Sunday, December 29, 2013

RIP Cat Food

We were told it could happen but we had no idea it would happen this soon.

We lost our dear friend Cat Food today.
Here is he back in the good old days.
(Just look at the shiny orange tail he once had.)

We thoroughly enjoyed the two full days we had with him before his sudden death from natural causes.

We were surprised he did not float to the top.
(I thought that's how you tell a fish has passed on.)

Matt, being the oldest male in the house, took on his dead fish duty with pride.

He scooped Cat Food out of the tank and transferred him via Ziplock snack bag to his semi-resting place in the freezer morgue.
(PetSmart has a 14 day return? policy so we need to save the receipt and corpse.) 

The other fish: Lacario, Hyper, Juliette and Dr. Pork Chops are coping as well as can be expected.  Hopefully they'll be receptive to a new orange guppy who will be joining them soon.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

She's a Good Girl

I didn't intend to post another blog tonight but Lauren did something that needed to be documented...bless her heart!

My sweet girl just came downstairs in tears.  In between quiet sobs she said she couldn't sleep because she played a mean trick on her brother.  I asked her what she did and she said she hid scary things in his room.  Since he was already asleep I told her to quietly get the scary things out of his room.  She came out with a ceramic skull among other "scary things."  

She is such a good girl and it just weighs on her conscious to be anything less.  I'm sure she'll make her share of bad decisions in the future but I know she has a good head on her shoulders and she's going to do good things.  I love my girl. 

I hope she and her brother are always this close!

Christmas 2013 - The Presents

Merry Christmas!!!
We had a wonderfully peaceful day and I hope you all did as well.

Obviously, Christmas is about Christ and we did talk about the true meaning of Christmas and the truly perfect gift of salvation God gave to us through his Son.

The children were very appreciative but in all honesty, they are kids and were more into the PRESENTS.

They were excited Santa brought them a FISH TANK!

He included a letter and some money to buy some fish.
(apparently, he doesn't carry fish on his sleigh)

Unfortunately, Santa must have had an accident coming down the chimney because the fish tank had a big crack in it when the children woke up.
(I'm pretty sure "he" was completely upset with "him"self when the accident happened and paused a few minutes to make she "he" didn't wake the children.)

Finally, Christmas morning came and Tyler and Lauren didn't notice a thing.
Here they are dying to check out what Santa brought them in their stockings.

After the stockings were emptied we headed to the basement tree where I kept all of our presents.
They are so READY to open presents that it's hard to smile normal for a picture.

Let the present frenzy begin.
(Everyone got more presents than they needed but I really believe everyone appreciated every gift they received.)

Even the grown-ups received a good number of gifts.
Daddy's pile: 

Momma's pile:
(judging from the number of handmade gifts from the kids, and the SEVEN bags from Matt from Victoria's Secret, I'm going to say...
I think my family Loves me!)  

After the gifts were opened it was time to PLAY.
L and T took time to play with and appreciate each and every gift they received.
Here is just a small sampling:

Furby Boom

My First Lab Microscope

 Minecraft Lego-set

Animal Crossing 3DS game

Lego Friends Heartlake City Pool

Matt got right to work installing his new Nest thermostats.

I loved watching everyone get excited for their presents but what I loved most of all was spending this wonderful day with my little family.
There is a lot of love in our house...

and I couldn't ask for anything more.

Two days after Christmas we went to Petsmart and bought a new fish tank.  We also took Santa's fish money and adopted 5 new fish.  Lauren's friend Lisa came with us so we let her pick out a fish as well.

I don't have a good picture of the fish in the tank yet but I thought I'd introduce you to them in case I ever get one.
(everyone named their own fish)

1.  Lacario (Tyler's Dalmation Molly)
2.  Hyper (Lisa's Silver Molly)
3.  Juliette (Lauren's Red Wag Platy)
4.  Cat Food (Daddy's Orange Guppy)
5.  Dr. Pork Chops (Daddy's Yellow Guppy)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Elf on the Shelf

I was born way back in the late Seventies.  Back in my day there was no Elf on the Shelf.  I'm not sure if he was not born yet or if he just chose to skip my childhood home.  Because of this I didn't think it was a big deal that he did not visit my house now that I'm a grown-up with two young children (and a very young at heart husband.)

One day Lauren (my 4th-grader) came home from school and drew a picture of an Elf.  She said one of her classmates' Elf on the Shelf ate half of his candy bar and she thought that was hilarious and she wanted an Elf herself.

Matt wasn't home from work yet so I texted him to see if he could convince an Elf on the Shelf to come home with him.  He said he'd try his best.

Good Job Daddy!!
This is what the kids woke up to in the morning.

Lauren and Tyler were flabbergasted.
How could the real Elf on a Shelf know that Lauren drew a picture of and apparently challenged Santa's Elf?

