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REESES PEANUT BUTTER CUP CAKE--HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Woah baby!  This cake rocks!!  I'll have to admit, I didn't listen to any choice music while baking this beauty like I usually do when I cook.  I watched old SNL re-runs on my little kitchen t.v.--- Betty White was the host...it made me smile the whole time.









Ultimate Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cake
"NEAR DEATH BY CHOCOLATE AND PEANUT BUTTER"


Cake ingredients:
1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 small package of Jello instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups mini Reese's Peanut Butter cups, chopped

(I doubled cake ingredients and made a three layered 9 inch cake and a dozen chocolate cupcakes--I just topped the cupcakes with a few dark chocolate chips for frosting just before I pulled them out of the oven.) 

Cake directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a very large bow, mix together everything except the Reese's Peanut Buttercup. Batter will be very thick, stir in the Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Pour batter into cake pans that have been greased and floured. Bake for about 10 minutes more than the cake box suggests or when checking with a tooth pick it comes out clean.
3.  I used 3 nine inch layer pans and also made 1 dozen cupcakes-
4. Remove from cake pans and set on cooling racks and cool completely.
Frosting Ingredients:
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whipping cream
Frosting directions:
1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and peanut butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue creaming until well blended. Add salt, vanilla, and whipping cream, blend on low speed until moistened. Then beat at high speed until frosting is fluffy.
2. Frost cooled cake.

I chopped Reese's Peanut Butter mini's and put some between each of my three layers of cake.  Then sprinkled chopped Reese's on top and around sides along with Kit-Kats. 

This cake was for my handsome husband's birthday this weekend.  We all got stomach aches from eating too much!  It is irresistible! The perfect combo of chocolate fudgy goodness and salty peanut butter decadence.
















Just a random pic of my Red Bull---gave me wings while I unwrapped all of those Reese's Peanut Butter cups!  You will want to follow this step too!








































I wanted to stop here and just dig in with this giant spoon!  Self control ~













                                       TA-DA!  Near death by peanut butter!






 


BLACKBERRY SMOKE---A HISTORIC GOOD TIME AT THE CAINS BALLROOM


We had an incredible time at the Blackberry Smoke concert at the historic Cains Ballroom in Tulsa last night.

Blackberry Smoke was ultra-southern rock cool, and the opening band, Delta Saints, from Nashville were just incredible!

Amazing music, wonderful friends and family---I love making memories centered around music.






My daughter Skylar and I getting ready to head into the show--

















I finally got a picture under the Cains Ballroom sign--my son's played there many times, (the first of which was opening for Ted Nugent there,) but I've never got the shot.  My life is complete~




















Blackberry Smoke was incredible!













With two of my favorite musicians and my favorite Viking!  Forrest, his long time friend and fellow BBSmoke enthusiast, Ty, and Cory Reynolds from local kickin' Tulsa bands, Crossland, and Uninvited Guest--Great memories!

SKY TAN---BEFORE AND AFTER

Here's a before and after of my beautiful daughter Skylar at yesterday's tanning session.

We used our all natural, organic, Aviva "Gimme Brown" which is our favorite new color for summer.  

Visit Sky Tan's facebook page for more information and appointments.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/SKY-TAN/266454283522198



We bring the sun to you!



Skylar before and after using Aviva "Gimme Brown" organic spray tanning solution~Makes your eyes brighter and teeth appear whiter in just minutes!

SKY TAN~ We Bring The Sunshine To You!

My daughter, Skylar and I have started a new business this week.

Sky Tan is now mobile and ready to bring the sunshine to you!   We've had a lot of fun tanning friends and family this week, and have been blessed with many calls for our custom, all organic, spray tanning services. 

Skylar will be able to work around her children's schedule's, and Eddie Jett's care which is a God send.  I love seeing the smile on her face, and spark in her eyes now that she has an opportunity to work again.

Sky Tan is already a big success!

  

SKY TAN---We bring the sunshine to you!











Bronze pins! 

FROM ROCK-N-ROLL AND KISS TO ENGINEERING AND MATHMATICS!

In years past I've played the doting mother, making sure my children remember their lunch money, homework, important appointments, etc. 

When it came to Forrest, I recall reminding him to pack his passport as he set off with an MTV camera crew, and his dad to the beautiful land of Sweden to open for legends of rock, KISS---he was 15 years old.

This morning as I heard Forrest fire up his Chevy pickup, I called him to make sure he had his passport with him for identification. He begins his internship today at a company in Tulsa for his mechanical engineering degree.  

I'm so proud of him for diversifying and marching forward boldly with his education and career aspirations...but, secretly very relieved that I heard him playing his guitar in his room last night.  He's still a cool (math) geek!

That boy...from MTV, rock-n-roll and KISS to engineering and mathematics.  Oh, how the world turns~

ROY'S CHICKEN AND A MAN-MADE DRIVE THRU

My daughter Jessica works part time for the best chicken place in Oklahoma.  Diners seriously come from out of state for Roy's delicious, boneless chicken chicken chunks and creamy, cool coleslaw.  It's addicting.

Last night, Jessica dropped her kiddos off at my house so she and her husband could have a date night to celebrate their anniversary which is Monday.  She decided to drop by Roy's to grab a tea.  As she pulled up to the back lot, she heard a huge crash.  She ran from the kitchen to the dining and found that an s.u.v had crashed through two brick walls!  It was sitting in a pile of ruble and smoking in the middle of the dining area!

