Thursday, November 25, 2010


We spent Thanksgiving at Mike and Jess' in Bryan.  It was our first trip "to the country" to see their new home.  Left feeling a bit jealous ... we often wish we didn't live in such a big city.  Linda and Paul were there (of course!) as well as Debbie and Mike, who were visiting for the week.  We ate until we were stuffed.  Laughed until our cheeks hurt.  And drank up the yumminess of the three littles ... because they are scrumptious!
 Linda was put in charge of making the stuffing.  She was a bit worried at first, but she pulled it off deliciously!
 While cooking was going on downstairs, football was going on upstairs ... I think everyone was happy with the outcomes.
 Ellie was trying to figure out how to sneak Uncle Mike's dog from him.  Unfortunately for her, Angel is not up for grabs.  And, yes she is wearing angel wings.  Because we all know about the angel who was at the first Thanksgiving!
 Great Gram and her Ellie girl.  
 She is loved ... and always up for a snuggle!
 Not the first picture of these two ... and I daresay it won't be the last.  A-dor-a-ble.  The both of them!
 Speaking of a-dor-a-ble ... this one.  Oh for the yumminess.  Not even kidding.  And, to see her in motion ... humming as she is always going and going and going.  Oh.  My.  Word.
 At this point there was much hoopla going on in the kitchen ... and these two were posing for pictures.  
 Oh, sure, he might try to say he was keeping the kids out from under foot ... more like stirring them up.
 If you are looking for a kid to snitch, Austin isn't it.  That is because I fully intend to snitch him at the first possible chance ... and I don't want someone to get the chance before me!
 Love all the sweet memories we have had with Dean's mom ... so many holidays, but more than that, so many ordinary days.  Don't know what we did to ever deserve such a blessing, but so glad we did it!
Paul was given one job to do ... drinks.  We gave him the hardest time about his job ... or his lack of doing it.  Next time he may give "drinks" to Dean and be in charge of stirring up the kids!
Suzie enjoying some sweet potato casserole with Auntie Debbie ... well, actually the marshmallow from the top.  We all know food tastes so much better when it comes from someone else's plate ... or directly from the casserole pan!
 Everything was delicious!  Jess out did herself ... and, I did get pictures of Jess, but her eyes were closed in most of them and I fully intend to be invited back next year, so I didn't include any of those in the blog!
 Here is reason why we will probably never have a hammock in our back yard ... because I am not ready to cash in life insurance just yet.
 Torrey showing how it is done!  Thanks Mike and Jess for the funnest and most delicious of days!  

Making of the Mayflower

On the days leading up to Thanksgiving I found this while cruising crafty blogs.  And I knew.  I knew I HAD to make them.  

As we all know I totally embrace my love of procrastination ... which meant the day before Thanksgiving found me making boats.

And, let me just be the first to say ... I was instantly in love.  Because they are darlin'.  Absolutely darlin'.
 Once they were done I filled them with candy corn ... because I happen to know three littles who love candy corn as much as Zack!  But, if I had planned ahead I would have gotten autumn colored M&M's ... but by the time I decided to whip these up, candy corn were all I could find.  Note to self ... procrastination is really not your Best Friend!
And, here they are completed and in their new home ... between snowman guards.  They were loved ... but, I think mostly for the candy corn!

If you are planning to make these, I think it called for so many yards of brown felt ... um, don't go crazy. You don't need that much ... I am now sitting on enough felt to make a fleet of Mayflowers!  Which means if you are related to me and feel you need a Mayflower (or two or three), let me know ... goodness knows I've got the felt!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Freeze Frenzy

My tale begins with the fact that Dean is out of town.

And, right away you know that my tale isn't just a tale.  It is a sad tale.  Because whenever he is out of town something happens.  And, usually that something is terrible.

Tonight would be no exception.

My night started out good ... I watched election returns.  And danced.  And danced.  And danced.  It was a good night in America.

I headed off to bed at 10:30.  Tired would be an understatement.  I got to our bedroom door and stopped ... there was a strange noise.

Um, remember, Dean is out of town.  I knew instantly that whatever was making that noise was not going to be good.

Let's just say that our freezer has an alarm on it.  Let's also just say that said freezer alarm had apparently been going off for awhile.  For quite awhile.

And, I did what I usually do when something bad happens and Dean is out of town.  I called Dean.  He told me he would clean out the freezer when he got home ... on Thursday.

Well, there was a soupy mess of berry juice in the bottom of the freezer that would become a soupy, frozen mess of berry juice if we waited until Thursday.  So, I stopped whining (sort of) and cleaned out the freezer.

I am proud to say I only cried once.  When I threw out the melted container of Blue Bell peppermint ice cream.

There is a happy ending to this story ... Dean doesn't travel again until after Christmas.  Which means all major appliances are safe until then!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted ... Did You?

