had express shipped and paid $500 for (ha, not really) came today.  Thank goodness.  It is everything I thought it would be. Then I realized that James does not have a Christmas t shirt to wear shopping on Friday.  I had to let this go.  I could always buy him one on our first stop since clearly, they are still in stores.  Can't wait to show pics of James' turkey t shirt.

On to the randomness of life...
James has been riding his little toys more and more, but this one, especially, cracks me up.  It has a compartment inside to put stuff, and he think you are supposed to lift it up and put your legs in it to ride on it.  I've tried to explain the danger in this  - tipping over - etc. - but he loves to do it.  So, I needed to capture a couple of pictures of it.

Nanna and Grandaddy came this last weekend and hung out with us.  We had a really great time with them.  James loves to play with his Nanna and Grandaddy.  On Friday night, we had a big Thanksgiving dinner, thanks to Lan's mom, and it was delicious.  I wanted to take a picture of it, but I was too tired.  Landon used the smoker and smoked a turkey - it was delicious.  I took one picture.  Seriously?  I know.  But, here it is.  We had to try numerous times to get this one shot :)
Nanna bought James 3 new pairs of jammies and some new socks.  YAY!  Here are the first ones we've tried - they have deer on them, so you know he is a fan.
I FINALLY framed James' 1 year old picture and mat/matte (shoot, which one is it...can't remember).  I think it looks great.   It did cut off a lot of the edges, which I HATE, but it looks great in his room, and I hung it up myself.
We've got the Christmas decorations up, for the most part.  I wish I was a better photographer (and I have a nice camera, so it's a user issue), because our tree was on and so pretty this morning - but it just looks mediocre in this picture.  I got the angel last year with Momma at CB.
Here are our stockings. 
This a new addition to the Christmas decor.  My MIL gave it to me last year for Christmas, and I LOVE it.  It lights up (again, my picture taking not doing it justice), and all the glitter swims around in there.  In the mornings when we get up, James comes into the living room and points at the three things that light up - wanting me to turn them on.  The tree, the angel, and the light up thingie above the fireplace (shoot, can you tell have a headache since I can't remember what that's called???)
James got a new book this weekend from Nanna and Grandaddy.  It's about dogs.  He loves it!
And, this is his new favorite - Great Day for UP.  He says "Uh, Uh, Uh" over and over until you read it.  Cracks me up.

Preparing for a busy, busy week of family and turkey and shopping and fun and perhaps a little stress.  Oh, BTW, if you've seen Landon's flash drive, please return it to us :)  He cannot find it. It is gone.  Nowhere to be found.  We have searched many places.  Big reward if you find the flash drive.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

One Sweet Life

Boy, I am feeling thankful today.  I know God gives and takes away.  Feeling so thankful today for my life honestly makes me afraid another shoe is going to drop.  That's part of my own brokenness...but it is a fact about me.  About 4.5 years ago, during an extremely difficult time, I could never have imagined working in the yard today, chasing my 1.5 year old baby around, and watching my husband clean out the garage would be a dream come true.  Do you ever feel like there should be music with your scenes of your life?  Landon was swinging James this afternoon after we'd all worked in the yard, had a good lunch and a great rest.  James was squealing with delight (literally) and Landon was running around the tree "boo-ing" in James' face over and over.  I was watching and laughing.  And, I was thinking that if that scene were in a movie it would be like the swing swinging in slow motion and music playing.  What music?  I don't know - any opinions? Ha.  that's a funny question to wonder about.  I am way digressing since I wasn't even planning to say any of that above.  It was just on my heart. 

I took this picture this morning of Landon and James.  Oh my word, how sweet!
 James is still obsessed with the Bibles.  Here he is yesterday looking at them...
So...we worked hard in the yard today.  I never want to be an embarrassment in whatever neighborhood I live in.  I mean, our yard did look like um, pretty bad, the whole first year we lived in the house.  I always want to take care of whatever God has entrusted to us - to appreciate it and not take it for granted.  We bought pansies a while back, and I planted the ones in the flower bed a few weeks ago, but then today, we planted the rest of them underneath the shrubs on either side of the garage.  I couldn't show a good picture of it because the garage was open and messy - haha, that cracks me up since I just gave a speech above about taking care of our stuff...well...anyway...

