Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

Grammy's Visit Part Three (of three)

Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!
Not only did Grammy join our Thanksgiving table but so did cousin Kelly who is currently attending UNC at Chapel Hill.  Dinner was delicious as was the company.
We are blessed.

the company:
  Matt, Tyler, Christine (Me) 

Tyler, Me, Kelly
(hey I just said he's attending UNC, by no means does he need to wear their attire!)
Go Ducks!

Lauren, Matt, Tyler's arm

Tyler (but you can't see him, his eyes are shut,) Me, Kelly, GRAMMY!

the food:
Herb Seasoned Turkey (roasted in foil according to this recipe)
Mashed Potatoes and turkey gravy
Chicken Sausage and Herb Stuffing
(I used pork sausage instead so I'm sure that throws the Skinny part out the window.)
(sliced instead of quartered)
Skillet Creamed Corn (crowd favorite)
Roasted Parmesan Green Beans (these were over-cooked and not a crowd favorite)
Cheese-Garlic Biscuits
can of cranberry
pickles and olives

the dessert:
Pumpkin Pie (recipe on back of can)
Irish Chocolate Mint Dessert (Grammy made this delicious dish...YUMM!)

the turkey broth to last a lifetime:
(loosely based on this recipe)
We simmered half of the left-over turkey carcass (and chopped veggies & seasoning) in a stock-pot for 4 hours and the other half was done in a crock-pot over night.  Turkey broth heaven.

Thanksgiving was a fun and seriously stress-free event.  Mostly thanks to the Grammy below.  

She flew home yesterday and we all miss her very much.
We Love You Grammy (Mom) (Gloria)
See you in March!

Charleston, South Carolina

Grammy's Visit Part Two 

I love to travel and Atlanta is driving distance to many destinations both fun and fascinating but also rich in history.  Grammy's visit and the fact it coincided with the week-long Thanksgiving break from school provided the perfect excuse and opportunity for a quick four day road trip to Charleston.

Fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride.
(I promise Grammy went with us, she just spent a lot of time behind the camera.  Most of the photo credits go to her.)

"America's oldest working plantation"

Slave Street
I thought this was the most interesting (and heart-breaking) part of the plantation.
(Lauren saw it more like an episode of House Hunters.  She chose house number 2.)

important from the Revolutionary War up through World War II
Lauren and Tyler enjoyed running through the underground passageways.

Sullivan's Island water front
you can tell Tyler is forcing a smile here

 by this time Tyler was not having any of it
(another pic to submit to awkward family photos)

It was a new day so Tyler was ready to smile again.  See?!  Grammy really was with us.

We toured the first house:  Edmondston-Alston House
and I'd like to buy the second house.
(just a cool 9 million or so.)

(a trip to Charleston MUST include a visit to the beach)
The water was a little bit cold for my liking but Tyler was just fine in shorts and a t-shirt, Lauren needed a jacket and the friend they met was warm enough in her swim suit!  They had a blast.

Thanks for a great time Charleston! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Grammy's Visit Part One

(A blog post so all y'all can quit reminding me that it's been too long since I've posted.  Let it be known, I love that you care!)

My Mom (Grammy) is visiting over the Thanksgiving Holiday.  She flew from Portland, OR to Atlanta, GA on Saturday last week.  And wouldn't you have it, Matt had to fly from Atlanta to Portland that Sunday for work.  With Matt working clear across the country out of town, it sure has been nice having Grammy around.  We have kept ourselves busy....

The obligatory "reading books" pictures.

 Field Trip with Lauren's 2nd grade class to the Junie B. Jones "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax" performance at the local community theatre. 

(we love our LEGOS)

Spelling Homework

American Girls
(3 out of the 4 are dolls)

The "waiting for the school bus" Crew

Tomorrow we start Grammy's Visit Part Two.  We'll be heading South of Broad.  (Charleston, South Carolina)  I love that city and Grammy has never been.  Can't wait.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

All Washed Up

RIP:  Kenmore 80 series washer

If you are friends with me on Facebook (and assuming you read my occasional and boring status updates) you know my washer quit working last Tuesday.  We had the appliance repairman out and he said the transmission blew but he could fix it for $300.  I painfully wrote him a check for $55 and thanked him for coming to look at it.  $150 was my limit to fix the Kenmore.

Desperate and with laundry piling up I turned to my facebook friends for suggestions for a new washer.
I posted:
"My washing machine broke yesterday and today I'm looking for recommendations for a new one (and possibly a dryer if the husband lets me replace our fully functional one so they match.) Please tell me if you love (or hate) any in particular. Top load or no?

