Friday, December 29, 2006
Perhaps someone will call you and tell you about the plans they are making with someone and you'll flash back to how someone else used to do that and how it lead to them ultimately abandoning you and forcing you to break ties with their friendship and you will suddenly become fully aware of your own insecurities and wonder if you will have to walk the same path with this person. Then it gets akward...the silence crawls in and the night takes over your thoughts, parnoid and alone. You think about it too much. You want to scream and cry.
That's the enemy. That's satan in your head doing his best to make you doubt that you are whole. Are you good enough for them? Will they hurt you? Will they abandon you? Remember what it was like before, he whispers. Take caution and push away he silently urges. But then somewhere in the retreat in your head you can still see the glimpse of reality.
Small but pure the hope of something pure and better can pull you through. Talk it out. Pull yourself towards it with all that is in you. Find strength in it's dim light for the closer you get to the light the smaller the shadows will appear. Don't let it win.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
1. Become more physically active.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
So 2007, hit me with your best shot because after a few days off for the holidays I'm feeling very ready for you.
Remove all signs of Christmas from my house. You see I love Christmas and I normally leave it all over my house in various forms till the first week in January but the Hubby and I are going to South Carolina the first week in January to visit his family so I want it all put away before we come back.
Return, rebuy and respond in thanks. Today is the day I return the things that don't fit (like bras one size to small and pjs that won't fit on round chunky bottom) and I get new bras, better pjs and hopefully some new jeans with my ample bounty of gift cards. Then I send thank you emails. Because I don't have time to send cards this year.
Dishes, floors, cars & clothes. Clean up is my least favorite part of anything so I'll be happy when it's all finally caught back up around here.
Wonder about pee sticks. I thought I wouldn't have time to play with my boy in the rain but between church and family sometimes a little opportunity presents itself and now we get to wonder if it's really working.
Happy Birthday Wife of the Canadian. I need to send a friend some flowers. It's her birthday. Happy Birthday to her.
Lay around in a pile of sloth and gluttony. Last chance to binge eat and lay around in my pjs watching my new DVD's before I start packing for vacation and moving around furniture for my friend Pickles to move in the back bedroom for awhile. Ahhh gluttony and sloth. I heart thee tonight.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
It's over. We made it. We did it. We survived. We still love each other. It was fun. Everyone liked it. I'm relieved. You see, the thing I worry about most at Christmas is that the Hubby and I will turn into those people who fight over something stupid like who has to take out the trash or what color the twinkling lights should be this year. But it didn't happen. And it had lot's of ways to happen. So we're good to go. Would you like a recap?
Friday I got off work early. When I got home BIL and hubby were playing Tekken Tag. Hubby went to work and BIL went home. Batman was still Christmas shopping so he picked me up and we went to Borders, Target, Starbucks, the Movies (to get gift certificates) and then to pick up dinner. Then BIL and Batman brought over all their presents and I wrapped and I wrapped and then Pickles came over and there was WWE watching and napping on the couch. Then we watched the Full House season she got for Christmas. We stayed up late. Everyone went home.
Saturday we got up late. There was Christmas prep to be done. House stuff to clean. Tables to pick up and set up in the livingroom. Then BIL and Hubby and George played games for a long long time. Then SIL (BIL's wife) came over with the Monkey Baby (otherwise known as cutest nephew ever) and we put him to bed and played a few rounds of the card game Munchkin. We stayed up late, opened our Christmas presents. It was good. Real good.
Sunday was Christmas eve service at our church. BIL, SIL, Mom2 (Hubby's mom), SIL2 (Hubby's other sister), Pickles, The Monkey Baby and the Frog Baby (otherwise known as the neice who just learned to hold her head up) all went together. Then Hubby and I went to Perko's for Breakfast. We came home did some more prep stuff. Ran by starbucks to get a coffee and then went to Mom2's to spend Christmas eve with the Inlaws (mentioned above plus 2 more people). There was food. There were gifts. Babies cried. People laughed. It was good. Real good. We went home early (10ish) because I needed to prepare for Monday.
Monday was MERRY CHRISTMAS! I got up at 7:30 made a turkey and all the fixings and people came over starting at about noon. We ate at 2 right on time. Some more gifts were exchanged and then people hung out most of the day. We took down the tables and put back the couch. Around 6:30 we played some board games like Mad Gabs and Trivial Pursuit 90's. It was good. Real good.
We went to bed with all the love in our hearts, joy in our souls and tired feet. It was good. Real good.
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
2. My favorite Christmas ornament used to be my Grinch ornament but this year I got an Our First Christmas Ornament that knocked it out of first place.
3. The only time I've ever tried to snow board I broke my tailbone so instead I love to go to the snow and have a snowball fight while everyone else is speeding down the slopes.
4. My favorite Christmas song is "Baby It's Cold Outside" but my favorite Christmas Carol is "O Holy Night"
5. I used to make my own hot chocolate and marshmallows for Christmas gifts to other people, the year I switched to store bought gifts no one noticed...5 years later people started asking about it.
6. I have a really hard time making my Christmas list now that I am Christian because I feel very guilty about telling people how to show their love for me. This means that usually I like the presents that I get that aren't on my list MUCH more than the one's I've asked for.
7. I bought Christmas stockings this year for Children I do not have yet so that they will match the set that I got for myself and the Hubby
8. I usually buy my Christmas tree right after Thanksgiving. This year it was too close to the heating vent and we had to replace it last week.
9. I want a puppy from Santa Claus but I can't have one because I live in a rental.
10. My least favorite part of Christmas dinner prep is peeling things. Usually I try to get someone else to do that part.
11. My favorite thing at Christmas dinner is the Cranberry Relish that my Aunt Penny taught me to make when I was 11.
12. One year I got more presents from my extended family than my parents could fit in the car. I decided that year that when I grew up I'd limit my kids to 3 presents from me. I was 12.
13. This is my first Thursday Thirteen. I'm super excited about it.
Links to other Thursday Thirteens!1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
See my traditional New Years Resolution used to be things like lose weight, find the perfect guy, pay off all my bills. Notice anything strange about that list? Like the fact that one of them is something you have no control over and the other two are things that require a long term commitment and plan. Yep- destined failure.