 Oh, and I planted tulip bulbs behind all the pansies so that hopefully they'll come up...uh, whenever they're supposed  (like February-ish, right??)
 Landon and James cleaned up the garage.
 Landon has been after me for a couple of weeks now about putting up the Christmas tree.  He is ready for CHRISTMAS.  He and I are so different.  I assume we are going to put the tree in the corner, just like we did last year - hello....don't you think I thought it out with extreme careful-ness...where the best place was for the tree, where it would fit the best, where it would look the best, etc. etc. etc.  But, ah, Landon, he is different from me.  He is not boring, and he wants to do something "different".  What would be exciting????  First he wanted to put the tree in the foyer like right smack in the middle of the foyer. Ha.  With the piano and other little table there, I doubt we could have gotten around it, so, I have to nix that idea.  Then he wanted to move the chair over and put it in front of these doors.  So...I thought on that one.  Although it is against the "do it the same every year" thoughts, I was trying to go with him - you know, give and take.  While he was outside, I moved the chair over to the side, and moved the palm tree in our room.  In fact, right now, Landon is studying hard under the palm tree - I asked him if he felt like he was on vacation.  So, here's the place for the tree - all cleared out.  A different spot from last year.  I know, I'm a wild woman.  More to come on how it looks in a new place :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Deer, Dear Friends, & the Word of God

James' newest thing is deer.  Deer, deer, deer.  You know cows?  Nope, that's a deer.  You know sheep?  nope, that's a deer.  You know anything that's an animal?  That's a deer.  James loves deer. So, Landon taught him to put his hands on his head like the antlers.  At first, he was a little shy about this, but now...deer, deer, deer.  I think it may have started when Landon took him upstairs about a month ago and showed him Bucky.  Then, we upgraded our tv package for a few weeks so we could get some Gator games, and we had a hunting channel.  So, when James mentioned deer, Landon showed him this hunting channel.  Now, let's be clear, as a mom (or maybe just as "Bethany"), I think this is disgusting.  I'm not into the hunting scene - I'm not anti-hunting or anything, I'm just not a wild fan of my 1.5 year old baby watching the deer getting shot with the bow and arrow on tv.  That's all.  But...sometimes mom's don't get all of the say in these things :)  So, James and Landon would watch the deer  tv.  James had no clue that sometimes they were not alive still.  He just keeps yelling "Dee" Dee" over and over and over...and doing the antlers.  Well, we downgraded the tv package a few weeks ago and went back to our regular stuff.  So, no more deer channel.  James has asked about the deer so many times that finally, at Wal Mart the other night, Landon looked for a deer movie and found one.  It was $5 so we splurged and bought it.  We have not watched this yet, and it makes me nervous that it's called "In Your Face" so I may need to preview first - I cannot handle any blood or grossness, but we're hoping it's just like that hunting channel.  We shall see.  But, don't worry, James, "dee" are coming back to the tv soon!!!

 In other news, Isabelle came to spend the morning with us.  They were HILARIOUS.  They played together really well (most of the time) and screamed and ran around the house a million times.  I am counting on a good nap for James right now because of all that playing.  James isn't quite sure how to act around girls yet, so a few times he just jumped right on Isabelle like they were going to wrestle.  Ha.  I then had to keep saying, "gentle, gentle" like I tell him about pulling my hair, and so then he just acted like he was petting her like a dog.  Which is better than crazy attacking stuff. 
 They played lots in the tent.
 And here they are sweet!
 Now, on the to the Word of God part of this post.  James loves Bibles.  It's just a fact.  I don't know why, but it's true.  He loves to yell "Bibe" Bibe" when he sees one of our Bibles sitting up on the counter.  The other day when we came home from somewhere, my Bible was on the baker's rack.  James started trying to get it, so I said, "Hang on, I'll read it to you."  Well, he walked off and got up on the couch.  I thought he was moving on to do something else, so I sat the Bible back up on the shelf.  He started FREAKING OUT.  Turns out, he was sitting on the couch and waiting for me to come over there with the Bible.  So, I brought it over and told him I was SORRY, I didn't realize he still wanted to look at it.  So, I've noticed that for about 3 days now, he's carried his two Bibles around with him almost everywhere.  One is a little devotion book and one is a kids' Bible, but I just call them both his Bibles.  Today he did not want Isabelle to touch them, but he carried them everywhere with him.  Praying, praying, praying that James loves God's word.  It says in Job, "I cherish the words of His mouth more than my necessary food."  Oh Father, that You would make that in a reality in James' life, and in mine, and in Landon's. 

