October 17, 2006
Absent
I just wanted you to know why I'll be absent for a while. After being sick (and then Bookworm being sick, and then last week at fall camp), I have a lot to do with the girls to get caught up on the school year. One of the nice things about homeschooling is that we create our own schedule. Also nice, is that we don't have to stick to our own schedule if things come up. Those things can also be a thorn, since it all piles up and I don't like feeling like we've fallen behind (even though noone is monitoring where we are in the lessons). I posted over at my homeschooling blog.
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So, we are marathon schooling this week and also doing fun things like make pumpkin pies together and having tea parties.
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And next week, we'll be out of town, visiting family before a wedding next weekend.
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So, if I'm not around, don't worry about us. We're just busy. And Happy.
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Until next time, God Bless You.
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October 14, 2006
No News is Good News
I'm choosing to subscribe to the whole idea of "ignorance is bliss". Husband hasn't heard back from the VP, so we are assuming they aren't so anxious to get us in Baltimore. Which is just fine with us.
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We're happy to wait here until something else comes up. And we are hoping that a nasty trick won't be played on us and the next offer will be in someplace like Denver or Phoenix.
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I think under the circumstances (that we could have been moving to a city that we love, just an hour or so away from where we are now, but miscommunication prevented that job from happening for Husband), we are in a decent position for the company to be nice with the next assignment. Still, we know there are no guarantees.
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So, we trust. We trust that God will take care of us and provide for us what we need, no matter where we end up.
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In the meantime, I'm going to go to Sam's for some serious stocking up of my wonderful freezer, that I've missed for years. And maybe next weekend, I will do a month's worth of dinners. :) Just in time to start getting us through the holidays.
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A fully stocked deep freeze is definitely a sign that we're staying. So, I hope in my ignorance, I am not making a huge mistake. (Maybe I'll just get enough to half stock it?)
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Have a blessed weekend!
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October 12, 2006
Help
Aside from the fact I'm not sure anyone will be able to read this, since I am having a hard time with blogger this morning, I have a request....
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Tonight I am hosting a gathering of the homeschooling moms in our group. Last month, it was at another house and she had a cake and raspberries and iced tea to drink. We did a neat little craft. We sat around talking at her kitchen table.
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This time is supposed to be for affirmation and encouragement and almost all the moms have 4+ children (not me!). I'd like to make this evening fun, but I've been coming up empty for a whole month. I'd also like to do something nice for these women who give so much of themselves to their families every day. It's so important! And generous! And I want them to feel appreciated for the hard work they do (no monetary paychecks for an at-home mom, especially a homeschooling mom).
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Any ideas? They have to be simple or not-time-consuming-to-plan, since they will be at my house in less than 9 hours.
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October 11, 2006
Works for Me Wednesday - Trust
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Well, I could start by saying that what doesn't work for me is moving 5 times in 3 1/2 years. But since this column is about what actually works for me, I will try to make a positive spin on this.
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If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you will know that my family has moved 4 times in the last 3 years. One of those times was in-town and self-imposed, since we wanted to be in a house - but it was still a move.
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A few weeks ago, the subject came up of a job in a big city. While I was initially angry that this would happen after we've only been here 3 months, it was a city that is a second home to our family. We knew that after the work of a move was complete, we would not be upset about the move. It was a place where we want to live. It turns out the hiring director dislikes Husband so much that she found someone external for the position. I know this sounds like a bunch of hooey (like, if Husband is really that good, then he would have gotten the job, right? Well, if you talk to anyone else in the corporate office - and practically anywhere else in the company - Husband has a stellar reputation and is known for his work ethic and ability to inspire others to great work. And yes, I'm bragging on him a little, but he deserves it.) Anyway, the powers-that-be did not force the director's hand and Husband didn't get the job that he wanted.
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And two days ago, it was confirmed that his location is for sale. And he found out from someone in another department. And his boss and his boss's boss didn't know his location was for sale already (this was an eventual possibility, it just wasn't supposed to happen this soon). So, lots of people are upset, particularly since they would have forced the director's hand had they known about the for sale sign going up right away.