The Elf, who we named "Chris" had a lot of fun with us everyday until Christmas.


Sharing some gummies with GF Barbie (and Romy)

Playing Connect 4

Flying on Reshiram

Tree Hugging

Gold Fishing

Playing (a heck of a hand at) Poker

Hiding from Army guys

 Capturing Army guys

Being naughty and writing on the mirror with dry-erase markers

Doing flips in the rafters

Hanging out Under There.
(in Tyler's UnderWear!)

Snacking on Oreos

Swinging on the Ceiling fan
(I had to stop the fan to get a good picture.)

Swinging on an empty toilet paper roll.
(ignore my messy kitchen in the background)

Christmas Eve he settled down and read The Christmas Story from Tyler's Adventure Bible.

We had a lot of fun with "Chris" our Elf on the Shelf.
I hope he is back at the North Pole coming up with some evermore creative ideas for next year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sleepless Over Seattle

We've all seen the movie Sleepless in Seattle right?

Well Matt and I have been quite Sleepless Over Seattle for the last couple of months.

In November we found out Matt's company, Harris Group, was going to close the Atlanta office at the end of the year. 

(Matt is the manager of the Atlanta office.)

They kindly offered to move us and our belongings to Seattle so Matt could continue to work for his long time beloved company.

At this point Matt and I made a number of Pro/Con lists about the relocation.

*Closer proximity to family.  
  (Most of our family is in Oregon and Idaho so Seattle, WA would be a car ride instead of a plane ride.)
*Matt could continue to work for his great company, Harris Group.  He has many good friends and co-workers there.

*We would be up-routing our children from their school and friends.
*Cost of Living
  (It costs A LOT MORE to live in Seattle than Atlanta.)
*Selling our house
  (We bought our house in 2005 at the Top of the Market.  There's no way we could currently sell our house and make any money.)
*Renting our house
  (That would be a Pain to manage cross country.)
  (c'mon now)

After many Sleepless nights over Seattle
 we decided 

Matt got his resume out there and went on a number of interviews.
He ended up with a job offer from a company in the exact same building as Harris Group.

Matt will be venturing away from the Pulp and Paper Industry but will jump right into the Fertilizer Industry.
We are very excited about this opportunity.

Weatherly is owned by a Swedish Company and they offer wonderful benefits.
(i.e. 100% Healthcare coverage for the family!)

Matt's last day with HarrisGroup was last Friday, December 20th, and his first day at Weatherly isn't until next Monday the 30th, so he gets to enjoy the entire week of Christmas in between jobs.

A wonderful Christmas Gift!
Merry Christmas Y'all!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thanksgiving in Pictures

 This Thanksgiving we were lucky and very thankful to have my Mom with us and also my cousin Kelly.
That would be Grammy and Mr. Kelly to my children.
Since we live in the South, our children are not allowed to call an adult simply by his/her first name.
(there must also be a Mr., Mrs., Ms, or Miss, included)
I love our culture of respect.

I'm so Thankful for this Thanksgiving because it was a piece of cake with all of my mom's help.
It was a wonderful day!  So, enough chit-chat and let's bring on the pictures.

Preparing the scratch dinner rolls
(can't tell I hate to bake can ya?)

I think they rose up quite well.

pickles, olives, carrots, celery, celery with peanut butter, hummus and ranch dip and SkinnyTaste Deviled Eggs.

so pretty

The Thanksgiving Spread:
Turkey (Grammy's secret recipe...which is cooked with bacon,) candied sweet potatoes, green beans, fruit salad, corn casserole (big hit!), mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, rolls, and two different types of dressing.
I cheated on the dressing.  Instead of making it we bought it at the Cajun Meat Company in Marietta, GA. 
We tried both their Cornbread Dressing and their Crawfish Dressing.
The Cornbread Dressing will definitely make a return visit!
Soooo Yummy.

Ready to EAT.
There's Mr. Cousin Kelly!

We took a short break after dinner to relax but it didn't take long for us to crave some dessert.

 the (simple) Dessert counter

mini Pecan Pies
(based on this recipe)

Matt was especially lucky that my Mom was here.  He had mentioned he wanted Pecan Pie for dessert, however, I DO NOT LIKE PECAN PIE so I had no intention of making it.  My Mom interceded and said she'd make her dear son-in-law a bunch of mini Pecan Pies.
She also made the Chocolate Cream Pie.
(yes, I know she rocks!  Matt misses her dearly.)

Grammy may have rocked the desserts but I had my hand at the left-over turkey carcass.
I added all the picked over bones, drippings, some chopped veggies, herbs and seasonings and then covered with water and simmered over-night to make a delicious Turkey Soup.

With this soup I was able to relive Thanksgiving for a whole week.
What a wonderful Thanksgiving it was!

I have another batch in the freezer when I want to relive it again.

Sometime after Christmas.