Monday, November 28, 2011

And the Oscar Goes To. . .

This little star found out today that he got a part in the school play.
What part, you may ask?

Oh yes - he will be an Oompa Loompa.  
I. Love. This.
I cannot explain to you how happy it makes my heart that he even tried out.
David could not, until this year, get through a school performance (Christmas, Veteran's day, etc.) without squeezing his eyes tightly shut and clamping his hands over his ears.  He would not go to a loud birthday party.  He would freeze outside of a Christmas party and hide under a table.
And he tried out for the play.
And he GOT A PART!
Is the the star of the show? 
No.  But he is trying.  And that is all that matters.
He has the confidence and the desire to try to be a part of it.  
He's not afraid it will be too loud or that people will look at him.
He's not afraid to be part of the group.
He wants to be part of the group and to be with his friends.
Friends he made all by himself - not friends who were the children of my friends.
This boy has come a long, long way, and I am so incredibly proud of him.

Prediction:  I will cry like a baby to see him perform on stage in his play!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving Goodies

I made two new recipes for Thanksgiving.  I'm not quite sure why, but I like to try new recipes when I'm having a group of people over to eat. . . so far so good, although it's admittedly a risky thing to do.  What can I say?  I live on the edge!

The first one I made was Nutter Butter Nutella Pie.  Um, yum!  

I originally found this recipe on Pinterest, which seems to be where I find everything I want to do, make, eat, wear, and decorate with.  This is super easy to make, and you can find the recipe at

The second recipe was a total last minute decision.  Because I tasted some the day before Thanksgiving and knew I had to make it!  It was Paula Deen's white chocolate key lime mousse pie.  A mouthful, I know.  And a weird combination, but it totally works!

This is not difficult, but is more laborious than the Nutella pie.  I would say this is a medium skilled dessert, merely because there are more steps.  It's yummy though, and worth a shot!  The recipe can be found at the Food Network website.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!  
We sure did.

David was obsessed with eating a turkey leg.
Well he got one. . . 

I'm not sure how much of it he really ate, but he was all about it.
We had a wonderful day with our family here, and too much good food.

And Henry learned to ride his bicycle with no training wheels!!!

I hope you had a wonderful day.  
Now. . . time to get those Christmas decorations out.

Giving Thanks - Day 23

Day 23. . . I'm thankful for our sweet Ms. Dana, David's OT.  She loves David and has helped him, and our whole family, so much.  We are lucky to have our Ms. Dana!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks, Day 22

Today I am thankful for my parents.
Every day I'm thankful for them, but let's make it public.
They have always been my biggest supporters, even when I'm sure they doubted I was making the best decision.
They showed me by example how to be good parents.
You know how people say things like, "I will NEVER do like my parents did"?  I don't say that.  
If I am as good a parent to my children as my parents were to me, I'll be lucky.
My parents moved over 1,000 from the only city they had ever lived in to Tennessee to live closer to my children, their only grandchildren.  
They do crazy things with my children like play Indiana Jones for hours, make endless water balloons, drive around on the lawnmower, push Jack up and down the backyard in a stroller when he's "playing baby", dissect a mouse with David "because he wanted to see its brain" (and catch more mice and FREEZE THEM so they can do it again!!!), and have sleepovers pretty much any time my children ask for one.  
They will babysit at the drop of a hat, and are so supportive of our decision to adopt Katie.
I am so glad they are my parents, and I am thankful for them every day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Give Thanks, Day 21

Today (and every day) I am thankful I am able to be the mama of these boys. 
They are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

They make me want to be a better person.
They make me have more fun and laugh harder than I ever have.
They make me proud every single day.

They make me smile so hard my face hurts.
They make my heart full.
They make me give thanks.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Give Thanks, Day 20

Today I'm thankful for Edy's Grand Peppermint ice cream.
It is one of my absolute favorite things about the holiday season.
And I'm thankful for Becky Clerkin, who got me hooked on it about 12 years ago!

I'm also thankful Henry is my constant crafting buddy. 
That boy loves an art project.
Or "arts and craps" as he used to say!
Today he made this Santa candle holder out of an old jelly jar (which I never throw away now, because it's an instant project for him when he's bored - I keep all of my glass jars), paint, a piece of felt, a few cotton balls, and a glue gun.
He said it's for Santa, and he's going to leave it out on Christmas Eve.
I told him that I don't think Santa can take glass gifts in his sleigh because they may fly out.
I think we'll make one for his teacher.  
If she reads this, I hope she acts surprised.
And we'll be *borrowing* Santa's until Christmas Eve.

Give Thanks, Day 19

Today I'm thankful for something old.
Old silver from my grandmother and great grandmother.

I spent a couple of hours shining it up and getting it ready for Thanksgiving.

Paired with the linens I got from my parents that also belonged to my grandmother and/or great grandmother, our Thanksgiving will certainly be one full of tradition and family memories.  Just the way I like it.

