Monday, December 28, 2009

Manic Monday

Last night I went to bed with an overwhelming sense of panic. A list of 1,000 things ran through my head that I wanted to do before Monday morning, but alas I did not get them done. Nor did I want those things to keep me from my beauty rest. So I closed my eyes and fell promtply into a carb induced coma from everything consumed the previous week.

Now, it's Monday morning and the mental list has returned along with the panic. And the list is even longer and the panic even stronger.

So, I've decided the best thing to do is have one more cup of coffee and go over it mentally one more time before I get up and get started on it.

Off to refill my coffee cup.

Make yours a less manic Monday friends.

Peace out,

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Snow

The blog challenge dates may have officially ended, but I believe I owe at least one more Christmas Song post. Besides, I know the title will catch your eye, Kathy.

If you don't know Kathy. Check her out by here. Besides being a fantastic writer, she has a way of bringing you right into the midst of some rather entertaining stories. I promise you won't be sorry for popping in and visiting her every now and then.

Here is a little teaser for you.  Her most recent release is about her intense dislike for wearing winter coats and the delimna she faces living in Maryland.

We’re snowed in today. Like, 20 inches of snow. It’s lovely being forced inside with your family and not having the option to leave the house for anything. I’m not being sarcastic. I really think it’s been fantastic. The snow is beautiful and as long as I don’t have to touch it, I love it. Which brings me to the point of this post. I’m usually not forced to pull out my coat until January.

I have a personal anti-coat policy. I dislike them.

This is the view from her window this last week. Hellloooo! Who wouldn't have a disdain for coats in weather like that?

To get back to the task at hand, I have to share a song with you that I heard this week. Chris Tomlin instriduced a new artist on his most recent Christmas CD. Audrey Assad has captured beautifully the gentleness of the season in her lyrics to Winter Snow. I couldn't resist sharing them with you. Just click the words Winter Snow and it will take you to her playlist where you can listen.


POST EDIT: I found a video of the song. It's not the best, but it's easier than chasing it down on myspace.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Go Tell It On The Mountain

....Jesus Christ is born!

Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

copied from

Inspiration from this post came from Bebo Norman's version of the song, but I'm leaving you with a different version.

In your spare time, I suggest you check out Bebo's version because it's wonderful and totally different than this one. You can do that at It's a great link to have on your favorites, if you don't already.

Now- Go and tell! That's a directive people.

Happy Telling,

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Making Spirits Bright

Yesterday, my spirits were made bright when I spied an ad tucked nicely in the corner of my facebook page with an advertisement for this.

Many years ago. Long before the movie was made, I read The Time Traveler's Wife and discovered my passion for a new genre of writing. I like to call it fantasy or fairy tale, but I choose not to include it in the category of science fiction. I'll reserve that for those who choose to embark on the adventures of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise crew.

Speaking of adventures in flight, I'm outta here. About to hop on a jet plane and retturn home. Sure wish I had a good read for the flight.

I guess I'll survive with a nap.

Sweet Dreams 'Yall,

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

Your branches green delight us.

This is the story of our Christmas tree. Our Christmas tree that was thoughtfully and carefully selected and set and turned and twisted until it was nestled just right into its new home inside of our home.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree,
How lovely are your branches

This year we opted to retire the artificial giant we have used in the past and replace it with the sweet aroma of a fresh cut tree. Let the trimming of the tree begin.

How many sparkling little white lights can go on one's Christmas tree? I'll tell you this tree is half the size of our old faithful and I used one less string of lights. I lost the exact count of how many are on there, but I'll tell you that you should come armed with a good pair of shades when you enter my house.

Notice the denim knee peeking out in the left corner of this photo. That's the photographer.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Much pleasure dost thou bring me

Oh wait. What's happening here. Mom's doing all of the work and the photographer is relaxing on the sofa. Get to work child 'o mine. Get to work now!

For every year the Christmas tree
Brings to us both joy and glee

Somewhere around string number eight I finally got that boy to work. And work him hard I did.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Much pleasure dost thou bring me

....almost as much as a hard working child

Almost to the fun part. Lights on. Check.

Preliminary clean up done. Check,

If your not familar with this step of the tree deocrating process, you must know it's crucial. Otherwise, tiny little green needles prick the devil out of little bare feet as they tip toe back and forth to hang the ornaments.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Thy candles shine out brightly

Is there anything sweeter?

Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright

Especially knowing he does not have a sticky pine needle crippling him as he walks back and forth to the tree to hang the ornaments one at a time.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Thy candles shine out brightly!