Last year, I had made a 6 month pact with myself not to do several things, or to work on several things. It was awesome. Knowing that I could always stop at the end of the 6th month mark helped me a lot. I actually successfully did most of the things on the list. Being as the list was still a work in progress when New Year came around I didn't make a resolution. I already had a list of over 20 things.
Thus my new tradition. The 6th month bargain with myself. I just recently started thinking of another list of 20 things that would make me a better, healthier, happier, closer to God sort of person. It's not done yet...a work in progress and I figure this time I'll actual start on Jan 1. Although I might make it my first Thursday Thirteen tomorrow... just for giggles.
How many times do you have to do something before it's a tradition? I've never missed a Christmas parade in my home town and it's been 27 years but this second year with "The List" seems like a much bigger deal. Keep checking back in and I promise to put up my list when it's done.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This weekend I spent in a different kind of place. My little heaven on earth. My solitude got a reprieve in the form of some of our friends G & J. No not Gin and Juice. People. I'll call one Batman and the other one Pickles. So Batman and Pickles spent the weekend. I laughed so hard that I cried. I loved it.
Pickles brings out the best in me. She makes me silly. She makes me love well. She makes me play air piano while Batman plays air guitar and my husband plays air drums and she dances like a ballerina the whole time to the Trans Siberian Orchestra. She catchs me off guard and she makes me feel that it's ok to be a dork. She's aDORKable. And I heart her.
Batman is my hero in the shadows. The kind of guy that makes me proud. I'm proud to be friends with someone who is so selfless in his ability to help others. He is the hero of friendship. He moves heavy objects without so much as a whimper of complaint. He drives to the far ends of the earth to save you from the things that hide under the bed at night. He has a baseball bat and he's willing to use it. But when he doesn't have on his hero outfit he's just a guy, a video game playing, board game competing hell of a great guy.
Combine those two great people with the Hubby. That man that makes my soul feel like it doesn't need to search. The man who's willing to build furniture with a moments notice and move every shelf in the house so that there is room for my whimsical love of redecorating the room...again. The boy who stood with me in the rain turned into such a brilliant man. A man who would let someone move in to feel safe one moment and who would do the dance from Grease lightening to make them laugh a second later.
It was an awesome weekend. It was a brilliant show of laughter, life and love. And there I was... a part of it but not responsible for it. It was beautiful.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
My nephew who had been here the night before and my neice who came for awhile and then went to Grandma's house both got their fair share of time as the center of attention. Their childhood is very similar to mine in that every aunt and uncle is VERY involved with them and they get A LOT of attention. Which is good. Because we're learning to hold up heads and to crawl now but later in life when the lessons get harder they will already have that foundation of trust.
So I'm done for a little over a week. Then it will be Christmas day and I'll be cooking again. I love making ham so I'm excited about that. There will also be turkey, two kinds of stuffing, 3 kinds of veggies and some deviled eggs and home made rolls/bread. I heart food. I can't wait.
All the food around here has me thinking about New Year resolutions. Have you thought about yours yet?
Friday, December 15, 2006
Friday Fab- This week I was bless need with a lot of time with my neice and nephew. I'm watching my nephew (otherwise known as the cutest baby ever) again tonight. Overnight. It should be a blast. He's so stinking cute. He's starting to crawl. It's adorable.
Friday Flop- Work this week was a pain in the neck. Especially Tuesday when I had to drive to at training in the rain. That was totally not worth it.
Friday Fact-"An apple, potato, and onion all taste the same if you eat them with your nose plugged. " I found a site this week which gives you random facts. That was one of them. I've been amusing myself all week with things like "45.2% of people pee in the shower. " and "In Holland, you can be fined for not using a shopping basket at a grocery store! "
My hubby won’t play games of backgammon with me anymore. When I was young my parents played backgammon almost every night while they watched TV. I got really good at it. He hasn’t won a game. He hasn’t even gotten close. So he quit. I’m rather smug about it.
I love to cook and I’m good at it. I read cookbooks like novels, front cover to back page. I combine things from multiple recipes to make my own when I’m bored and the budget has groove room. If I’m freaked out about something, I usually cook.
I was born without an appendix. It’s just not there. When I was in high school I had to have some medical testing done. They thought it had ruptured. Upon closer investigation it was determined that I never had one.
I have a Southern accent when I’ve had too much to drink or when I need to butter someone up to get something free or sometimes just when I am really relaxed. My grandmother and I spent a lot of time together when I was learning to talk and it’s very natural for me to slip into her southern accent even though I was born and raised in California. It confuses people often and they ask where I am from.
Things I want to do before I die (in random order):
Make a difference in the life of a child.
Travel the world with my husband.
Master the bane art of baking.
Pay off all my debt and own my own home.
Become a published author.
Things I cannot do:
Make Cornbread (it’s a long story).
Teleport…despite popular belief I don’t splice either.
Not plan. I can’t just do something. I need a plan.
Watch sitcom television.
Things I can do:
Multi-task while entertaining small children.
Cook for 50 people without breaking a sweat.
My job extremely well.
Talk to just about anyone regarding just about anything and have them enjoy it.
Things I love about my Husband:
His kindness towards others.
His competitive nature.
His patience and laid back attitude.
His love of his family, especially when he’s playing with his niece and nephew.
Things I say most often:
I love you.
Sarah knock it off!! (that’s my cat)
thingy… as in that thingy over there on top of the thingy that makes our thingy change the channels.
Movies I love:
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The Harry Potter Movies
Thursday, December 14, 2006
For me that sometimes is Hannah. Hannah was barren. She prayed to the Lord and the Lord after many, MANY, many years made Hannah a mother to the prophet Samuel. When her child was born Hannah promised to raise him to rejoice in the Lord and she cried out in thanks and rejoicing...
1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance."
Hannah had been criticized by her family, she had be criticized by her friends and she had been criticized by her community for inability to have a baby. In the bible Hannah got snide comments from people showing her just how low they thought she was because she could not concieve. I wonder sometimes how much Hannah would have rejoiced if the attacks she felt weren't so obvious. I wonder if she would have rejoiced as loud.
But I know the answer. I can relate. I'm less than 3 months into my own fertility battle and I know exactly how much Hannah is longing for a baby of her own. I can feel in my heart how even the smallest non-caring comment can rattle a person down to the depth of their being. I can understand how sometimes her faith must have seemed unstable and her will to want seemed to push her will to follow God.