I'm also thankful for the biggest time sucker known to man Pinterest.
Without it, how else would I have known I wanted a wreath made of burlap and an old coat hanger?
Who knew.  I'm thankful I have one now.  
And with two more yards of burlap, I'll have another to match!

Give Thanks, Day 18

Today I am thankful for a flexible job that allows me to go to school activities, like Thanksgiving lunch.

I'm thankful for our boys' school, which so encourages parent involvement 
and has such fun activities.

And I'm thankful my loves still want me to eat lunch with them.

Give Thanks - Day 17

Today I am thankful I decided to move to Tennessee.  It was the best decision I have ever made.  And likely the most impulsive.  I love everything about living here (except maybe the sales tax!), and I have never looked back.  Tennessee sounds good to me!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Giving Thanks - Day 16

Today, I'm thankful for gouda cheese.  Yes, I said it.  We have a client at work who sent a lovely package to our office as a thank you.  It has the biggest wheel of gouda cheese I have ever seen.  And, I kid you not, it is the best cheese I have ever put in my mouth.  It is from Holland.  I will never again be able to eat gouda cheese from the grocery story - it will have to come from Holland.  It is divine!  And I likely need to go to gouda anonymous.

Giving Thanks - Day 15

Ugh, day 15.  For day 15 I am thankful I'm not a single mother who works full-time.  Chris had to go to a funeral Tuesday and spent the majority of the day with the family, at the service, et cetera.  My father very generously stayed with Jack from about 10:00 until I got home from work.  David and Henry came home, and apparently David got quite upset that his play-doh snake (which, if I know David, was about 4 feet long) was so skinny it kept breaking when he would try to carry it.  He had a melt.down.  My poor father - if you've never experienced a meltdown that David can have that lasts an hour or more, it's not fun.  I left work an hour early when I realized that the tantrum was epic.  I calmed him down, then had to help with homework, get dinner made and served, marginally clean up after dinner, get them to boy scouts (where Chris met us), play with Jack on the church playground for a few minutes, get a snack for Henry to bring to school, bring Jack home, clean up, get Jack ready for bed, read stories, do sticker chart, and get him settled.  Then David and Henry came home from scouts and we did it all over again.  I ended up falling asleep in David's bed while I snuggled him!  So for day 15 I am thankful that I'm not a full-time working single mama.  And in awe of how those parents can keep it together without losing their minds.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Giving Thanks - Day 14

Today I'm thankful for windows open in mid-November and fresh air blowing through our house.  Life in the South is good!

Giving Thanks - Day 13

For day 13, I am thankful for being on the same page with my husband.  We are a good team, and that makes life easier.  We had an incident with a boy in the neighborhood today, and Chris and I were totally on the same page with how to deal with it and what we wanted to do. . . . I like it when that happens!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giving Thanks, Day 12

Day 12, I'm thankful for my friends.  
The group in this shot, who are the people from my office, helped us to raise nearly $7,000 in one day.  Specifically, in a two hour period.  They are amazing.  They spent their Saturday morning waiting tables and serving pancakes to help us bring Katie home.  I have been extremely lucky to have made some incredible friends throughout my life, and that has never been more apparent to me.  So on Day 12 I am thankful for my friends - the friends that I've had for 30 years, and the friends that I've had for three years. I truly feel like I make friends wherever I go, and I have managed to surround myself with some amazing people.  So as they say on the Golden Girls, thank you for being a friend!

Giving Thanks, Day 11

Day 11, I'm thankful for a deal!
We got this entire shopping cart of food for our pancake breakfast for $370.  We had an anonymous donor give us $500 for the food, and we were so fortunate to spend less than that, thanks to some savvy shopping and GFS!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Giving Thanks - Day 10

Today I am thankful for our new school for the boys.
It is a school that challenges them academically and encourages their whole educational experience.

They have creative teachers and administrators.
They have made my sweet boy feel at home.

Today was the first school program ever where David didn't cover his ears or hide his face.  And I'm talking since pre-school.  Ever.  I am so proud of him.  He has worked so, so hard and has come so far.  Not only did he not want to melt into the floor, he LOVED participating.  Loved it!  He demonstrated his science project to a gym full of parents and children.  He sang his little heart out at a Veterans Day program.  He loves this school.  And for that, I am thankful.  

Giving Thanks - Day 9

I am thankful for our house.
This is the house we waited for.
It is the house we will stay in until our children are grown.
It is most definitely home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Giving Thanks - Day 8

Today I am thankful for my little firecracker Jack.

He has an endless imagination, a fabulous sense of humor, and a personality that doesn't quit.  He has never met a stranger, and everyone he meets falls in love with him.  He loves to dance, dress up in costumes, tell stories, play Star Wars, torment his brothers, sing songs, go to gymnastics, paint, and play outside.  He is adventurous, hilarious, and loving.  He is sassy, and my little spitfire.  