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Remember back in the late spring when I was freaked out because they wanted Husband to move to Baltimore? But then at the last minute, asked if he'd reconsider here since they found such a "great candidate" for the Baltimore job? Yeah, that "great candidate" was fired a couple weeks ago for being a racist. And now they again think Husband should go to Baltimore.
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And no, I'm not happy about this. Yes, I was able to find positive things about moving to Baltimore in the early summer. And sure those things are still valid, but let's face it. If he really is the right guy, why did they send us here? Why didn't they just have us move to Baltimore in June? Before Husband's grandfather there died... ????
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So, what works for me in this time of uncertainty is praying. In praying, I find a peace that I am not even willingly embracing. In praying, I am reminded that no matter where God leads us, we are going to be great as long as we're together. I know that God has not forsaken us and it's not going to start now. I don't know what His plan is, but I trust that He will take care of us in all of this.
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Praying for trust. That's what works for me.
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For other, more helpful tips, visit Shannon at
Rocks in My Dryer.
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October 05, 2006
I Love Fall
Cooler weather (except today, it was in the 90s here)
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Applesauce cooking in the crockpot
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The Fair
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Mums
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Changing leaves
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The beginning of the holiday season is near and I just can't wait to decorate our house for Christmas
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I'm about half done with holiday shopping, which makes me feel good, but I know if I rest on my laurels, it will be Christmas Eve and I won't be close to finished. :)
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Here's a pic in front of our house.

I am working on the inside and will hopefully finish in the coming weeks and will photograph each room for a photo tour of our cozy home. The mission this month is to finish window treatments for each room. Oy! I better get moving on that. I also have a goal to tackle 5 boxes per week in the garage and determine what's staying and what must go. I've already gotten rid of 2 bookshelves, a cd tower thing, and a mountain of other things we haven't used in ages. I'd like to go through everything and move what's left into the storage closet out back, so we can park our cars in the garage.
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Well, I'm off to clean my room and bathroom. Husband's coming home tomorrow and with Bookworm being sick, I didn't sleep much this week and didn't get done my list. I'd like him to come home and tell a difference from before he left, so I'm off to finish up. Or at least everything but the laundry room. Ask Cara, that room alone will take me all weekend. ;)
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God Bless you.
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October 03, 2006
TAGGED! Twice in One Week
GRUB-OLOGY
What is your salad dressing of choice? Sweet and Sour from Hartville Kitchen
What is your favorite fast food restaurant? Moe's Southwest Grill
What is your favorite sit down restaurant? Absolute favorite? that's hard - The Melting Pot? Stoney River? Brookwood Grill? Ban Thai? Cheesecake Factory? I can't just pick one.
On average, what size tip do you leave at a restaurant? 20%
What food could you eat every day for two weeks and not get sick of? Salad
Name three foods you detest above all others? I've never given it much thought - I don't like anchovies, organs (giblets, etc), or anything too salty
What is your favorite dish to order in a Chinese restaurant? Hunan Chicken
What are your pizza toppings of choice? veggies
What do you like to put on your toast? lemon curd
What is your favorite type of gum? most sugar-free mint gums
TECH-OLOGY
Number of contacts in your cell phone? 54
Number of contacts in your email address book? I'm not even going to count
What is your wallpaper on your computer? Mary holding baby Jesus
What is your screensaver on your computer? My Pictures
Are there naked pictures saved on your computer? not that I know of
How many land line phones do you have in your house? I'm sure there's one or three in a box someplace, but we don't have them plugged in
How many televisions are in your house? 2
What kitchen appliance do you use the least? lately, my bread machine
What is the format of the radio station you listen to the most? Here, rock. In FL, christian. In Atlanta, christian
How many sex toys do you own that require batteries? none
BIOLOGY
What do you consider to be your best physical attribute? My smile
Are you right handed or left handed? Right
Do you like your smile? yes
Have you ever had anything removed from your body? yes, polyps
Would you like to? yes
Do you prefer to read when you go to the bathroom? Only when I'm hiding from my kids (and sitting on the closed lid)
Which of your five senses do you think is keenest? touch
When was the last time you had a cavity? Probably now, I have the softest tooth surfaces, every time I go to the dentist, I have soft spots....