I can hear the things not written in this bible passage. I can hear the voices in her head that tell her to do whatever it takes battling with the voices that tell her to trust in the Lord and follow his will. I can feel the tears that she tries to hide everytime she thinks it's time for a baby and it's not. I can understand that anxiety that comes with knowing that your husband is there for you but that he can't feel what your feeling. And I wonder... will others hear my voice when I rejoice or will they hear all the things I was too weak to admit before.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sometime after the origin of the Santa gifts becomes less magical and after you realize someone has to do the dishes there are a few years of akward familiarness. The few years when you are too old to see the glitter on the fireplace as enchanting and too young to be a slave to commercialism and the demands of others.
Later when you realize that it's your year to make the turkey or your turn to stay up till 2 am to help an Elf make a bicycle. Suddenly, it's not so magical. Christmas becomes work.
Shopping used to be fun. Then you grow up and you see long lines, high prices, an ever growing list of children and in-laws and that overwhelming feeling that you will never be done wrapping. Too much paper, not enough scotch tape and at least one misguided swear word later you start to promise yourself that next year will be different. Next year you will not go into debt, next year you will do more for others in need. Next year you won't be miserable. By next year... you forget.
Cooking christmas cookies and helping grandma make a pie used to be exciting and involked the passion of the season. By the time you're in your teens the coolness of frosting bags and little sprinkles is replaced by that feeling that there are better things that could be done with your time. As an adult you reinstate that same cookie cutter and recipe thinking that the traditions of christmas will be filled with joy again if only you could get some caroles on and get the kids to paint the perfect snowflake or build an adorable gingerbread house.
Christmas day itself has been moved from whimsical displays of love and kindness to a day filled with grunting as you lug around a 20 pound bird filled with 10 pounds of stuffing and wonder why everyone vanishes when it's time to peel 10 pounds of potatos and 5 pounds of carrots. Christmas is work. You sweat and you labor and you wish it was someone else's job.
The traditions of Christmas evolve from this. The things we tell ourselves MUST be done. The things we think will make Christmas magical for our children and enjoyable for our relatives are the things that make us...and usually them... miserable.
A few years ago I decided to take a new approach to Christmas. After the passing away of all the family matriarchs I found a lot of freedom in not being told what to do. Not that I don't miss them, I really really miss them. But I started to Pollyanna effect the holidays. Examples...
Christmas trees and lights. I love to decorate but my childhood was filled with "NO the Nativity HAS to go on the MANTEL" memories. So when I decorate now I put whatever, where-ever. People love it. My house is welcoming and filled with the decorations of the season. But it isn't overwhelming. It isn't everywhere. Maybe just a little bit in each room. And it packs down into two nice little tubs in the shed. I don't dread putting it up because I can get it all done in less than a day and I don't dread pulling it down because I know how fast it went up and things always come down easier than they go up.
Stuff the Stockings & Gifts Galore. I replaced this practice with a simple rule. Two gifts per person. One nice. One small. MAXIMUM. Sometimes you only get one gift. Hey I don't have a quota. The only exception is the Hubby. He and I have a dollar limit. And as for the stockings. Two or three small things and a few pieces of candy is more than enough guilty workout motivation from Santa. When I have kids...Santa will be bringing one unwrapped toy to go with that stocking. Period. I wrap as I buy too. I buy wrapping paper on the first trip and NOTHING gets stored in the house without being wrapped. I also give people gifts they could use before Christmas. Like toddler toys, or SPA gift certificates because there is something to be said for giving people the option to be happy throughout the month of December with your gift.
I replaced Twas the Night Before Christmas with the Book of Luke last year. It helps us keep our focus. I don't put out the Nativity till the night before Christmas because Mary and Joseph did NOT spend all of December praying in the hay. It also makes the Nativity more of a center piece for the kids who come over. It's not drowned out by the tree. It's new. It's important.
Baking is my bane. I'm not a great baker. I used to cater. I can cook you every meal you can imagine but I just don't like to bake. I don't get joy from being covered in flour. I don't feel excited when I give or get a box of cookies. I just don't get it. If you get it...that's great...to each their own... but I don't get it. So I bake the things I like to eat. I make one batch each of fudge, peanut butter fudge and my few favorite types of cookies. Then I put them on the table and people eat them. I don't wrap them in pretty things, I don't decorate them. They are edible. I consume them.
Parties are my thing. I don't stress out. I like to plan. I LOVE to cook. I love themes. I also like things that don't require much work. I have one christmas party every year. I ask people to come in their pjs. I don't allow cameras. I call it the Back in the Day Party. I make things we like to eat when we are five (mac & cheese, hot dogs, pizza bites, tater tots etc) and we all watch Christmas movies and sometimes we play board games. I make people bring 1 dozen cookies or a dessert of their choice. Store bought is ok. That way I don't have to bake and they don't have to try very hard. The party is all day long. It is come and go as you please. People love it. You can bring your kids. It's SUPER easy!!
I stopped going to Christmas pagents, festivals and parties unless I actually want to go to them. You would be amazed at how much more I like the holidays now that I'm not forced to watch other people's kids do boring things or sit through yet another couples dinner party. Granted once I have kids of my own I'll be back in the kids event circle but for now I'm taking a vacation.
I also stopped doing Christmas cards. Instead I call people. All 40 of them. I call them and talk to them for 15-20 minutes each over the month of December. Then I put the $40.00 bucks I would have spent on cards in the offering plate at church. The thing is, most of the people who get a Christmas card I see ALL THE TIME. I mean daily at work, once a week at church, once a month at a family gather, randomly for friends. They don't need a newsletter and I can give them something better than a personalized sentence in the bottom of a photo card. I can give them a moment of my time to talk, laugh or vent.
In fact the only Christmas tradition I'm holding on to is Christmas dinner. My family was very interactive when I was little. We had advent calendars, big decorations, huge parties and large piles of presents. But the thing I cherished most was Christmas dinner. I love the food. I love the stories and I love fact that people are all together. I do it a little differently every year. But the basics stay the same. Everyone comes, everyone laughs, everyone eats and everyone loves. Turkey is optional, side dishes sometimes flop, once someone even had too much to drink and passed out before the food was served. But you can't go wrong with the tradition of being a family. After all, wasn't that what the very first moment of the very first Christmas was about?