I'm proud the surveillance video shows that she was one of the first responders to jump in and start throwing flower arrangements and bricks from the bottom of the truck to make sure no one was under the vehicle.  I'm thankful to the good Lord that no one was injured.  The video also shows a woman with her tray of chicken walking by a booth directly in the path of the crash.  She fell to the side as the vehicle came barreling through, the truck missing her by inches. 

This is actually the third time in 10 years that the restaurant has had a vehicle drive right through it....Roy's Chicken in Coweta, Oklahoma---so good that people make their OWN drive-thru!

And for the record, Jessica said even with an ambulance, three police cars and a large s.u.v. sitting in  a pile of bricks and mortar the middle of the chicken joint, people were still pulling to the drive thru window for chicken! 

The owner gave chicken out for free for the rest of the night until they could get the wall boarded up~


             Roy's Chicken---Chicken so good patrons make their own drive-thru!

THUNDER VICTORY IN THE SNOW STORM~


The game was fantastic last night.  The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 116-99. 

Monty and I had a fun walk in the snow to the game.  Our hotel was only five blocks from Chesapeake Arena.  It was still snowing and sleeting, but we forged ahead.  Loved the adventure!

I'm thankful to have my U.P.S. husband at the wheel for the drive back home to Coweta from OKC.  He just received his 24 year safe driving award at work on Friday. He's had lots of time behind the wheel in all weather conditions, which will definitely come in handy on the long haul home in the snow.

Fun weekend!



Monty and I bundled up and getting ready to walk our five blocks to the arena for the game~










Red faced and cold, but we made it!












Proud (cold) Thunder fan!  We had a fun night!

GETTING READY TO THUNDER UP HERE IN OKC ON A SLEET COVERED EVENING!



Monty and I drove up a day early for the Thunder game in OKC---glad we did, but we may be stuck here in the city for several days now!  Glad we're walking distance from Chesapeake Arena!!!  Can't wait for the game!







     Proud to be an American---and a Thunder fan!  Cold, snowy, sleet covered day      here in Oklahoma City, but ready for the Thunder to roll in~







Ibrahim Ferrer and Cuban Pork Sandwiches---My Latin Excursion

This week's Music-n-Meal/Rock-n-Recipe is for a succulent Cuban Pork Sandwich  that's slathered in a roast garlic, lime, cilantro mayonnaise, and stuffed with caramelized onions, pickled jalapenos, and fresh cilantro.  You have to try this one---totally worth the time and effort!

I played music by Ibrahim Ferrer while cooking.  Between the roast garlic and pork drifting through the air and the Latin flair music, I felt like I was at an open air Cuban marketplace.  A great sensory experience!

Here's the "how to."

Begin with a 3-4 lb pork shoulder roast.  We have an incredible meat market here in Coweta, and get all our steaks, roasts, etc. from Meat-n-More.  I love butcher shops and meat markets.  You get such fresh, choice cuts of meat that can be trimmed to order.  You'll want to leave the fat on the pork for this one though.  The fat will make wonderful juices and make for a richer sandwich.

In a large bowl, mix together 3 cups of orange juice, the juice of two limes, two tablespoons of minced garlic, two tablespoons olive oil, and two tablespoons of fresh oregano.  Place the pork shoulder roast in marinate and let sit for at least 12-24 hours.  The citrus really breaks down the meat and makes it succulent.


After the pork shoulder has marinated for 12-24 hours, remove it from the liquid and braise it in a frying pan---save the marinate and pour over pork shoulder before putting it in the oven.  Make a tin foil tent, and bake at 350 for 2 hours covered.  Remove foil tent after 2 hours and then continue to bake for an additional 2 hours, basting it with the juices every 15-20 minutes.



While pork is cooking in oven make a foil bowl.  Cut the top off a garlic clove and drizzle it with olive oil.  Pinch the top of the foil together and bake for 30 minutes until roasted.  This will be for the garlic, cilantro mayonnaise. 














Slice up 2 large yellow onions and caramelize in a frying pan with two tablespoons of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.







After 4 hours of roasting the pork shoulder should be falling off the bone.  If not, continue basting and cooking until tender.  Remove pork from oven and use two forks to pull the meat apart.  You'll have this salty, marinated pan of amazing succulent pork to drool over.





I used the small jar of Hellman's light mayonnaise (I know, why count calories now, but it's what I like) which was the perfect measurement for sauce.  Or, you can use one cup of mayonnaise.  Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a large lime, and add the soft roasted garlic cloves that you baked alongside the pork earlier.  Stir together. 




Slice apart a crusty on the outside-soft on the inside roll and slather with mayo.  Heat in oven until the sauce is bubbly.  Layer bread with pork, caramelized onions, pickled jalapenos, fresh cilantro, and more of the mayo.

Oh baby...you did it!




This Cuban sandwich is especially good with potato salad, or salty potato chips (or both) sliced dill pickles and a icy cold Coke or Dr. Pepper.  I went for Diet Coke (I know...more futile calorie counting) and my husband and son went for the DP.

I hope you get to try this.  It's an experience as much as it is a meal. Be sure to turn on some spicy Cuban music, like Ibrahim Ferrer while your cooking this.   You'll feel like your on a Latin excursion.    Enjoy!!


This will make almost a dozen sandwiches---great for a crowd! 


*I wanted to add a music video with this recipe, but my server site is having some issues with video loading---please be sure to look up Ibriham Ferrer.  Amazing musician, incredible music! 














Chips n Salsa and a Sticker in the Sock

                                    If He Could Only Talk~

     A few of my f/b friends saw our family at Senior Salsa after church on Sunday. We had our precious Eddie Jett with us, and I felt bad that he wanted nothing to do with the restaurant.  He didn't want to sit down and eat, and cried much of the time.