Jesus loves the little children.  All the children of the world. 
 Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight.
 Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Home, Halloween, Centerpiece, & Easy Recipe

It's been a  busy past week.  We did go home to FL for a few days over the past weekend. I think the weekend came just in time - Landon needed a break, so I thought the timing was really perfect.  We didn't get to do everything we wanted to while at home, but almost everything...we did get to do.  Landon got to spend quite a bit of time with his family - not everyone, but a lot of them.  That was good.  Seeing Olivia was fun since she is further along pregnant with sweet Sophia.  Seeing my parents was great too - biggest failure...I forgot to take hardly any pictures.  Yuck.  Here are a few.  James and GatorPa playing blocks in the floor.

 James LOVES to feed Katie bread out the window, thanks to Grammie. 
 We left Florida before the crack of dawn on Monday so that we could be home to trick or treat with our friends.  I say this like a gazillion billion times, but I am so thankful for young couples at our church with young children that we've been able to connect with.  It's a lonely life with no friends, and I'm just grateful for these precious families.  We had a great time - I was worried about how James would do since we'd been in the car ALL DAY with NO afternoon nap, but he made it through :)

 And finally, in the most important news of the day (NOT), I put a new centerpiece on our kitchen table.  First of all, this is not really an authentic look at what our table looks like normally because I cleared it off just to take the picture.  Right now the table has some coupons I need to file, a stack of mail I knew I needed to keep but haven't gone through yet, an old newspaper, a gift for a shower at church on Sunday, my Jesus Calling devotional, James' wipes and bib, his leftover breakfast plate, and my coffee. dream table is below :)  Not my real life table.  ANYWAY, when I was home, my mom had this pretty centerpiece.  Ended up that she'd gotten the stuff from WalMart to put it together.  So, she picked some up for me.  When I got here and put mine together I thought about having this twisted pedestal thing (I clearly have not sold SLAH in a long time because I can't remember what it's called anymore) and thought it might look good.  I think it looks great!  Gives it great height.

In more serious news of what this week is holding, we had a coach close to our town die Monday morning in a car accident.  We have several folks at our church who knew him at least fairly well - one coach who knew him extremely well and worked with him.  He left behind a young wife and young son.  We are praying hard for this family.  What a tragedy. 
Landon is back at work, and working hard.  He is excited about his message coming up this next Sunday.  I'm excited too - he does such a great job.
I talked to my work yesterday.  I am planning to go in next week one day to talk about "transition".  That means I have to go in and show everyone how to do the job that I'm not going to get to do anymore :(  Yuck.  I am dreading it.  I can see that it's necessary, obviously, and I really want to finish well.  BUT, my heart is breaking over it - yuck.  Still praying something may work out in another department, but I'm not counting on that, for sure.  I'm so grateful for the time I've worked for my company.  I sure do love it. 
Oh, and about Tasty Tuesday...well...I just didn't really have any good recipes to post.  I can post one now that I made last night - and it's just a standby that I'm sure everyone knows - and it's not even a main dish - just a side.  We had grilled jerk chicken last night with brown rice and broccoli.  Here's my brown rice recipe:

Brown Rice

1 can beef consume
1 can french onion soup
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 a stick of butter

Mix together in a 9x9 casserole dish, and bake at 350% for 45 minutes.  I always cover it with foil because it makes the rice on top hard if you don't.  This is one of our favorite (and easiest) sides for dinner. 

Trying to remember this week that "in quietness and trust are your strength".