What is the heaviest item you lift regularly? My four-year-old
Have you ever been knocked unconscious? A couple times
MISC-OLOGY
If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die? no
If you could change your first name, what would you change it to? wouldn't change it
How do you express your artistic side? cooking, decorating, making people comfortable, like to scrapbook, but haven't made the time for that in over a year...
What color do you think you look best in? I have a new bright blue top that looks pretty nice
How long do you think you could last in a medium security prison? hopefully I wouldn't be there long, since I'm innocent, I swear! but I'm pretty likeable, so I'd be okay, probably
Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake? huhuh-huhuh, you said "swallow"... huh huh-huh huh
If we weren't bound by society's conventions, do you have a relative you would make a pass at? What an odd question. I do have some hottie cousins, but I don't know that society conventions would prevent me from making a pass - more that I'm married and well, gross - they're family!
How often do you go to church? sometimes once/week, sometimes 2 or 3 or more. Would like to make a habit to go everyday.
Have you ever saved someone's life? no
Has someone ever saved yours? yes, but it was their fault for giving me the meds in the first place that endangered my life. Does that really count?
DARE-OLOGY
For this last section, if you would do it for less or more money, indicate how much.
Would you walk naked for a half mile down a public street for $100,000? In the dark, with no streetlights
Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100? I kiss members of the same sex all the time, so if someone wants to pay me a hundred bucks for it, that'd be cool.
Would you have sex with a member of the same sex for $10,000? no
Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000? I agree with Cara, I would do it for half a million, eh, maybe I'd do it for 200k.... That kinda money would change our lives and get us going in the right direction.
Would you never blog again for $50,000? absolutely
Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000? Heck no
Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000? at once? can I have water too? The check would be written directly to a credit card...
Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000? No
Would you shave your head and get your entire body waxed for $5,000? Sure
Would you give up watching television for a year for $25,000? Absolutely
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October 02, 2006
Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style
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Now that we know we won't be having another marathon move before Christmas this year, I am starting to think of hosting the holiday at our home. Which, of course, makes me think of all the cooking and decor and the baking and cooking. I start to think of the things I make every year and of the things I might make this year, since we hope our parents will all come here for Christmas.
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Another blogger came up with the great idea of sharing our favorite holiday recipes. I am really looking forward to checking out and trying some of the other recipes from the participants over at Overwhelmed with Joy. If you'd like to join in, go on over there and sign up with a link to your blog. Also, if you participate and you're a friend of mine, please leave a comment on my blog, so I can go back and check out your recipes.
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This first recipe is one I've been making for more than 10 years. Our family originally had it when my dad's younger sister brought it to a holiday meal after moving to North Carolina. It has become a staple at every holiday, even though I spend the holidays with a different side of the family. My husband's family has come to expect it at each holiday gathering. It is one of my favorite things and so so simple to make:
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Spoon Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 egg
8 oz sour cream
1 stick butter or margarine, softened
1 can cream-style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
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In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all the ingredients. Pour it into your casserole/souffle dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
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Category: Side Dish
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This next recipe came to me by way of my Grandma, on my stepmother's side. This is another one that has become a favorite at family gatherings. Every time I make this, I remember the holidays where we'd gather in the basement at Grandma and Papa's and eat buffet style in the basement, Papa always cooked the turkey in the oven downstairs. {sigh}
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Cranberry Relish
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8 1/2 oz can crushed pineapple
3 oz cherry jello (sugar free is fine, but regular is better)
small unpeeled orange (quartered, seeded, ground - I use my food processor, but Grandma swears by her salad shooter)
1/2 c. sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 c. ground cranberries (same as orange, though this year I think I will try my Pampered Chef food chopper)
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
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Drain pineapple, reserving syrup. Add water to make 1/2 cup liquid (I have frequently gotten 1/2 c from the pineapple and add no water).