     We all took turns taking him in and out of the dining area, but no matter what we did, he continued to fuss. Chips got thrown, as did the little 25 cent toys from the trinket machines we tried to bribe him with. Nothing helped. Monty wolfed his food down and finally took Eddie out to the car to listen to the radio while Sky and I put our food in to-go carriers.

     I went home to change and headed back to Skylar's to help her finish painting her kitchen. When I got to her house, poor Eddie Jett was still a mess---he just whined, cried, and rolled around in my lap. I pulled his jeans off and we got him some "comfy" sweat pants (my personal solution to a bad day.)   Skylar decided to  also take off his socks. When she removed them she realized he had a "goat head" sticker wound up in his tiny sock!!! So the whole time we were sweating it in the restaurant, poor Eddie Jett wanted nothing more than to tell us what was wrong, but couldn't. It broke my heart. 

     I know it's difficult to hear your child complain at times, but be grateful for those sweet voices of communication. Our little buddy couldn't tell us all he wanted was the sticker removed from his sock.  

     After said evil sticker was removed, Eddie Jett was a happy camper for the rest of the day, and I got lots of hugs and kisses.  It reminded me of the story of the tiny mouse that removed the sticker from the lion's sore paw...Eddie Jett and I are friends forever!

     Be grateful for the little things in life.  Words aren't always needed to show love and support.

Me and my precious buddy, Eddie Jett at Senior Salsa.  He managed one smile while trying to eat his chips and salsa with a prickly sticker in his little sock! 


BLACKBERRY SMOKE AND THE SNIFFLES

I'm home sick on the couch today.  Thank you to my son who left the channel on Palladia t.v. before he left for school.

Blackberry Smoke, and a hot cup of tea makes this girl's cough, cold and congestion more bearable!

Cannot wait to see them at the Cains Ballroom in March.

Gotta go---they're playing one of my favorites right now---"Aint Much Left of Me!" 

"Well, I'm still holdin' on, but there aint much left of me--"

Love them!!!!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY MAMA SONG

We had a wonderful birthday celebration yesterday for my oldest daughter, Jessica.

Her sweet little one sang her version of "Happy Birthday" to her.  It was the highlight of our night!

You need Flash Player in order to view this.
MVI 4494
Clara Jane singing her "Happy Birthday To Mama" song to Jessica---Feb. 16, 2014

THE BROTHER'S JOHNSON AND STRAWBERRY CAKE!

This week music and meals features a song by, The Brother's Johnson.  "Strawberry Letter 23."  The first few bell notes, sure brings back memories of  summer days in the 70's.  Just makes me sigh~

My recipe is for a cake that I made yesterday for my daughter's 26th, (oh Lordie, I feel old) birthday.  I call it my strawberry mousse, chocolate fortress cake. 

It's a rockin', three layer, chocolate fudge cake, filled and covered in delightful strawberry mouse, surrounded by an abstract tower of chocolate, and topped with chocolate covered strawberries. 

 We just walked in from church, and dinner's not until 5:00 so, I've got my work cut out for me trying to keep my husband and son out of it---lots of hand slapping going on.

"Strawberry Letter 23" and a big slice of strawberry chocolate heaven.


The finished product---I love how the fortress of chocolate is protecting the pillow-y strawberry mousse.  I cannot wait to cut into the three layer wonder and let the wall fall where it may...hopefully, mostly on my plate~












List of ingredients:

2 chocolate fudge cake mixes--prepared as directed.  You'll have three layers and enough left over for a batch of cupcakes :)

Strawberry Mousse for filling--
41/2 cups of whipping cream
1/2 cup of icing sugar (powder sugar)
2 tblsp of strawberry preserves or jam
2 cups pureed fresh strawberries

20 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate
parchment paper

chocolate shavings for topping as well as 4 chocolate covered strawberries






I started with two boxed cake mixes.  I used chocolate fudge.  It'll make your three layers, plus a batch of cupcakes!









See, there they are (the extra cupcakes) photo bombing the strawberry preserves used for the mousse.






You'll need to whip up 41/2 cups of whipping cream with 1/2 powdered sugar.  Then fold in gently, 2 cups pureed strawberries---I used an old fashioned potato masher to puree strawberries, and 2 heaping tbls strawberry preserves.






For the chocolate fortress around the cake, melt 20 oz of semi sweet baking chocolate over a double boiler until smooth.







As the chocolate is melting, ice the three layers in between and on top with the strawberry mousse.  Then lick the bowl---I have no self control--

You're getting close!









Now the tricky part.  Fold two rectangles of parchment paper the length of a cookie sheet.  Pour half of the melted chocolate onto each rectangle, spreading it out with a spoon so each one will wrap half way around your cake and connect at the seams.  Place the cookie sheets of chocolate in the refrigerator until the chocolate is set.  Then flash melt the chocolate rectangles for approximately 30 seconds.  Carefully lift the parchment paper and place around outside of cake, pressing gently until adhered.  Leave on the parchment paper and place back in the refrigerator until chocolate is set again.  Remove cake and gently peel off the parchment paper.   Repeat process for the second chocolate sheet, gently pressing the seams of the chocolate coating where they meet at sides to construct one solid wall of rich, decadent chocolate around your luscious strawberry mouse, fudge cake.

I hope you get a chance to listen to "Strawberry Letter 23" and eat something delightfully strawberry.  The song truly evokes carefree memories of the fabulous 70's.  I was 11 years old, and roller skated, or skateboarded everywhere---on an old wooden skateboard with metal wheels non-the-less.  