Oh what a sight?! It's my favorite thing to see first thing in the morning. I stumble to the tree and turn the lights on before making my way to the coffee pot. That's a lotta love right there, friends.

And it's the last light I turn off before going to bed at night.

Speaking of bed. I think I hear it calling my name.

'Night all,

The Twelve Days of Christmas and a Little More

HELLO!?!?!? Guess who ran a 5:34 mile today?

Nope. Not this kid who gave me a terrible time during the 5K a few weeks ago. The one who complained all the way except for the few seconds he saw the camera taking his picture. He couldn't have done that. Could he?!

Nope. I'm pretty sure some aliens abducted my child just before the race start today and replaced him with a complete stranger. A stranger who can run a mile in 5:34. Yep. I'm pretty sure that was what happened.

Back to the regularly scheduled blog at hand.....The Twelve Days of Christmas

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart. But, the very next day, you gave it away.

Oh no. I got side tracked. We're not talking about Wham on this post. Do over.

Last Christmas, I spied an interesting Christmas card displayed in the office with all of the other company exchanged hooplah that comes through. By hooplah, I mean all of the best, simply generic, and politically correct, 'Happy Holidays' and 'Wishing you the Best New Year' cards that money can buy.

Typically I pass by the array of cards without a second glance. But, this one was different. The guilded Merry Christmas displayed proudly atop the card caught my eye at once. Beneath were 12 cut out circles and behind each was a pictoral representation of the 12 Days of Christmas.

And on the back of the card, I found a story similar to the following.

The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.

The Christmas song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" may sound silly and contrived to many of us. But it actually had its origins in religious symbolism - and with a serious purpose.

It dates from a time of religious persecution. The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," was written as a kind of secret catechism that could sing in public without fear of arrest - a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact.

The song can be taken at two levels of interpretation - the surface meaning, or the hidden meaning known only to the Christians involved. Each element is a code word for a religious truth.

The "true love" mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The "me" who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the "days" represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.

2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.

3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.

5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.

6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.

7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.

8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.

9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.

10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.

12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.
The song is long. I get that. But, I listen to it differently now. I'll leave you with the best version of the song I could find on YouTube and I'll apologize in advance for what I am about to put you through.

Remember your true love, friends and have a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle All the Way

This Sunday, Griffin, Jori and I will be Jingling All the Way down the streets of downtown Houston. It's the Chevron YMCA annuual Jingle Bell Run and Walk.

We are stoked. Well, I am. But, Griffin- not so much. He will be great though. He's doing the Kid's 1 mile Fun Run. I know he's got it in him and he's been working hard to get ready.

Just a few weeks ago he crossed the finish line of the Katy Turkey Trot 5K and look how excited he was when he made that home stretch.

This run should be quite fun. There will be reindeer antlers, jingle bells, and lots of costumes.

I'm not quite sure how people can gallop down the streets for 5 miles in costumes, but apparently it's a regular part of this event.

How do you think she managed that pink tutu for the entire run? She's a stronger lady than me. That's for sure.

However, I am looking forward to  heading up to the DFW area to dress up with by BFF for The Great Urban Adventure later next year.

We'll look something like this and have the time of our lives! I really can't wait.

Hope you all are having a Jingling kind of weekend.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Joy To The World

Recently I was reading about feelings.Feelings are like our relational compass. Indicators of the direction that our relationships are going. Signals that something is good or something is bad.

Joy is a feeling. It's a gooooood feeling. A reallly good feeling.

That being said, I want to share with you all a few glimpses into a day that filled my heart with joy and my house with laughter, shouting and good food. Incidentally, did you know that nearly every use of the word joy or one of its derivatives in the Bible is used in conjunction with singing, shouting or feasting?

We feasted, shouted, giggled, sang and shared the Joy, Joy, Joy we had deep in our hearts.

Let me show you what I mean.

There's joy in them thar eyes, I tell ya.

Brown-eyed Lacy Lou. She's got it. Joy. And best of all, she shares it. Just look at that grin.

Us girls, we decided to hang out and play a board game and watch some Disney TV.

Because nothing brings joy to your heart quite like the music and dance of Hannah Montanna and the sweet giggles of your opponent failing to get the Clue's worked out just right and knowing your going to whip her tail.

But, those boys. Well, they decided to fill the house with loud shouts of joy and jubilation like "Smoked ya!'" and "Oh Snap!" and "Dude!" and "Imma let you have that one!"

along with deep belly laughs, grunts, and other bodily noises that I won't mention on here. Because they are just gross.

After a little game and song and dance time, us girls headed to the kitchen. A place we love to go.