Dissolve jello and sugar in 1 c. boiling water
Add syrup and lemon juice
Chill til partially set
Fold in fruit, celery and nuts
Pour into 5 c. jello mold*
Chill overnight. To serve, run warm water over the outside of the mold to loosen, place lettuce leaves over the jello and your serving plate on top of that, invert entire stack so that the relish is on top of the lettuce.
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Category: Side Dish
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*(I use smaller bowls and make two, since I don't have a jello ring mold. This also allows for "leftovers" to be served just as nicely, especially if your gathering is smaller.)
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Don't forget to head over to Overwhelmed with Joy to check out other great recipes.
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Bad News and Good News
I'll start with the bad, since I like to end on a good note. Husband didn't get the job in Atlanta. Simply, the woman hiring doesn't like him (nor he her) and she chose to hire someone from outside the company, in spite of the fact that it was recommended by her peers and superiors to hire my husband. So, we don't get to move to our beloved city, no settling for many years, and we still have no idea what comes next from where we are now. So, phfbbbbt!
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The good news? We do like it here. We have an incredible house, a great neighborhood, and even better people around us. We don't have to move before Christmas. We love our homeschooling group and our church.... And now we get to enjoy more time here, as we'd originally planned. We also know that God has not forsaken us yet and we don't think He's doing that now.
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Cara said it best when she said "At least now the waiting is over."
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Birthday Extravaganza 2006
My birthday weekend did not quite turn out the way we'd planned.
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Friday night, we made pizzas together and then had a "Princess" cake, complete with one candle and singing from my three favorite people. In those moments as my daughters and husband sang to me in the dark, tears spilled over and I was reminded of how very blessed I am.
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Bookworm was too sick to participate in Smithsonian Day, so there went the day on Saturday. But she wasn't feeling rotten and kept feeling better, so we did go to Atlanta for our birthday dinner date. Friends kept the girls for the evening and she felt well enough that they went bowling after dinner, as originally planned.
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Photobucket - Video and Image HostingHusband and I had a fantastic dinner at one of my all-time favorite restaurants. It was made even better by the fact I had a birthday card from them, gifting my entree. So, we shared a bottle of a wine. It was odd to realize most of the merlots on the menu are ones that have found their way into my wine cabinet over the past few years. I realized just how much I enjoyed this restaurant, that I'm still buying wine that I'd first tried while seated in one of their cozy, deep, dimly-lit booths.
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After dinner and a visit to Husband's former workplace (While there, several folks approached him to say "Hi, boss!" One even told him that if he ever comes back to the Atlanta area, she wants to come work for him. These are the things that make me so proud of him. He hasn't been there for over 2 years, yet people say how much they miss him and enjoyed working for him. And this happens no matter where he goes.). Anyway, after that visit, we headed to the bowling alley to meet up with our friends and children.
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I was so surprised by the state of the bowling alley. It has clearly been a long time since I've been in a bowling alley (once, 8 years ago). The girls had so much fun and Husband even bowled a game. The girls want to go again, so maybe we can wrangle some friends into going sometime.
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We stayed at a hotel overnight since Husband had to be at the airport early to head out of the country for a conference this week. It was too long of a morning for Bookworm and by the time we were about to sing the last song of mass, she was asking to go home to bed. {I guess 9:45 for bed on Saturday and an early rise to get Daddy to the airport, the hour+ car ride, then sunday school and mass was too much for her.} We'll stay in the next couple days to let her fully recoup.
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In short, 31 has brought me a lesson already: a dinner date with a man who will sing a Marilyn Monroe-esque version of "Happy Birthday" to me in a packed restaurant is all it takes to make a great birthday.
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