Here's to bell bottoms, and amazing music with a funky groove~~~


You need Flash Player in order to view this.
Brohers Johnson Strawberry Letter # 23
for more soul and dance classic's , look on Funkerman's Hard To Find Beats BlogspotAsk now for an invite funkerman@home.nl

























HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!


HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!  

Almost 29 years and still smoochin' <3





Love my hard working, good lookin' husband!  We are so blessed!











On our 29th anniversary--June 22,
2013, attending a wedding at the
German Church in Tulsa, OK~

ROCK-N-ROLL-RECIPES~~

Stay tuned for a new section on my website!

ROCK-N-RECIPES/MUSIC-N-MEALS~~

Since two of my favorite things in the world are food and music, I'm going to develop a page that will  feature a recipe that I've prepared while listening to a genera of music, or featured Artist that's inspired me in a foodie way.

It could be the music that inspires the food, or perhaps the food that inspires me to play a certain album.

Maybe some, BBQ and Blues with Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton, wafting through the air, combined with the mouth watering scent of sweet, spicy sauce.  Or my favorite seafood dish made while enjoying some Gordon Lightfoot...(I might have to explain that one.)  Maybe some luscious pasta with Vasco Rossi?


Thanks for visiting...tonight just might be, Jerry Lee Lewis and. goodness, gracious "Great Balls O' Fire" hot wings!!!

Music and food---two of life's great pleasures!!







ME









ERIC CLAPTON









AND BBQ RIBS
        EQUALS
  HAPPY ME~~















COOKIN' UP AN ARCTIC STORM HERE IN OKLAHOMA!

Monday: Chicken and dumplings with carrots--

Tuesday: Roast with mashed potatoes and gravy--

Wednesday: Big pot of brown/black/red, bacon beans with Firehouse cornbread---

Tonight: Pot of hot, spicy chili (that can be converted into Frito chili pie if so desired.)

Can you tell I'm trying to keep some fat on my freezing U.P.S. man through this Arctic blast here in Oklahoma? I don't know how much longer I can keep this weekday cook-fest going.  I may resort to tacking a piece of tallow fat up on his delivery truck visor, so he can peck and go!!

Come on Spring! I'm so ready to grill some chicken breasts and veggies!

SAD FOR MY BRONCOS---HAPPY FOR DELORES AND ALVIN BAILEY

Sad for my Broncos...happy for Mrs. Delores Bailey, her son Alvin, and all the kids at IGC that will be so happy the Seahawks won---sad I made, and ate too many burritos...happy I have detox water brewing for tomorrow!

Also, happy Bruno Mars did such an amazing job during the half time show...and happy Flea kept his pants on!

My potion of spring water, lemons, mint, and cucumber will be ready for me in the morning~


Mary Magdalene and Poptart images~

Move over Mary Magdalene---I just realized I have a pop tart with an image of a big, fat clown holding a little, whimsical heart balloon...and just in time for Valentines Day!!! I'm putting it on E-Bay! Any bids?

Never mind......I ate it~




You've heard of Jesus on toast?  Well, I scored a sacred image of a pudgy clown, covered in cherry red sprinkles, holding a little heart balloon...on a Poptart~

Winning!!!

Happy February everyone!

KISS A COOKIE---EAT A FROG

The grand babies loved the froggie cookies!

And my (Ga-Ga) work here is done~



My Prince Charming eating a frog cookie!














Our littlest Princess loved them too!















Why, of course I wear my pink tutu bowling!  Don't you??  Actually, Clara Jane calls them, "choo-choo trains"---glad I'm keeping record of that.  I love going down, child language, memory lane with my kids~

SEVEN TEN SPLIT~

Our family had a great time taking all of our little ones bowling Saturday for Eddie Jett's 6th Birthday.  If you haven't taken your preschoolers to the bowling alley go!

They had a blast, and even Annabelle, who's just a year old, was able to tip a ball off of the ramp and watch it roll down the lane and knock down some pins.

There was a video arcade, and music as well.  What's not to love!

Since music is such incredible therapy for children with special needs, we got Eddie Jett his very own boom box for his room, and Uncle Forrest bought him his first Pantera CD. 

Happy 6th Birthday Eddie Jett!



Papa and the birthday boy waiting on a strike~













Even little Annabelle was able to help slide a bowling ball down the ramp and knock down some pins---such a fun outing for the kiddos.










Eddie Jett is always mesmerized by birthday candles--I'm always mesmerized by the promise of chocolate cak






 

  

Who had more fun at the arcade 
   in the bowling alley?  Hmmm?









  


Our little Landon figuring up the mathematical equation to help knock down his 7-10 split.  We were playing outside later that day, and Landon was rolling his truck down his Little Tykes slide.  He turned to me and said. "Ga-Ga...that's INERTIA---and there's also a sling shot effect!"

I sat dumfounded in my lawn chair for a few seconds...and then goggled inertia on the      down low---he was correct!  I need to brush up on my science pronto.

SOME CUTE CRITTER COOKIES FOR A SWEET LITTLE BOY

We're celebrating our Eddie Jett's birthday tomorrow at the bowling alley, and I wanted to make something unique for his special day.  He was over the moon for the white candy coating dipped Oreo snowman---as in, he ate six of them at one sitting!

I found this recipe on Pinterest for almond bark dipped Oreo froggies, and knew this was the one.  I think they'll make our precious 6 year old smile.  And I'm going to let him eat as many as he wants---he needs some more meat on his little bones.  Can't wait to hit the bowling alley for the big party!




Cookies with personality!  Ribit!!