Luke 2:6-7 "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and 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."
So I want to know what your Christmas Traditions are. What brings your family joy during this time of year? Tell me in the comments or put a link to your blog and I'll come read them. What traditions have you stopped doing, which ones do you cherish, what are you hoping to add to the line up.... what parts of Christmas matter most to you?
1.I got up to find a rain storm would make my hour and a half drive to training into what I thought would be a two and a half hour drive.
2.Turns out it was more like 3 and I was late. I passed 3 accidents on the way to the mtg place.
3. I didn't have a pepsi all day and I didn't get to eat lunch because I was trying to make up for the fact that I was running late by mingling with big wigs during my lunch break.
4. The hormone pills finally managed to make a menstrual cycle and I spent 6 hours in one day in a car and another 6 sitting in a class.
5. I almost ran out of gas on the way home,but I had no cash so I had to go home and then back to the gas station.
6. There was nothing to eat for dinner TV.
7. The christmas tree was placed too close to the heating vent and is now VERY dry. Thanks to several days at 72 degrees while we watched babies. Now we'll be taking the whole tree down this week and then putting up a new one before our party on Saturday and while watching my nephew overnight for the first time.
8. None of the above. Joy can not be stolen. It is something you give yourself or you take away from yourself...although all these things did happen.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Ahh the joy of guilt...err... I mean candies. So far I've made fudge, peppermint bark, peanut butter fudge, cowboy cookies, rum balls and peanut butter kiss cookies.
Still on the list...sugar cookies, a pie for Christmas and possibly some chocolate chip cookies.
Yum...the joy of fudge...
We had already decided not to go to church this Sunday. It was kids christmas chior day and our normal seats at the front of the service at Monte Vista Chapel would be crammed with parents, grandparents and aunts baring camcorders, digital cameras and usually at least one or two really cute babies in christmas clothing cramming towards the front to catch little Jenny or Jimmy singing or waving a banner. Yeah. Not it. I'm a little hormonal from the pills they are giving me for my ovaries and I was bound to cry... a lot... and that's not cool. Also there is some sort of desire not to be squished in a pew with Aunt Betty and her mammoth VCR recorder. So... we slept in. Most of the day was uneventful. We watched a Christmas movie, I made a country breakfast, and Hubby's mom stopped by with his sister and the baby to drop off one of my Christmas presents so I could use it this weekend. Hubby raked the leaves and cleaned out the storage shed. I did a lot of dishes, some laundry and a little bit of kitchen cleanup. I ran to the store, ran into someone I know and had a nice visit. That was about it.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Friday Fab- I think the fab thing for this week would be the Katina's concert that the Hubby and I went to with J and some friends from work on Monday night. For the Hubby I'm sure his fab was the next night when he went to the Days of Reckoning Tour with his brother but I really enjoyed the Christmas songs and getting to hang out with one of my girlfriends.
Friday Flop- Last night was a total flop. My BFF was supposed to drop off a bunch of baby furniture and she never showed up and she didn't return my calls and it was much drama in many directions. The part that was a flop though was the part where I worried about her all night long. I think she's not in the best relationship and when she didn't show up I spent the night contemplating showing up on her steps.
Friday Fact- 239 degrees is a far cry different than 240 degrees when you are making pinoche Christmas candy. That one degree will keep your candy from getting hard. It was bruttly unedible and I will be throwing it away tonight and trying again. Oh well. No harm...no foul.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
A boisterous christmas is far preferable to a
three or person contemplation of the nativity.
How do you feel about that statement?
For me there is a great deal of joy in watching a person really rock the house. When the crowd is into to it and the band is loving what they do I feel a great amount of happiness. I think that Joy comes from the realization that Lord wants us to have fellowship and to express our joy in groups.
I wanted to be a rocker girl but instead my audience is a bunch of two and three year olds. Every Wednesday night I work the baby nursery at my church I try to at least once get all the kids to sing a song together. I rock the house with my ring around the rosey. We bust a move to the hokey pokey. The crowd eats it up. And there in that moment of pure joy we are celebrating the life the Lord gave us. One where we have each other...and sometimes a great solo.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
As a child I feared the water. I remember at some point being thrown into my Uncle K's pool and freaking out because I thought there were sharks. After that water was horrible. I liked the bath tub but other than that I was content to playing in the sprinkler all summer. One year my mom decided to help me kick the fear addiction. Swimming lessons terrified me and thrilled me all at the same time. Weeks later I would make my way all the way around my mom's friends pool with my hands on the edge and swim under water holding my breath. It was a complete moment of freedom.
Now 20 or more years later I can recall many many summers in my small home town swimming at the local community pool blocks from my house which my mother let me walk to before it opened and at which I stayed every day with my friends until it was closed. Every. Single.Day. I was surrounded by laughter, confidence and the smell of banana boat. My hot pink bathing suit and my 3 month in the sun tan both faded before Sept. every year. But I remember even now when I jump into a pool that first moment when fear turned into absolute excitement. I remember the joy of knowing it would be ok.
Monday, December 04, 2006
First off, you don’t feel crazy (granted I still feel very hormonal because I’m being shot full of hormones) but I’m not crazy there really is something wrong with my ovaries that can be quantified, qualified and filed into a nice little category in column B of the medical chart in my Dr’s office.
Secondly, once you have something on your chart you can start fixing it. I’m a fan of checklists so we’re approaching this with a check list mentality.
Thirdly, once you know what you’re up against you can play beat the clock with an educated line up.
It’s all code green over here in our household.
So at this point the game plan looks like this. I’ll be taking some nice hormone pills (sorry about the mood swings- in advance- just in case). I’ll be getting a sonogram to officially rule out cancer, ovarian cysts (which are not part of this version of PCOS- but I’ve had them before so we want to make sure I don’t have another one in the way) and other ugly internal yuckies (yes that’s a technical term).
Once that’s done we’re going to give a run at making a baby with some hormone boosters on the side. Assuming that works after I have a baby I’ll be put on a metabolism booster and a little hormone pill to keep things flowing so we can try to have one (or more) additional babies before the buzzer goes off signaling the end of the game.
