Sunday, December 27, 2009

it's a chicken Christmas, y'all!

So if you've been in Texas lately, there is something strange in the air this week. We normally do our usual chinese food (okay, not usual) for Christmas Eve dinner after the candlelight service that I so labor over finding (and doing) sitting for. I was looking forward to eating it after driving in the treacherous snowy weather (again strange for Texas) and after begging countless amounts of people to join us ( I guess it is a strange idea). Apparently normal people have places to go on Christmas Eve and family to be with. Well... Anyway. We asked some new friends from church to join us and they were so nice to oblige but the Chinese place lied to me and closed early so we found out once we got there (after driving in the treacherous snow - strange for Texas). We had nowhere to eat on Christmas Eve in the snow at like 7:45pm. I was embarrassed that we had asked these people then we left them without dinner. So, we did what any normal people without food on Christmas Eve would do. We rescheduled our Chinese dinner with friends. Then, we got Church's Chicken.

So, we are driving around DeSoto (many fried chicken places there, by the way) and Wes said, "Hey, lets go look at Christmas lights!". Okay, so we drive around. I figure out pretty quick that it may seem portable but it is not. Drumsticks are messy. I don't currently understand, nor will I ever understand why they give you 3 napkins when you order the family box (it's fried chicken!).

So we retreated (in the snow- strange for Texas mind you). We went home and had a wonderful dinner of Church's Chicken, mac and cheese, fried okra, carrots in a bag and a plate of cookies and candies our friends brought over.

I know, it's pretty fancy. You can't handle it, can you? You just want to reach through that screen and grab it, right? It was very good, really. I hadn't had fried chicken in a very long time. It's nothing like Chinese though...


Nothing says "Merry Christmas!" like Chinese food, except maybe fried chicken.

Are you wondering what our friends did? They had Jack-in-the-Box...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I love shopping at Christmastime. I don't really like to think of myself as that girl who always has the newest and greatest thing from the trendiest shop in town. I don't value my life on racking up large amounts of things. I do like the feel of the mall at Christmas. It seems the way of the mall is dying what with all the strip mall shopping areas and whatnot. I miss the actual mall. It is completely impractical for a mom with 3 kids in a hurry but it is such a wonderful idea. I miss back when Abby was 2 or 3 and I worked at the mall in Plano. Most times on my lunch break I'd just walk around and sniff the Godiva chocolates (someone actually gave me some once- she was my employee and she went to school at Hockaday - she could afford it). I'd look at the large tree and listen to the swanky music playing. I'd go to Aveda and try their holiday scented lotions and scrubs. I'd go to the coffee place and get some fancy $5 coffee and sip it. I kinda miss that. But I am a mom of 3 kids. I live in the suburbs of Dallas. It is a long way to the mall and I have to get a sitter so I can actually shop. I think that this year was my absolute favorite, though. Wes and I argued about how many gifts to get each kid. We argued about how he doesn't need to spend that much money on me (seriously, don't). But ultimately, we did it together. We held hands walking through Target (off the mall, of course) and listened to the peppy new Christmas music there. We talked about how we "know" what our kids want. Maybe some day, a long way away, we'll be walking hand-in-hand at the mall, shopping for grandkid #3 and the young whippersnapper behind the counter will be getting ready for her lunchbreak to go sip coffee. In that case I'll probably give her a $5 bill and tell her to have one for me.

With only six days to go...

I did my Christmas shopping, with less than a week to spare. Luckily, I didn't have to deal with crowds like this. Trying to get out of Walmart was dern close though.
This was probably the most sophisticated approach I've ever taken. First of all, I went with Amy which ensured a logical search path from Target to Justice, etc. Mathematically speaking, it was a depth-first algorithm - making it the "shortest". We only backtracked a few times. It's maddening, but I never seem to find EXACTLY what I want, although I come close in most instances.

My budget was approximately $50 and Amy seemingly spent three times as much (just kidding Pretty). She got me something, but I have no idea what. Of course I was reassured by her assertion that, "It's really nothing special". In which case, I say - anything that writes or can be written on is exciting to me. I've got a very strange attachment to writing utensils.

I can't tell what everybody got, but I will tell you that I did not get Amy 6 forks. It didn't take long for me to see the absurdity of having a set of unmatched silverware. Besides, how exciting could that really be? The lady in the checkout lane tried to hint to me after scanning all the toys...

"Sir, are these your forks?"