I love how each one came out a bit different.  The one on the left is a girl, and the one on the right is a boy :) ---I checked~








I used vanilla Candy Quick---you melt it in a double boiler and dip your pretzels and Oreos, placing the pretzels down first, and then the Oreos on top to adhere.






I picked up Trolli Sour Gummie Crawlers and just cut the pink tips off for the frogs tongue, and promptly proceeded to eat the remainder of the candy worm---I love those things.  Walmart had white Sixlets in the cake decorating supply isle that were perfect for the eyes.  I melted chocolate chips with a bit of butter and, (get this) used a CLEAN Q-tip to dot the melted chocolate on the white candies for the pupil of the eyes, which made each little frog just come alive with expression.  These were so much fun to make!  

HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND TO OUR SWEETEST EDDIE JETT!


CHILDRENWITHSPECIALNEEDS.COM

I came across a site as I surfed the internet this morning, as I often do, searching for special needs sites that support children with needs, as we have our Eddie Jett angel who has 1P36 Deletion Syndrome.

To my delight and surprise, there was a beautiful photo of my cousin with her amazing special needs daughter, Zoe (The Mighty Z) on the first page of the web site! 

The site requests notes from other families with children that have special needs. Below is the note I sent to them.  
_________________________________________


Good morning!

I just found myself, as I do so often, surfing through special needs sites.  One in particular was the "Variety" organization that I heard of at our local Cinemark Theater during the movie and advertisement trailers.

I spotted your site, which had a to-the-point name and clicked on.  To my utter surprise and delight, there was a portrait of a beautiful family enjoying a day at an amusement park, and the amazing girl being featured was none other than my sweet cousin's daughter, The MIghty Z!! What a small (internet) world!

My family also has a precious special needs angel---my very first grand child, my daughter Skylar's son, Eddie Jett. 

Eddie Jett has 1P36 Deletion Syndrome.  Soon after he was born he was rushed to the intensive care unit, as he was struggling to breath. He was fitted with a G-tube to help him eat, because he could not nurse.  All three of my children were born extremely healthy, and grew up to be beauty queens, Valedictorians, and rock stars---seriously, my son opened for KISS in Stockholm, Sweden at the ripe old age of 15 years old as the lead singer/guitarist for a teen MTV--Capitol Record, rock band!

I never in my wildest dreams, or nightmares, thought I would have anything but healthy, perfect babies in our family, and when Eddie Jett was born it was heartbreaking.  Doctors couldn't even diagnose his issues, so was sent home with my young daughter after a month in the Nic-U.  We were left with a million unanswered questions. 

After quite a few midnight cries, more out of fear and exhaustion than pity, my daughter and I bucked up, tightened the girth on our saddles and jumped on for a wild, unpredictable ride into the unknown.

I stepped in as Skylar's wing-man, and became a hands on Ga-Ga.  We took our Eddie Jett to doctor after doctor, only to be passed off from office to office---specialist to specialist, as we continued to just maintain Eddie Jett's life by siphoning nutrients through a tube into his tiny belly.  He didn't cry, coo, smile, or interact with us until he was over 3 months old.  He was a silent, expressionless, but most precious infant. 

I'll never forget standing at the check out line at Wal-mart when my cell phone rang.  It was Skylar.  She was weeping and yelling as she let me know that Eddie Jett had  started CRYING that day!  Yes, everyone within an ear shot of me heard this crazy woman shouting, "HE CRIED!!! OH MY GOSH!!  HE CRIED!  Skylar, that is AMAZZZZING!!  Praise God!!!  He CRIED---yipppeee!!" 

Yep, weird situations like this one happen a lot when you have a special needs angel.  You celebrate the boulders that seem like tiny milestones to those with healthy children.

After much research, and finally a trip to a genealogist in Tulsa, Eddie Jett was given the grave, extremely rare diagnosis of 1P36 Deletion Syndrome.  The internet, and Google became our worst enemy.  Genes aren't something you can just "fix."  You can't regenerate the tips of the 1P36 our baby was missing.  You don't want to hear about the mortality rate, or bleak symptoms and deficits that come hand in hand much of the time with 1P36. The heart problems, the leukemia, the wheelchairs, the permanent feeding tubes, etc., etc.

Doctors didn't think Eddie Jett would ever eat on his own---a blizzard hit Oklahoma when Eddie Jett was 2 years old.  He pulled his Mic-Key button out, it was lost, and my daughter couldn't even get out of her drive way to get him to the hospital to replace it.  She placed a tea towel over the hole in Eddie Jett's little belly, and he began drinking and eating soft foods orally that week, with my daughters unwavering dedication and courage to her special needs son.  Docs didn't think he would ever walk.  He took his first steps at 3 years old in my living room as we enticed him with his  favorite obsession...popcorn.  Of course, he would never run---Oh yes he is!  He is trucking along in his precious "ET"-ish gate, and keeps up with his toddler cousins now!  He is not suppose to ever be able to speak, but believe me, we've worked and worked with  him, and he can say Mama, and Ga-Ga, as well as a few other select words in his own, Eddie Jett way.  But, he could have called me Mud, and I would have said, "Yes!!! My name is Mud!!

Eddie Jett turns 6 years old this weekend.  He has inspired each and every person in our family---even his uncle rock star. They are very tight, as Eddie Jett is a nut for loud, heavy music.  His favorite song, is one that his Uncle Forrest recorded called, "Sweet Goodbye."  One of Eddie Jett's favorite things is to get in his car seat, I  roll down the windows, and play it loud as the wind whips through his epic, blonde curls.  He even sings along with the chorus---his cue word is "Goodbye."  He swings his head from side to side, lifts his fingers in an orchestra conducting manner, and sings the word over and over with the CD with the hugest, life-is-grand smile on his handsome face.