Of course there is always plan B. Adoption. Enough said.
So the prayer request is as always…babies, patience and God’s will…in whatever form. And praise in that we seem to be moving along quickly, clearly and with much hope in our hearts. And all my thanks to everyone who’s been praying for us and who have been so incredibly supportive through all of this.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
So Hubby pointed out tonight in a moment of frustration that lately the whims of others are starting to make our life inconvenient. People call us up and cry and we change our schedule around and they change their minds. They make plans with us to go somewhere and they cancel at the last minute or like tonight we agree to do something that takes a decent amount of prep, we call and confirm and then after they don't show we call to find out we'll be rescheduling for later this week. Pisser!
I find myself occassionally wanting to yell "hey" not in that "how you doin'" sort of way but in that "who the heck do you think you are sort of way." Put mildly... I am tired of bending over backwards only to get spanked.
Our friends have decided it's exceptable to just say "oh your in our prayers" and then never call, never ask, never put forth any effort. If we bring something up "oh it's in our prayers" if not...nothing. Silence... silence on the other end of the email, silence in my non-ringing phone. I put my whole heart in they pull my whole soul out I put my prayers all in and it's shaken all about they do the hokey pokey and they turn me all around. That's not what it's all about.
See I'm frustrated. I suppose that's a good thing. I'm frustrated that people are settling for stagnent Christianity. Myself included. I'm frustrated that you think that prayer alone is all God asks of you. God asks of your time, your effort, your love AND your prayer. People wonder why when someone is hurt they shut down...they are worried that in addition to their hurt they are about to get to do someone else's hokey pokey.
Hubby and I are a different kind of Christian, maybe it's not the right kind but we think it is. He is the councilor, people call us when they have drama and he is stable and plans with you on how to make it better. I'm more the planner type, you call me with your drama and I'll help you plan just about anything, party for 200 I can do that, a way to leave your abusive boyfriend, I can plan that. But moreso, we are there. We are not some whimsical fly by night friend. We are there. We are there the week you leave the guy that cheats on you, we are there when you have surgery and we are there when you need to move. What you love about us...our willingness to help is turning into you mistaking our kindness for stupidity. But what is stupid is us expecting more... it's dangerous thing...
You put your expectations in you pull your expectations out you put your intentions in and you shake your life about you do the hokey pokey and the world still turns around...that's what it's all about...
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Yesterday was a big Drs appt day. I got a new pill. It makes me hormonal, weepy and sleepy. I get to take it for 7 days and then hypothetically I'll get a menstrual cycle and can start trying to get knocked up again. Turns out I also learned I might have a metabolic disorder which would explain how I can eat well and still gain weight in the summer when I'm really active. Good to know. We'll worry about that later. After we worry about the pitter patter of little feet... unless of course it could help my odds of getting to the little feet.
Tomorrow J is going to church with us. That's exciting. Last night was the Christmas parade in our little town. We went with a group of family and friends. It was awesome. Afterwards we went to dinner and to see the new 007 movie. It's a good thing that was yesterday. By today my Drs appt had caught up with me and all I managed to do was grocery shopping, that last Christmas gift and laying around on the couch crying at the TV and complaining about how sensitive my nipples are all the sudden.
This next week is CHAOS. Monday night we'll be going to a Katina's Concert with some people from work. Tuesday Hubby is going to the Days of Reckoning Tour with his brother (one of their Christmas gifts). Wednesday I'm working the baby nursery at church. Thursday we crash from exhaustion. Friday we have plans with my mother in law (well I do... Hubby gets to come home and take a nap). Saturday we'll probably do something at the house with friends and Sunday is the kids Christmas choir performance at church.
I also have 3 seperate business meetings this next week thanks to my new job title. On the upside I'm going to have plenty of things to keep my mind off other things. Like nipples. Yep too busy to think about nipples.
Friday, December 01, 2006
Judy is a great speaker. I'll put a link up here later to her site Soul to Sole or Sole to Soul. I can't remember what it's called...but whatever it's called I'll get you a link in the next 24 hours.
Today is my drs appt. The much awaited Drs appt where he takes a look at my one napping ovary and it's friend the ovary in a comma and decides what if anything can be done now. I woke up this morning and I didn't hit snooze three times. In fact I didn't do anything like I normally do it. Today I woke up expecting God with expecting a result. I don't know what will happen today at 10:30 but I expect that whatever it is it will be part of some greater moment in time that God will reveal later.
I'll keep you posted.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
"One night before bed when I was little I got down on the wooden floors to say my bedtime prayers and I thanked the Lord for all the things that I wasn't. I thanked him that I wasn't mean like my brother. I thanked him that I wasn't vain like my sister. I thanked him that I wasn't judgmental like my father. I thanked him that I wasn't forgetful about thanking him like my mother and then right in front of my Nana (my grandmother's grandmother) I thanked him that I wasn't old like my Nana. Then Nana got down on her knees and prayed. She prayed to the Lord and told him that she was old, tired, and undeserving of his love and she thanked him for his grace in patience in being a better person. Then she listed off the people she loved one by one and asked the Lord to protect over them because they were trying. That night in bed I had a horrible dream. I dreamt that my Nana and I stood at the pearly gates and Peter wouldn't let me in. Peter told me that I was more mean than my brother because I didn't pray for his salvation. I was more vain than my sister because I thought I was too good for her love. I was more judgmental than my father because I thought God didn't love him the way he was. I was more forgetful than my mother because I had forgotten what to pray for. Then Peter looked at my Nana and said you... you are old and tired and the Lord has granted you peace, love and rest. Enter this gate. My grandmother then said in her dream she stood on the side of the river in Tahlequah and watched her Grandmother sink into the water. When she awoke everyone was in the room she shared with Nana. Nana had died in her sleep. My grandmother said Nana had a big smile on her face and she could tell she was SOOOO happy. The next night she knew what she had to do to get to see Nana again in heaven. She got down on her knees and she prayed for everyone else. Because that's the only way that God really hears our prayers...when we do them with the best of intentions."
My grandmother prayed every night that way till she died peacefully in her sleep in her mid 60's with a big smile on her face. When someone talked with her about dying she would tell them that fearing dying is like fearing breathing...if you're thinking about it you're doing it wrong and it will always catch up with you in one way or another. She taught us to pray that way.