Give Thanks - Day 7

Day Seven - I am thankful that all of my boys love to read.  Our entire family does - I will ready anything you put in front of me, especially if it's a newspaper or a legal document.  (I'm really, really exciting - I know.)  Chris will read anything that has to do with building something, renovating something, or making it more energy efficient.  David and Henry will thankfully ready ANYTHING.  Books, cereal boxes, junk mail. . . they don't care.  Jack obviously doesn't know how to read yet, but he loves books.  He wants me to read to him all the time, and then he wants to "read" the book back to me.  I really was hopeful that we would have readers, and they all are!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Giving Thanks, Days 5 and 6

Oops, I missed yesterday.  We were quite busy!

Day 5 - I'm thankful for Goodwill.  I just love that place on the first Saturday of the month . . . half price day!  If someone had told me ten years ago that I'd have three children and be thankful for half price day at Goodwill, I would have died laughing.  I got some fabulous bargains, and I'll share those with you in another post.

Day 6 - Today I'm thankful for the weekend.  I love my job, but I love my monkeys and my husband more.  Today we will spend our day together, just being.  We will not have friends come over.  We will have a visit from my parents, but we will just be home, together, and for that I am thankful.

Have a great day!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Giving Thanks, Day 4

Today I am thankful for the friendship these two monkeys have.
They are best buds.
Each other's best protector.
They tell each other their secrets.
They stick up for each other.
They whisper secrets in the night in their beds, side by side.
They read each other stories.
They wear each other's clothes.
They sit together on the bus.
Even when they don't have to.
They fight like dogs.
And quickly forget about it.
They have never been without each other.
And I hope they never are. 
They would rather be together than apart.
They finish each other's sentences.
They love each other very, very much.
They are a perfect pair.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day Three - Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for my husband.  He is so supportive of me, incredibly patient with the boys, smart, funny, and handsome.  He is hilariously funny, a great cook, and a gentleman.  He loves me unconditionally - at my best and at my worst.  He does not try to change me.  He is the best dad I could have asked for as the father of my children.  He is fun, creative, and kind.  He is honest and generous.  He is cautious (like, OSHA cautious) when I am . . . not.  Chris is very even tempered and a fabulous balance to my sometimes excitable personality.  He is laid back and gets along with everyone.  I'm so lucky to have him!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving Thanks, Days 1 & 2

Since November is about being thankful, and we have much to be thankful for at our house, I am going to try to do a post each day about things for which I am thankful.  Not a great start. . . I missed day one.  Whomp, whomp, whomp

I promise you that not all of the things I'm thankful for will be deep, profound things.  Many will likely be silly, but I promise all will be true.  So today I bring you days one and two.

Day 1.  Yesterday I was thankful for the kindness of strangers.  We had two donations made to our fundraising efforts to bring Katie home, and both were made by strangers.  (We had three, actually, but one wasn't a stranger.)  You can read more about that generosity at The Simpson Six.

Day 2.  Today I'm thankful for pumpkin spice coffee and clean towels.  

We've had a tummy bug running through our house, and it's Jack's turn today.  I hate to see my baby sick, and we've been seeing each other since about 3:45 this morning.  My pumpkin spice is going to get me through the day!  

Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We got sort of a late start to Halloween this year.
Like, we started on October 29th.
Chris got cracking with his pumpkin carving.
He did this S for me on a funkin so we don't he doesn't have 
to carve the same thing every. single. year for me.

Next up?
Angry Birds.
He did such a good job!

Last?  Mario and Bowser.
Seriously.  Our kids are lucky Chris is in charge of pumpkin carving.
If it were up to me they would either all be monogrammed or all be old school pumpkins you carved when you were four with triangle eyes and jagged teeth.  I have zero pumpkin carving skills.

I didn't get any mums this year.
And looking at this picture, that makes me sad.
I have ferns (that were previously hanging) in my urns with cinderella pumpkins on top of them.  
We got the metal luminaries at a yard sale this summer for 25 cents each, and they're fabulous.  I couldn't get a good shot of them lit up in the dark, but it looked great.  Trust me.  I do wish I had two big full mums on the porch.  I think I'll get some when I take the pumpkins down and keep the mums up through Thanksgiving.  (Until I put up my real love - my Christmas decorations!!!)

Henry got to wear his costume to school for their Halloween party. 
He was so excited!
Poor David was sick all weekend, so we kept him home Monday as well.  I'm not sure he realizes he missed his Halloween party. . . 

David was Venom (something I had never heard of).
Jack, after much deliberation, was Indiana Jones.  Which is not really a costume for him, because he wears it every day of his life.  
And is not the costume I bought for him. . . 
I should have saved my money!
Henry was Super Mario, and it was PERFECT on him.  
He looked so, so cute.
We had fun trick or treating.
I'm not looking forward to the day when they realize there 
are more than 10 houses we could go to on Halloween. . . 

Happy Halloween!