Oh how we love our Eddie Jett.  God sent him to our family, and we would never be the same.  Even though I've always considered us to be humanitarians, and lovers, Eddie Jett has taught us so much more about humility, patients, and unconditional love than we could have ever imagined possible.  If I'm ever having a bad day, I can promise that just the sight of Eddie Jett's little school picture (he's now in Coweta's special needs class---another milestone) that's hanging on my fridge, makes my heart soar, and I cannot help but to smile from ear to ear!

Thank you for letting me share our story.  Our family is very blessed to have our Mighty Z, and Eddie Jett the Rock Star!  It can be scary at times, dealing with the medical issues, and frustrating when we don't get the answers we feel we need in a timely manner, but on those daunting days, we get in our car, turn up the music, roll down the windows and just sing along with our beautiful, inspirational song bird, Eddie Jett ~~

Much love,
Jody French


CHUNKY TODDLER TENN-EEES~


Is it just me or are little, chunky toddler, tennis shoes just the most adorable things ever!  I want to save them and dangle them off of my key chain, (or maybe make refrigerator magnets out of them).


Annabelle's kicks!  She was eating a brownie at the table with the big kids, thus the chocolate crumbs at her cute little feet.









Landon completed is into his second week of pre-school, so Ga-Ga had to make him a little pie tin of sprinkle brownies for an after school snack. 











Had my girls bring the kiddos by for a drop in visit today.  Of course, I had to make sure they had a little something chocolate.

Clara Jane is eating her Roy's chicken first...she slept through lunch time.  If you ever come through Coweta, be sure to stop by Roy's Chicken for the best boneless chicken you've ever had!!  People come from all over to indulge in the fried, boneless, poultry bites~~










A GREAT BIG WORLD & CHRISTINA AGUILERA---"SAY SOMETHING"

The musical guest on, "Good Morning America" this morning was, A Great Big World."

Not much can provoke such profound thoughts and feelings in my groggy brain at 8:30 a.m. before I've had my coffee, but this group---this song...BINGO!

"Say Something."  A simple melody, heartfelt line of lyrics, gorgeous voices in  harmony.  A song like this is special.  I will keep this one in my song memory bank.

Enjoy~

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A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera - Say Something
Download on iTunes: http://smarturl.it/IsThrAnybdyOutThrDownload on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album?id=Bgle3llwvyts7ex2fm7bagpukku Download on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/...

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS AND BLONDE BROWNIES

I'm super excited about the Seattle Seahawks win this weekend.  Alvin Bailey, rookie lineman for the Seahawks, helped pave the way for Marshawn Lynch with a key block that resulted in a 40-yard touchdown run.  He is also the son of the principle of Coweta IGC where I substitute teach.  He's an Oklahoma boy, who played for Broken Arrow, Oklahoma in high school.

Mrs. Bailey was so excited to be able to attend the game.  When I spoke with her Friday, she let me know that her son, Alvin, was making detailed plans for her trip.  He was thrilled to be able to fly his mama into town to spend time with her before the critical championship game.  Mrs. Bailey was just glowing with pride.  How honored she was that Alvin was on the team even though she told me he didn't play much at the rookie level. 

I can bet she added to the super sonic noise, that only Seahawks fans can rally, as her son stepped into the game for over 12 snaps, and played a key roll in their victory. Being a self-proclaimed "proud mama" myself, I know she was just loosing it in the stands!

The kids at IGC are going to be buzzing about the Super Bowl next week, with one enthusiastic, rightfully biased, principle swaying her students to Seattle's side. 

I was born in Denver, and have always been a Broncos fan, but I think I might have to root for the Seahawks for the ring this year for Mrs. Bailey, and her amazing son, our local Oklahoma rookie, Alvin Bailey!



We had tons of great football food for the game Sunday, which included these incredible Blonde Brownies.  The best thing is, I was able to whip them to up quickly after church because of the ease in prep.

Already planning my Super Bowl snacks---Go Seahawks!!!

My Blonde Brownies--the light brown sugar batter compliments the decadent chocolate chips hiding inside. 

These are the easiest bars to whip together for game days when you have to ready to hit the couch and  root for your team.  


Hope you get a chance to try this recipe.

Blonde Brownies--

1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 cup Bisquick (I love this stuff! It has all the baking soda etc. built right in!)
2 eggs well beaten
1cup mini chocolate chip morsels---or 1/2 cup morsels and 1/2 cup chopped pecans.

Mix ingredients.  Grease and flour (or spray with Pam) an 8x8 pan.
Pour batter in pan and bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees.  Don't over bake.  You want them to be a bit gooey inside.

I double the recipe and bake it in a 13x9 pan.  I had three French boys here for the ballgame, so all recipes were doubled, consumed and appreciated!

Enjoy the games all!

Ree Drummond...you're killin' me!

I'm going in for some routine blood work this afternoon at 3:00.  I was instructed to fast for 12 hours, so I haven't eaten since 7:00 p.m. yesterday evening.

Today is my day off, so I just flipped on my favorite Food Network personality, fellow Oklahoman, Ree Drummond's show, The Pioneer Woman.

I'm dying here.  Today, she's making spicy chicken drum sticks, cowboy bacon beans, and BIG, mega, mocha frosted chocolate brownies!  My stomach is growling, but I just can't look away.

I just put on a crock pot of pulled, BBQ chicken for dinner, (which will be as soon as I sprint out of the Dr.'s office today) and I'm making chocolate brownies for dessert.

Cannot wait to stuff my face.





"LONE SURVIVOR"---HUG A VETERAN!