Don't let these faces fool you. They have not lost their joy. Just perplexed at the fact that I don't just buy cookie dough at the store, but make it.

They are starting to recognize the dough now. Joy at the thought of warm, chocolate cookies starts to enter their little minds and smiles creep across their faces soon.

Or it could be that she has the equivalent of one of her dad's power tools in her hand right there. Well, almost the equivalent. Mines a little old and weak. But, you know what I mean. Using an electric mixer can make you feel powerful and joyful all at the same time.

By the time the cookies went in the oven, it was time for this old lady to find some joy in a little quiet time. What to do? Oh, I know. Banish the kids to the outdoors. Yes!

In my quiet time I cleaned the cookie mess and made a new mess cooking dinner. I find it pure joy to cook and clean. I'm just weird like that.

It wasn't long before the call of electronics lured the kids back inside and my quiet time came to an end. But, dinner was ready. Hip, hip horray for a feast!

Boys. Boys! BOYS!! Griffin?! Ty?! Gabe?! Hey- is anyone listening? ANYONE?!

Dinner is ready PEOPLE! Come to the table. Now.

That did it. The mention of food and their focus of joy in electronics shifted rapidly to the joy that growing pre-teen boys find in food.

Notice the nearly clean plates and empty glasses. Boys are so much better at being adventerous eaters than girls. I speak from personal experience.

Griffin, still hungry? Would you like a little salt and pepper on those fingers? Don't forget we have cookies for dessert.

Not so much on the clean plates here. But, full of joy none the less.

Look at that gopher smile. We have a song that goes with that smile and it goes like this.

We are the gopher-girls.
We really go-for guys.
But, they don't go-for us.
We wonder why?
Phhh-Phhh, Phhh-Phhh
(sound made by using that exact face above)

Guys really won't have any trouble going for these girls one day. Even if they eat like birds. Because they are full of joy and share it freely!

This last Sunday at church, Gary Thomas was in and talked about Pure Pleasure, which happens to be the title of a new book he has out. It was a great message and I can't wait to read the book. What stuck with me most is that sometimes we get so hell-bent (yes, I said that) on filtering our lives as Christians that miss oppurtunities to take pleasure and find joy in our lives.

What pure pleasures have you enjoyed lately? How have you experienced joy in your relationships? Share with me, because I'd really like to hear. It would make my day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

All I Want For Christmas... my fwo fronf feeph. My fwo fronf feeph.....

Really, I need just one. But, I'm putting it off until after Christmas. It's hardly noticable and it's been months since that granola bar got the best of me. Yes, you heard that right. A granola bar and I went to battle and it won. Chipped a chunk off my already partially artificial front tooth. I'm feeling a little vulnerable right now after revealing that. Please be gentle with me.

Back to the topic at hand.

All I want for Christmas is....

1. Nike + iPod because I want to Rock and Run. Doesn't everybody?

2. Empty Bottle Moments because they are my favorite. And if you find a little time to throw in with that, I'd really appreciate it.

3. Road ID because if I was to be flattened out like a pancake by some speed demon car one night when I was out after dark, at least I'd look fashionable. Especially with the green, purple or red band.

4. Dutch Oven and Iron Skillet because no girl's kitchen is complete without them.

5. MK's Bold Berry Mineral Blush because my cheeks have just been sad since I ran out.

6. Chi Jumbo Round Brush because mine broke in two pieces a year ago and we battle every morning. I used to win, but more often than not that dang brush is winning these days.

7. Dainty little earrings just because I love them so. There are many things on this site I love, but I love the idea of adorning my ears with dangling little mother of pearl pieces. It's the simple things, you know? Too bad they wouldn't be in in time for Christmas.

8. Ruffled Slippers because we've had snow already this winter and it's bound to be the coldest winter yet. My toes just want to stay warm. But, looking cute is a bonus.

9. A little pampering for the feet because I can count on two fingers the number of pedicures I've had this year. Some sweet nail tech really has their work cut out for them when I walk through the door next.

10. Movies, movies, movies because a person can never have a large enough collection of shows worthy of replaying over and over.

I'm calling it quits here. Not because I'm out of items on my wish list. Don't we all have a bit of a running list of wants and desires?  But, because I'm ehausted from spending the last two nights staying up late doing domestic chores. Chores I've been putting off since last week until after Griffin went to bed because we were having so much fun going to Christmas parties, concerts, working on a puzzle, cooking together, and just spending some quality time together.

THAT is the number one thing on my list. Making memories with my kiddo this Holiday season. As much as possible, I'm keeping the stress to a minimum. Sometimes that means spending a little more time with him and his infectious smile. Other times, it means taking a break from him to re-group so that I can be in a better place when we do spend quality time together. All you parents of pre-teens know what I'm talking about.