Tonight is the eve of December. It's the first night for most people who believe in a "holiday season". Tonight is the night before the lights come on in Christmas tree lane, the carols start in the church services and the nativity scenes start to tell their stories.
Tonight is a good night to remember that the Lord wants us to humble before him and love one another. So tonight when you say your prayers and before that when you talk at the dinner table, tonight I want you to take the time to acknowledge what good is found in others, what humbling you need to find in yourself and to pray for grace not because you think you deserve it (because we all know you don't...and neither do I) but because it's time...
After the great advice from a few of my readers and a few of my friends I confronted her yesterday with the actual parameters of work ethics. It’s ok not to know something but it’s not ok to not learn it. It’s ok to need help, it’s not ok not to take notes and ask for the same help repeatedly.
Today I emailed my boss. He told me to have patience. Luckily he and I have the same lack of patience when it comes to this sort of thing so he said if he starts to notice it he’ll start bringing it up too. I’m sure that won’t take long. He pointed out that his mother had 15 book keeping customers but was pretty much computer illiterate except for the program she did her book keeping in. I’m sure that’s fine if you are full time book keeper for a place that knew that when they hired you but I’m trying to picture his mother telling someone she “opps must have not written that down” for the 3rd time in the same day.
I’m pretty sure that’s bad business. On the upside I’ve noticed that her accounting knowledge is pretty high even though her confidence is pretty low about using it. We’ll be working on that. Other than driving me crazy she seems to work well with the rest of the administrative team. So perhaps I need to pray for more patience.
My grandmother used to swear that if you pray for patience the only way that God can give you more compassion and patience is to test you. Repeatedly. I’m not sure I’m up for that. I recently prayed for a reprieve from stagnant Christianity and I faced infertility, financial strapping and family drama all in the same day. The next day I got a totally different job. The day after that my husband’s schedule went all wonky and I got a new hire. I’m terrified to pray for patience… least my testing get twice as hard and my life twice as dramatic.
Oh and for those of you who want to know how the hormonal front is going. I haven’t had a period in 2 months. I’m pretty sure I spent $100 peeing on sticks though. Nothing. I’m officially broken. I have an appointment tomorrow for a feminine lube and filter change. Perhaps I’ll know more then.
Tonight my friend J and I are going to an event at my church (link in the sidebar) to see Judy Howard Peterson the woman who walked the entire length of America doing God’s will. That should be fun and if it’s not afterwards we’ll take a cruise down Christmas tree lane and have cocoa. Nothing beats lights and cocoa when you’re bored in December…what it’s not December?? Then why is my car frosty every morning when I head to work? Oh…one more day… fine we won’t look at the lights till tomorrow.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Every Christian is on the same basic path. The path to take the circumstances they are in and use them to love people well, to love God with all their hearts, to share his word with all the kingdoms and all the tribes on earth and to strive to be more Christ-like. This passage is a good one for those of us who need a two second reminder every once and awhile that you have to strive to be more like Christ.
Be holy because I am holy. It’s a good line. Not because it tells us how to be. Not because we can actually become holy. We are not holy by nature and although we try we will never be as holy as God. Be holy because I am holy is the biblical equivalent of “because I said so” or “because I’m your mother that’s why”. Be holy because I am holy.
God must have known we’d grow into a world of symantics lovers and grammar gurus. God preceded his “because I said so” passage with the facts. Plan and simple facts. Just a paragraph long, he gives us the advice any good parent would give a child going out into the world.
Prepare your mind for action. The lord put it there for us in a way very similar to our own parents. He wants us to be smart. Stay in school. Learn and grow. Have logic, seek to be wise and be prepared to use those skills.
Be self controlled. Throughout the bible the Lord tells us to be watchful for gluttony, greed and jealousy. Throughout life our parents echo him. One cookie is enough, times up for free play, it’s not nice to hit people. It’s all the same rule.
Set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. That’s what I like to call the new testament classic. Keep your eye on the prize. Not a prize of earthy measure. Not a trophy or a metal. Keep your eyes on the grace of the Lord. Like a good parent the Lord wants us to focus not on the material but on becoming a better person.
As obedient children, do not confirm to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. That’s my favorite line of this passage. It’s the parental equivalent to “and now that you know don’t let it happen again.” I picture Jesus later in the bible sitting someone down and telling them… “do you remember what daddy said about talking to strangers.”
Be holy because I am holy. Do what I do not what I say. Be good because I AM GOOD. Love because I AM LOVE. Have hope because I AM HOPE. Share grace because I AM GRACE. BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
It's been a week and already I have a list of red flags as long as my arm. What do you mean you don't know how to use email? Are you serious... everyone knows how to copy a file?! And my personal favorite... why are you still standing there over an hour after I asked you to do something like you have nothing to do!!
Oh sure she's friendly but it's hard to focus on how nice someone is when I'm being blindsighted every two minutes by the thought of "but she said she could do that during the interview". I'm not talking complicated stuff either. Things like open the network drive. Copy these files to a USB. Send that to me in email. Easy stuff- stuff my god daughter probably can do and she's 7.
It scares me. I picked her. I picked her out of 20 people. I picked her based on the information she gave me. It makes me upset. Upset at her false advertisement and even more upset at how gullible I have become with old age. I saw what I needed to see. I saw what I wanted to see.
I need a peacemakers class. I'm snappy and irritable. She doesn't get it. She thinks I'm just being mean I'm sure. I'm hormonal already this week and I'm going through home drama but I had expectations. I expect at the very least for people to be who they tell me they are.
What would you do? Have you been in this situation?
Now here in lies the drama part. Jon took off hours from work to help her move. She didn't even call us. I changed all my plans for the weekend. So now we have no plans and we're losing money because Jon gave away his shifts and she could care less. Drama.
No one likes to feel like they are being used. No one likes feeling like their family doesn't listen to their advice (I was in a similar situation once and staying was the dumbest thing I ever did). No one likes feeling like they don't matter. My mom. She's been making me feel all of those things more and more lately.