I went to see "Lone Survivor" with Monty and Forrest last night, (I love our "guy" dates.) I'm still emotionally exhausted! Man, what a powerful movie!

If you're a veteran, and you're reading this...consider yourself hugged!

And go see the movie people!

A LITTLE SUMMER TIME IN JANUARY


I'm so glad I saved my hibiscus plants from the cold temperatures by bringing them in the house this winter.  I get two to three new blooms each morning that the east sun shines through the window to alert them.

I put snipped this one, and put it in a jar in my kitchen window sill today---a little summer time in the middle of winter.  I think I'll put my flip-flops on and do the dishes~

Aloha from sunny Coweta, Oklahoma!


BACK PORCH SNAP SHOT~



I always love sharing my back porch, sun set snap shots.  It was gorgeous last night!

The roads are clear here in Coweta, Oklahoma, and it's finally warming up.  Hope everyone has a great Tuesday!


FIRST DAY OF PRESCHOOL AND MISMATCHED BOOTS~

I was so very excited to accompany my precious 4 year old grand son Landon to his first day of preschool today where I used to teach when my kiddos were young.  Oh, how time flies!

They had dinosaurs and pretty girls---he had no problem staying!

On a funny note, I usually consider myself a pretty tough lady, (had all three of my babies with zero anesthesia or drugs) but I've had a headache for several days now due to a literal pain in my neck---I almost left the house with two different boots on this afternoon!  I'm ready for springtime and lots of walking.  It always helps keep me stretched out. 

Here's to warmer temperatures and matching shoes...or better yet, summertime and NO shoes! 





Landon being shy about taking the first step into Mrs Stephanie's room.---melted my heart~




















I've been a big old bawl bag today!  I could hardly edit these pics because I kept tearing up. 

My daughter Jessica letting go of Landon's tiny hand to let him cross the thresh hold <





















Ga-Ga was thinking I just might have to stay with him for the afternoon!











They had dinosaurs (the first thing he grabbed to play with) and pretty girls!  He decided to stay!  Whew~~




I SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO USE FOOD COLORING

Two of my sweets and I made Glitter Playdough today---cherry scented.  The recipe was probably my favorite yet, velvety soft, and pliable.  Playdough means a lot to me, so this is pretty important information.  The kids loved it, and my fingers are still covered with blue and red food coloring after 7 hours.  It'll wear off eventually---totally worth it!

GLITTER PLAYDOUGH--
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 cup water--cool temperature...no need to boil
4 tsp. cream of tartar
4tblsp. olive oil
food coloring
Almond extract---several drops

Mix all ingredients together and add desired amounts of food coloring.  Sprinkle in favorite glitter and knead until soft.  Break out the rolling pin and cookie cutters...let's make some sparkly cookies!







Miss Clara Jane making glitter playdough cookies---Her hair is extra cute, (has a touch of oatmeal from breakfast in it!) The more fun we have, the messier they are when mama comes to pick them up.No one said I run a squeaky clean ship











I should not be trusted to work with food coloring---I get way too excited and throw caution to the wind. Did I mention Ga-Ga doesn't run a squeaky clean ship?  This week's manicure...blue and purple.

EYE PATCHES AND SID THE SCIENCE KID--

Little Landon's been having a terrible time not wanting to wear his patch over his right lens. The Dr. said he needs to wear it to strengthen his left eye---his mama Jessica had to do the same thing when she was his age, but he can hardly stand it.

I was very proud of him today. He asked to put one on his Furby and then patched his own lens and wore it for over an hour! (He also wanted me to call him "Sid The Science Kid" because he knew that it would make his eye better, and it was science )

Great job Landon the Science Kid!!

That's also his mama's Furby from when she was a kid, and her little glasses that I kept.  He sure reminds me of my sweet daughter!




HAPPY NEW YEAR!

     HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


I hope everyone had a most wonderful New Year's Eve, and wishing you all God's many blessings in the coming year.  May you have a productive, exciting, wonderful 2014!!








Ready to ring in the new year with my sweet family--two years ago my sister Shannon and I counted down the new year together with a tearful hug as we anticipated her surgery as a result of breast cancer.  Last night we celebrated with nothing but happy smiles.  So thankful that my sis is 100% cancer free today! 



My sister Faith wishing peace to all in the coming year!







My hard working son and husband were way too motivated today. They raked all the leaves in our yard and chain sawed and burned all the limbs that fell because of the ice storm.  Zeus and I were less motivated, and thankful for the cozy fire to sit by. 






Good bye 2013, and all the brown leaves and fallen limbs  in my yard!  Thankful for my hard working boys!

FORREST FRENCH ORIGINAL~"STILL KICKIN"

Some country fun for your Monday morning.  This is one of Forrest's original songs from his demo. 

This is one to put in the CD player while you're driving, roll down the windows and let the fresh country air blow ya around a bit while you're singing at the top of your lungs.

Yes, I did that---enjoy!


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Forrest French-Still Kickin
Forrest French 2013

TODAY'S VINTAGE MOMENTS~

Eddie Jett's most favorite fixation is popcorn...he knows how to sign it, (flip both of your index fingers up and down alternatively like you're doing a happy dance--- there you go---you got it!!! )...he knows where all the movie theaters are when you're passing them on the highway or expressway, and points to them because he wants to go inside and get popcorn...HE LOVES IT!!

His dada Jeremy bought a popcorn machine for him this Christmas! He and his sissies are loving it! Skylar took this photo tonight. Wonderful, magical, popping, popcorn for Eddie Jett and his sisters.