What about you? Tell me what's on your wish list for this season?

Off I go now to dream sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies.

'Night all,

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Apparently there is this annual blog Christmas tradition of challenging bloggers to write posts December 7-20 titled with the name of a song each day. I've heard It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year.
But, here is the deal. We have get one thing straight first. I'm not promising anything. Nope. There is no commitment here. But, I'll o my best to keep up with the others participating in the challenge. Especially since my friend here was the one I heard about the challenge from and she is willing to embark and hasn't posted in 5 months. But, she's been a little busy. I'll forgive her. This time.

On with the challenge.

A snowstorm hit Houston on Friday and the whole city came to a screeching hault.

It was like a white wonderland. Or as close as this part of the South will ever see.

All these cars and me were headed home. Due to the fact that schools and business closed across the city. Weather reports called for 1-4 inches of snow and a night of freezing temperatures.

But the kids were thrilled. Filled with joy. Full of laughter. And wet from head to toe. My laundry this week tripled in size due to the number of times Griffin changed clothes in the span of about 4 hours the snow was available for play.

Lucky for me, I got home just in time to see the blue skies again. But, I'm not complaining. An afternoon off with a fireplace, laughing wet kids running around, and a tasty glass of red wine made for a perfect ending to the week.

I was thrilled the next morning to still find a little of the white stuff hanging around.

Is it too much to ask for two snows in one winter season? I mean, we have now had two in two years. Since it was a balmy, muggy 67 degrees today, I guess it might be pushing it. Just a little.

Hope you all get to enjoy a little (or a lot for you true Northerner's) of snow in your neck of the woods this season.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Dontwannas

I'm coming down with a bad case of the dontwannas. They are coming on because of this.

It may not look like much to you. But there is snow in them there clouds my friends. Little specs of pink mixed in that orange and a whole lotta white and pink coming behind it. Check it out.

Now, all yous guys from them Northern parts known as Canada that might be visiting on this site and think that's nothing more than a drop in the bucket. But, we folks here in Texas. Well, we beg to differ.

Check out some of the excitement going on in town here.

Just this morning I heard on the news that in the history of recorded weather patters, this is the 34th snowfall to ever bless the Houston area! And, this makes two years in a row of snow in December. What's all this noise I keep hearing about Global Warming? Somebody must be confused about something.

For now, I'm stuck indoors. Itchin' to get out and home to take some pictures of Griffin in the snow. Hopefully, it won't all be melted before that happens and I can share some of the joy with you all.

In the mean time my dontwannas are kickin' up a notch. My feet are ancy and I have a hard time sitting in my chair for more than 5 minutes without moving around a little. I'm totally distracted by the nearby window. Tunes of Let It Snow and White Christmas keep playing over and over in my head.

Alright. Enough of the whining. I'm heading back to the land of cubicles and spreadsheets. Hopefully, my dontwannas will subside enough to have a couple of productive hours today.

Have fun friends. Stay safe and warm.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Easy Cheesy

Hellooooo friends.

I've got a tasty treat for you. So tasty in fact, it gets two thumbs up.

Cheesy? Nahh...just wait until you see what's coming up.

Now, this is cheesy. Cheesy, easy, and a crowd pleasing. You just can't go wrong.

Smoked Gouda Sausage Bell Pepper Breakfast Casserole

1/4 to 1/2 loaf of dried french bread
6 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2-1 lb breakfast sausage
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper
1 1/2 cups of grated smoked gouda cheese

Mmm... my mouth is watering already. Let me hurry and tell you how to throw this thing together so we can get on with dinner. Or breakfast. Or lunch. Or brunch. Or just whatever meal works best for you.

Tear up the bread into small pieces and layer in a casserole dish. Brown the sausage, onions and bell pepper. I added the veggies toward the end of the browning process because I like them a little crispier in this dish for the texture. I am a texture girl. Too much mush is not a good thing for me.

Add the sausage and veggies on top of the bread. Mix the remaining ingredients, saving 1/2 cup of cheese to top the dish. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and sausage. Top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes.

One more look. These pictures really don't do it justice. The Gouda makes it mouth watering good. You could use boring old cheddar. And normally, I would. But, I threw my frugal caution to the wind when I was shopping and standing over the cheese case. And I am so thankful that I did. My tastebuds thanked me too.

Be prepared for clean plates and big hugs after this meal.

Who doesn't love breakfast meals? Even Ribbon enjoyed the leftovers.