There is no nice way to tell someone that the reason you didn't go see your mother after she had surgery is because you think her family now is toxic and that she acts like someone totally different when she is around them. So I guess I'm not a nice person because the next time she asks I'm going to tell her the truth. Hopefully she won't ask.
So I pray. I pray every day that the Lord will stop this pull of evil on my heart. The pull towards doing what makes me feel safe and probably isn't a good way to love my mother. And I wait. I wait to know what he asks of me.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Divorce. Ok. Well. I wasn't expecting that. He's moving out. He gave my mom who just had surgery and can't move or drive 6 days notice. As far as I am concerned this synches my opinion that the Johavah's Witness was crazy. CRAZY.
Now it's calming mom down. Making plans for moving mom. Extending mom's lease till the 2nd so she can move out on the 2nd and getting an explaination about how it could get this bad without telling your daughter.
Hubby is taking Saturday off from work. We'll be lugging my mom's furniture around and lining her up with someplace to stay. Pisser.
Around here if there isn't one type of drama there is another. His mom. My mom. Me trying to be a mom. It's always something.
Pray for me that I don't kill the punk on Saturday. Pray for her... that she doesn't cry herself into a puddle on the floor or do something stupid and that she finds someplace she wants to live in 5 days. Pray for Hubbythat he doesn't go crazy dealing with more drama. And mostly... pray for the jerk... because if he isn't careful... I might have to evanglize by ass whoopin'.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Hubby takes off with his brother to do some shopping for us girls. They end up at JC Penney who screws my brother in law out of $50.00 by claiming a display sign expired the day before at 9 am. By the time they get home a few hours later I've got the tree redecorated and I've vacuumed three times to make sure the baby won't be eating pine needles.
Brother in law and hubby start decorating the outside of the house. After untangling the icle lights from my last place we discover we don't have enough working lights and that we don't have enough extension cords. So after my pants finally come out of the dryer (I personally thing the phrases "waiting for water to boil" or "like watching grass grow" should be replaced with "waiting for jeans to dry") I take off to slay some extension cords from Walmart (otherwise known as the armpit of society) and to charm some poor sells rep into giving me money back for the jacket they over charged my brother in law for.
The jacket thing I did in about 20 minutes. Thankfully the lord took pity on me and because I was nice...so did the sales clerk. $50 refund in hand I went to the Walmart. Walmart shoppers, people who use the toy isles as a babysitter and a bell ringer that used a curse word and 15 minutes later I left thankful that for my holiday part I didn't destroy someone's holidays.
Hark the Herald Angels Sing all the way home blasting from my partially unrolled windows so my wet hair could dry (hey it's CA). I came home to find my porch decorated and the boys playing video games. I'm off now to finish some Chicken Parm. in the oven and then we've got eight people coming over to play video games. Sweet. So sweet a funny simple Saturday.
Friday, November 24, 2006
This morning was a blast. I got up around 7 and went Christmas shopping with my sister-in-law (SIL) and my friend G. G being the great guy he is spent most of the day trailing us through the mall and he took it like a champ. We also too my nephew also known as the cutest boy on the planet who proceeded to fall asleep in my arms and I ended up carrying him around like a sack of potatos for at least an hour. Needless to say I did not feel guilty about the pot stickers I got with my Panda Express Chinese Food because I had earned it.
I got a few stocking stuffers for the hubby but I have to honestly admit that I'm mostly done with my shopping. I'll still be filing a few shoe boxes with toys for the drive at the church but other than that... I don't forsee myself in the mall again this season.
We're getting decorated nice and early this year for a couple reasons. It's our first christmas together as a married couple and we're sappy and cute and we like it that way. We're having a party here on the 16th and we want to make sure we're not rushing things at the last minute (I'll tell you about that another day). Also the landlord is coming by later this week and we don't want him to come over to find the house a mess with partial christmas decorations.
Having said that... it's been a really long day so I'm going to go eat some pasta from a box and watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. Deck the halls with boughs of holly Fa la la la la la la la laaaaa
Thursday, November 23, 2006
1. My Life. John 3:16 comes to mind. But I can lower it down to easy terms. I'm a complicated thing. I couldn't make me and I'm pretty crafty. I don't know anyone who can make me just the way I am except God. It's not all rose petals and triumphes of angels over here. There are struggles, sins and things that just don't work the way I think they should. But... it's my life and I'm extremely grateful that it was given to me so that I can make a fool of myself with it.
2. My Husband. I know he was sort of on the list before because he takes out the trash. But, and that's a huge but, he should be on this list for a thousand other things. He loves people well. He laughs with his whole soul. He smiles and a room lights up (ok so I'm bias...get your own husband). He's quite charming when he needs to be, he stern when I need to here it and he'll never let me win a game "just because". I'm grateful that despite all the akward things that my life has walked me through it walked me through a life with him...because he's the bestest.
3. My Family. I know everyone says that but you've never met my family. They are loud, funny, and very intimidating at first so I recommend meeting them twice. But, that second time, you're going to LOVE them. I know I do. I love the fact that grown men will play chutes and ladders one minute and then teach the 5 year old to play black jack and win all their quarters. I love that all the woman can cook so well that we're all lucky we aren't 500 lbs already. I love that my grandfather never says anything but when he does finally say something it's always the last thing in the conversation. I love that my father taught me not to let people mistake my kindness for stupidity and to prove it to them using my love...he loves everyone...even the people that should have been abandoned years ago. I love that my mother has "lorriemoments" where she does things no other rational human being would ever do...and then tries to explain them to other rational human beings. I love them all from the littlest neice to the newest mother in law and everyone in between.
4. Hope. I had a small glimpse once of a life without hope. I was in a bad situation with a bad person who was enabling me to do bad things with other bad people and occassionaly to some good and totally innocent people. I never robbed anyone or killed anyone or anything of that nature but I was just doing things that didn't feel right and I didn't have the hope or the faith to walk away. It almost killed me, it almost snuffed out the parts of me that I love the most. But somewhere in me there was a teeny tiny piece of hope. And I clung to it and others helped me to fan it till it was bright and brilliant and it could be seen from all around. I am grateful to those people but not so grateful as I am for hope. Hope is the most ingenious thing that the heavens ever created... it helps us seach the impossible, it makes us dreamers and fools but every once in awhile it makes see the bigger picture and to know that the impossible is sometimes possible and sometimes the fools are just the people who don't follow the dreamers.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
1. Hallmark Movies. I'm addicted. I have a secret obsession. The hallmark channel and I spend a ton of quality time together. They are different than the normal every day movies in my DVD collection. They remind me of history, love and faith in a way that so subliminal that it's not even scary. It's comforting to know that some things never change...the beginning will be rocky, the middle with be dramatic and the end will be calm and comforting to the soul.