Torrey and I booked it out of school so that I could vote.  I know I could have voted early ... but, there is just something about voting on the second Tuesday in the month of November.

There was quite the line ... which was frustrating and exciting all rolled into one.  I love seeing people exercising their right to vote ... our country was 80 years old before all men were given the right to vote and 130 years old before women were allowed to vote.  You better believe I am going to make my voice heard.

And, just in case you think your one little vote doesn't matter, remember 210.  210 was the number of votes that decided our president in the 2000 election.  Well, 209 ... because the deciding vote was mine.  All mine.  You are welcome.

On our walk back to the car a woman asked us if we voted.  We said we did.  And then she told me that she just found out today that she is a Republican and that all these years she has been voting wrong.  She said she had to call her niece and tell her she wasn't really a Democrat after all.  HA!

Tonight I am watching to see what our country is going to do ... we are on the verge of taking our country back.  And that is exciting.  A month from now, or a year or two years our country could look completely different ... praying that we return to being a country who is not afraid to rely on God's help to become great.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bieber Fever

Last Monday, Dean and Torrey headed to Los Angeles for an adventure of epic proportions.  Dean had scored tickets for the Justin Bieber concert at Staples center.  There was a convertible involved.  And an In-N-Out burger.  And a trip to see the stars on the sidewalk.

And, I was home.  My choice.  I thought it would be fine.  And then the pictures starting rolling in to my phone.  And all I wanted to be was where they were.  But, you know what?  I wouldn't have gone even now knowing how fantastic their fun was.  Because the best part of the trip was just the two of them ... together.

Oh, but there were pictures ... because if I wasn't going, Dean WAS taking the camera.  And, I was so glad I made him take the good camera!  Let the fun begin ...

Dean couldn't resist a picture of Torrey in the convertible.  They both loved it ... and she is now begging him to get a convertible.  When she got in his car at the airport she said, "Daddy, your car is lame."  Ha!

They watched a TV show being made ... NCIS Los Angeles.  No sign of Chris O'Donnell or L.L. Cool J.  Maybe next time.

Lunch at In-N-Out burger.  They did not become fans.  For the record, they say Five Guys is MUCH better.  

And then they drove to the Griffith Observatory for a view of the Hollywood sign and amazing views of Los Angeles.  

I loved this picture the minute I saw it.  She is fixing her hair.  Her clothes are comfy for an early morning plane ride.  But the smile ... that is the smile I see on her face when she makes it to my classroom at the end of the day.  Happy to see me.  And, that is why this picture will forever make me smile.  Because it is just my Torrey.

Oh, and this one?  It makes me smile, too.  Because he is mine as well.  And, I know how much this trip meant to him.

Our "star" checking out the stars.  Dean said there were soooo many it was hard to find ones that you knew.  

An oldie but a goodie!

And, then it was time to head to ...

Now, let's stop here to say that this was 2 hours BEFORE they opened the doors.  They didn't eat dinner ... because someone was afraid that they would be late.  So, Dean stood outside waiting to get inside and get something for dinner.

Also, when the tickets came in the mail they were accompanied with a parking pass.  Dean made the decision to drive instead of walk.  When they got there, they found out that they didn't have to wait out front with the throngs of screaming girls, but instead could go to VIP doors.  

Dean texted me about 30 minutes before the doors were supposed to open to tell me it was a madhouse out front but they were waiting at their VIP doors with about 15 people.  He was pretty pleased with himself.

Um, the joy didn't last long ...

Can you find Torrey in the throng?  Her hair is pulled back just a little.  This was minutes after some crazy girl in the crowd insisted she saw Justin Bieber inside and a near riot broke out!

But, soon all was right with the world because they were in their seats and dinner was served.  Torrey changed her shirt and texted a message to JB and it flashed up on the screen ... several times.

And then she plopped herself on the ledge and waiting for the show to begin.  Dean had no idea what kind of tickets he had gotten (for free ... remember?) ... but, they were in a suite with 8 other people.  Big comfy chairs.  Some guy coming around with desserts.  Perfect view of the stage.  Dean was in Nirvana.  It made the night even more special.

Torrey texted me this picture.  I texted her back asking if it was a hamster ball.  Um, no.  It was how JB made it to the stage ...

tada!  Let the show begin!

Torrey was already a fan ... but, by the end of the night she had converted her dad too!  He was impressed with how talented he was ... and, perhaps a bit surprised too.  I guess he was more than a pretty face!

I daresay of all the sweet memories Dean and Torrey made, this one will be the one Dean carries in his heart forever ... his girl.  Joy.  Anticipation.  Just the two of them.   

We are painfully aware that there is a clock ticking.  The ticking is getting louder and soon she will be off ... but these moments, these memories seem to slow down the clock just a bit.  And we will take them ... even if they are just for a night!