Yours Truly, Domesticated and Drowning in Dirty Clothes
Wednesday at 5:01pm near Atlanta"

My brother Brian replied with my favorite (yet most useless) comment:
"I recommend Matt's abs."

Everyone else gave me great advice which helped me decide that at this time I do not need to buy a top of the line washing machine with all the good-looks and eco-friendly gadgets.  (nor do I need a matching dryer)

I'm sure my Mom will be a little disappointed because she always taught me "you get what you pay for."  But if my Dad were still alive he would be proud.  He always told me, "don't listen to your Mother."  =)

Without further adieu (and before you nod off) I present to you my new Maytag washer.  Which was dirt cheap and 10% off of that!  It will be delivered tomorrow between 11am and 1pm.  (Guess what I'll be doing while Matt is watching football all afternoon?)

Lauren oh Lauren...I love her so.

I go to the YMCA to exercise just about every school day after the kids get on the bus.  So every morning I wake up, put on workout clothes and throw my hair into a make-shift pony-tail.  I'm going to sweat so I don't put any make-up on.  Lauren has let me know that she doesn't like this look.  "Momma, you look MUCH better with your hair down."  (yeah I do go to school!)

Yesterday I dressed up to go out to dinner in honor of a dear friend who's moving to Charlotte, NC.  I did my hair and make-up as well.  Before I left Lauren brought me this special note.  Perhaps she thinks positive reinforcement will get more results

 I sure love that kid.

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Our neighbors invited us over for their annual Chili and Hot Chocolate Friends and Family get-together.  It was a great "on the chilly side" Halloween.  While Matt and the kids went out trick-or-treating with the big group I stayed by the fire and handed out candy to the other trick-or-treaters.  Lauren and Tyler both got a ton of candy which should most definitely last us until next Halloween since they only eat one to two pieces per day.

a couple of my favorite pictures

Robot Skeleton and a Vampire with red contacts that seriously freaked me out.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Conference Swag

I miss work trips and conferences.  To be more precise:  I miss Matt's work trips and conferences.  Before children and right up until they started school I traveled with Matt on his business trips as often as I could.  I've been all over the world (Canada, Brazil & Italy = the whole world) and all over the United States (Northwest and the Southeast.)  In the beginning, the conferences were lavish with top dollar entertainment (Huey Lewis and the News once played at a conference in Florida) and heavy on the swag (weekend get-a-ways, stereo systems, GPS units.)  Then the economy took a dive and the entertainment disappeared and the swag at conferences really took a hit (LED key chain lights, pens, stickers, and bouncy balls.)  

Things might be looking up though (at least for the Biomass industry.)  Check out the swag Matt came home with from the conference today.

His "Northern" co-worker from Michigan won this sweet Southern Set of Deliciousness.
She didn't want it (or didn't want to pay extra baggage fees to take it home) so she gave it to Matt
(Matt = ME!)
SCORE!  The cast-iron (pronounced "cast-arn") skillet is heavy! on the quality.
l-r:  alaBAMA jellys & peanut butter, tea (must add sugar,) Mr. P's Lemon Pepper, Dale's Steak Sauce, Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic BBQ Sauce, Angel Hair Slaw and Salad Dressing and you can't forget the Fish-Fri. 

Matt also swagged himself some real life trees (aka biomass?)  The one on the left is a Eucalyptus and the one on the right is (I spaced the name.)  He said they are both slightly tropical trees so they will spend the Fall and Winter indoors with us.
Wish them luck!

He said he could have brought home a lot more trees but he could only fit the two in his car.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Funny Story

Don't worry all, I'm working on a Fall and a Halloween and even a Sleep-Over post but Matt came home with a story today that needs to be told first.  

Matt (being the important guy he is) attended the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show in Atlanta. I know you've heard about it since (I imagine) all the big wigs attend it.  Like the big wig he is Matt valet parked his car.

The conference was I'm sure, informational, great, ground-breaking and all that good stuff I have yet bothered to ask Matt about.

After the conference he picked up his car and on his valet ticket stub he saw this:

the guy even left his phone number

Why wouldn't some random valet guy ask to buy his car?

Check it out!

even in the shade it's full of awesome
(and 3 out of 4 doors (and an equal number of windows) open)

check out the gas loving thrives!

the head shot

Who wouldn't want to buy this car?

Matt said he texted the guy so we'll see what happens.

 P.S.  Although I jest in this post I have to say we LOVE this car.  We got it at a great price (Thanks Grandma Jan) and it has been a very reliable source of transportation in its long 1992 Honda Civic life.