2. Squishy Pillows and Fuzzy Blankets. I am totally territorial about my bedtime stuff. Don't even touch my "squishy" (otherwise known as a pillow I've had for so long that it has the inner consistency of a well used teddy bear). I've also gotten rather attached to a fuzzy green blanket. Not because I use it (it's hot) but because my cat is rather fond of it and it keeps her from bugging me.
3. Comfort Food. Everybody has one. I could write a whole additional blog about food. I pink fuzzy heart edibles. The top of my list includes chicken tacos from my favorite hangout, my mom's fried potatoes and eggs, grandma's stuffing and my daddy's cream tuna on toast. Just not together.
4. My Hair Straightener. I don't want to sound vain because I'm not. Not Really really. But I'm very thankful that someone invented the ceramic hair straightener. My wavy and curly fro is partial to being clamped down and steamed to a nice smooth flat mane of lovely hair whenever a camera or witness might be available. I can't imagine using an iron, or before that when people just let their hair do whatever nature inspired (GASP).
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
1. God's grace. Not just for the sinners and the saints but also for God's ability to teach me to love the person sitting behind me who sings off key to every hymn but makes up for it with volumne. God's ability to teach me that someone's friendship has less value than doing what I always new was right but was too scared to do. Forgiveness, Love and Hope...Faith.
2. Movies. Especially the ones I've seen over and over... American Outlaws, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Stand, The Godfather Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, My Fair Lady and so many more. The lines we quote from them " A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man" or "The Lord says we can bury him out back in the orchard and no one will ever find out". The things that become part of who we are, who we love and what we fear. I heart movies.
3. Quicken. Or quickbooks. Whichever one you use. Software that does the math for you. Software that budgets, balances, adds and deducts. Software that can find the 74 cents you spent at Walgreens and that knows you'll need 800 dollars for rent. Software that saves me from doing math with a pencil and the back of a bill envelope. Software that will probably help my marriage keep from crumbling. Software that prevents unnecessary calculators and curse words.
4. Babies. Hey just because I can't have one doesn't mean I'm not thankful they are around. They smell cute (when they are clean), they look adorable, and they love us really well. And we love them...nieces, nephews, godchildrens, friends, nursery charges... they are adorable. Adorable makes the world a better place...so I'm a huge fan.
Your partner: loving
Your hair: artificial
Your Mother: whimsical
Your Father: southern
Your Favorite Item: squishy
Your dream last night: danger
Your Favorite Drink: pepsi
Your Dream Car: tahoe
Your Dream Home: newer
The Room You Are In: office
Your Ex: worthless
Your fear: infertility
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? mommy
Who you hung out with last night: hubby
What You're Not: skinny
One of Your Wish List Items: glider
The Last Thing You Did: type
What You Are Wearing: clothing
Your favorite weather: rainy
Your Favorite Book: bible
Last thing you ate: dinner
Your Life: happy
Your mood: impatient
Your Best Friends: funny
What are you thinking about right now: thankfulness
Your car: dirty
What are you doing at the moment: deleting
Your summer: flirting
Relationship status: taken
What is on your TV: CI
What is the weather like: foggy
When is the last time you laughed: 8:37
Monday, November 20, 2006
1. Husbands who take out the trash. It's a small miracle as far as I am concerned that my husband doesn't want to gag every time he takes out the trash. I think he feels the same way whenever he sees me clean the kitty litter...regardless... I'm thankful I don't have to touch trash... unless I want to... which will never happen. Ever.
2. Hello Pepsi with Ice... goodbye worries. I'm sooo thankful for the nice people at the Pepsi cola company for not changing their recipes. I mean Coke Classic, Coke, Coke with lime. It would be exhausting to try and keep up. But I don't have to because my pepsi people, they know me, they love me and they stay just the way I like them.
3. You. Blog people. No not you. You over there with the blog of your own. You people I read who's blogs are listed in the margins. Oh and Red Pens and Diapers which I just started reading. And people who have hecka cool blog names like a bra that fits & a can opener that works because that's just too cute of a blog name. I've been reading her too. I'll be adding them to my template of links as soon as I get a free moment.
4. Fog. Ya I said fog. I love fog. I love rain more. But fog is like rain only wimpy. I like wimpy rain. It's sort of like my unrelenting ability to love dorks. Dorks and fog. They are the same but different because I didn't marry fog. (I love you honey) This morning I had to wait for the fog to lift from my windshield before I could drive to work. I had to use the heater in my office to take off the chill. I almost jumped up and down with joy.
Sweet Potato Soup
Boil 6 cups sweet potatos till fork tender. Drain & Mash. (Set aside)
In the pan you used to boil the sweet potatos melt 3 tablespoons of butter & combine with 3 tablespoons of flour to make a rou. Add 4 cups of cream (or skim milk if you are on a diet or soy milk if you're into soy) and stir till even & simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup maple syrup) & 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fold sweet potatos into mixture and let simmer 2-4 minutes. If your kids are into things with texture you can add some roasted nuts to the top of this for garnish, I've also used dried fruits (like cranberries) as a colorful garnish for dinner parties.
Crunched Cranberry Classic
In a food processor combine 1 bag cranberries, 1 jar rasberry perserves, 1 tables spoon fresh grated ginger, 1/4 cup of orange juice, 1 tablespoon orange zest, 1 apple cored & chopped. Pulse till the consistancy of relish. Take one can of biscuits. Squish each biscuit into a muffin tin to make a cup. Fill with cranberry relish mixture and bake according to biscuit can (or until biscuit is golden brown). Top with whip cream and some pecans. Yummy.
Core 4 apples. Mix in a bowl- 1/2 cup crumbled pumpkin muffins, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup apple juice. Put mixture into cored apple centers. Bake in oven until apples are fork tender. Serves 4-8 people depending on how much gluttony runs in your family.