I didn't say I was perfect, only getting better. Christmas shopping without kids and with the wife was the best experience of the season. I can't wait to see the happy (or horrified/just kidding) looks.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


I finished all but one class yesterday, it has been a very rewarding finals week for me. School became a surreal experience in light of my *Lord willing* graduation in May. All but one class morphed into an A. You might ask, "Why that one B+?" - because I couldn't tell you exactly how many different subcommittees can be formed from 3 freshmen, 4 sophomores, 6 juniors, and 2 seniors constraint to the following restrictions... and the problem goes on. If you've ever encountered counting problems in math, you know that they are either not as easy as they look and the answer is either 6 or 3,152,449 based on one critical clause or phrase. Yikes. Fortunately, I garnered a great deal of practical knowledge from that class.

Last night I got the "all small persons clear the house so I can make dinner" call from Amy so I took Will and Annabelle outside. Annabelle lasted 3.6 minutes, but Will and I spent about twenty minutes, Will playing outside linebacker with me beating him off the edge every time. My backyard fantasy team is doing well, my Yahoo! fantasy team is 1-11... Will and I saw a pile of dead wood over by the abandoned house and thought one thing in our boy minds - fire. We dragged it up front, both impressively breaking limb/twigs over our knees.

What to kindle the fire with? The contents of my binder. Out of the hundred plus pages of handouts over postmodernism's effect on the modern church and C.S. Lewis' famous trilemma - we soon had a roaring fire going. All the kids had fun crumpling up notes over group theory and algorithms as they tossed them into the inferno. A true academic should have all these items of interest filed away up top anyway.

P.S. We only burned material from this semester - if all my work from the past eight years was burned - the whole trailer would have gone like tinder...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kitchen, it's been rough..

Dear Kitchen,

It's been really hard this week. First the coffee maker dies, now the cheese grater. I am afraid it is too far along in the Christmas shopping season to go and splurge on you to fill your cabinets and drawers with nice, new *preferrably* Kitchenaid appliances and gadgets. Though, I do not believe I will make it without these things for another 16 days until I open new *surprise* things. They say things happen in threes, I can only hope it is not the fridge next because I cannot afford one of those for sure. Kitchen, all will be well soon. I promise.

The one who slaves in your room

On a lighter note, I found some matches of these while cleaning behind Will's crib.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rest In Peace

Dearest Coffee Pot,

I loved you. At the hands of my own flesh and blood you died. Will wanted to "cook" with you and didn't know his own strength. We have had a good, long 4 years with you. You have provided me with much comfort and pleasure in the mornings and, quite often, the afternoons. You matched my kitchen appliances. You were dirty because you were so frequently used. You are dear to my heart. But alas, all good things come to an end some time. I am just thankful I was not here to bear witness to your death. Tomorrow will be the "new normal" and I will go out and purchase a new, probably more expensive coffee maker. Just know that you were loved for the short time that I had you. Rest in peace dear one.

Your Adoring Fan,
The one who uses creamer

Monday, December 7, 2009

so, I am a Christmas Tree skirt snob..

I am a snob about quite a few things but I never thought one could be so particular about a Christmas tree skirt. I have had this old one from who knows when. It's been around probably a lot longer than I have and I love that it reminds me of home and when I was little. I do, however, feel the need to make my own home so I am on a mission to find a nice one. I want very specific colors. No green or gold or red. I want blue and silver. Strange, I know. I may put up with some other colors as long as the others are not dominate. Annabelle and I went shopping Saturday and I can tell that she is going to be the one that enjoys that with me in future years. She helped me decide that I did not like any of the ones they had to offer at any given store.

As far as school goes, we are slowly adding more pages from our books and I have mapped out how many pages we need to do to keep Abby on track. She has gotten so much better at sitting and working quietly. She makes me proud. I am really liking this cheap language arts book I got at Sams Club. I may stick with it next year, who knows! Wes likes it too and he is pretty darn picky being the homeschooler that he is. I think we might be doing some work through the Christmas break as not to get off our groove and we have a long way to go. We started the school year all over again in October so we are a couple months behind. Also, I think we'll be going to DasCHE next year instead of SALT. This is a big deal. I am comfy in my co-op. I have made friends but SALT is moving to Camp El Har and I totally do not want to drive there every week. Oh well. *sigh* I am glad Abby has lots of friends in DasCHE. :-)

Friday, December 4, 2009

frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

I love having a boy. He is so refreshing after having two girls. I love my girls but they are both needy and have to be involved in everything. I like that Will is happy just playing in dirt or water, or whatever. It is nice. And he flashes his smile and everyone talks to him. He gets a lot of attention. I love him.

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails,
that's what little boys are made of.