Makes me smile, and remember that the simplest things in life can be the most memorable~ ps. He takes after his Ga-Ga on the popcorn obsession. I have to go to the Theater on an empty stomach so I can get a large popcorn, (with jalapenos in the bottom that I sneak from the well for the hot dogs) or the movie just isn't the same!

This looks like a vintage moment that will never go out of style~~




Our Eddie Jett has been pulling his chair up to the counter top since Christmas morning to get a peek of his new popcorn popping contraption.  He and his sissy Maddy are anticipating the magic!  

HOLIDAY SUGAR COOKIE HANGOVER~

Anyone else feel like they have a holiday hangover from all the sweets and goodies made and laid out before us at our many Christmas gatherings?

My cure today for the holiday over-indulgence is a black bean, avocado burger, with fresh home made salsa~

Okay, so I might sneak one more (two more) chocolate covered cherries for dessert.  I love those things! 

Here's to a pre-New Years resolution for healthier eating.


NEXT YEAR, I'M SHOPPING AT THE U-HAUL MOVING STORE!

Months of making detailed lists, pouring over online shopping sites, driving in heavy traffic to the malls, shellin' out the big bucks for the perfect toys, and hours of wrapping and taping it all up with glitzy bows and bright colored paper---they open their gifts, throw them aside and play in the boxes and bags~ Oh, to be a toddler again.

Next year, I'm going to the moving supply store---packing boxes for everyone!!! 

There are two Chapin children in that gift bag below btw---





Give a child a toy and they'll play for a day---give a child a box, and they'll play forever!!  Annabelle and Eddie Jett playing in Forrest Keurig Coffee maker box~~








Yes, there are two of my toddler grand children in that one gift bag! 








They tossed the toys aside to play in the gift bags and boxes---I love Eddie Jett's big smile!  What a wonderful Christmas day we had!

Dashing through...the Walmart---Christmas Eve Musings!!


Do you think if I just drew on the faces of my Nutter Butter snowman cookies with a black sharpie (instead of making black frosting and painting them on with a paintbrush) anyone would notice??  J/K??  No really...J/K!!

I don't think I have the time or strength to continue my sweet, artistic endeavors---This last batch is just going to get the M&M buttons and the snowman's expression will be up to the consumer!

Also, does anyone else write in "mad-dash elf shorthand" on their last minute Christmas gift/wrapping paper/grocery list?  I could not figure out, for the life of me what, "bat lace" was before I left the house for my final trip to Walmart post Christmas.  I literally could not read my frantically scribbled hand writing, but knew the item was important.

Between my house and the store, while hurling through space down highway 51-B, I continued racking my brain to figure it out...Butter---no...Bacon---no...BATTERIES!! Yes, that's it!  The g-babies would not be able to fire up their toy electronic cash registers, (ages 3 and up) to begin figuring out what money was, and how to use a credit card!!

Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas to you all!!!

And don't forget those gigantic C batteries for all the electronic toys hiding under the tree in brightly colored boxes for the kiddos people. 

Much love to all, and to all a good night~~




TROPICAL LEAVES AND CHRISTMAS TREES IN OKLAHOMA

I brought my hibiscus plants in just before the first freeze here in Oklahoma.  They've been sprawling out in my entry way shedding lots of crunchy leaves.  Forrest's guitar students have to fight a mini jungle, cutting a path with their guitar cases every time they walk in the door. 

I almost stopped watering them this week, but their sad little leaf faces begged me to continue giving them drinks.  I'm so glad I did, because after church today, I walked into the entry way and got struck by a clingy little branch that tapped me on the shoulder and said, "look at me, look at me!"

I have two of the prettiest little coral blossoms that brightened my icy Sunday.  Such a nice contrast---tropical flowers and Christmas trees~



    
        The sweet little plant that reached out and touched me today~
            I believe it was telling me thanks for not giving up on it~~


CUTE FACES AND INTIMIDATION~

I might just keep these little cuties on my kitchen window sill all year long. They make me smile every time I do the dishes---and I don't usually smile while I'm doing dishes~ Cutest faces ever!








Speaking  of cute faces, I snapped this pic of my adorable nieces yesterday.  I feel very sorry for their dad in about six years---load up that shotgun.  You laugh, but my dad actually did keep his hunting rifle by the door when boys came to pick me up for a date! Intimidation factor.  My husband says to this day, my dad was the scariest one of all. He used the phrase, "yes sir" a lot.  "He's just going quail hunting, calm down honey---bird shot does not hurt that bad!"










HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS~

Me, my sisters, and brother braved the ice storm to travel to Hulbert Oklahoma today to celebrate Christmas at my Dad's. This is our first Christmas in many years that we've been able to spend time with our brother.  He just moved back from North Dakota.  He and is wife scoffed at the cold temps, (did I mention that he just moved back from North Dakota?) but ice is ice no matter where you live.  Hoping everyone stays safe out on the roads as it re-freezes tonight.

Besides spending the day with my family, my second favorite thing of the day was broccoli salad.  Yep, I just said that.  It's the dish I bring to every holiday gathering.  It's the perfect accompaniment to ham, turkey, burgers, just about everything except for maybe an ice cream social---although, I've never tried it.  Hmmmm?  I tell people even if they don't like broccoli they'll like my broccoli salad.  I give them the old, "ok---open up...you've got to try just ONE bite!!!"  I then force feed them a spoonful and sit back and watch the magic.  "HEY!! That stuff is GOOD!!"  I always rest my case.  Did I also mention it has bacon in it?

If you want to wow broccoli scoffers everywhere just whip this salad together and shove a spoonful between their pursed lips. 

So, here's the magic broccoli salad recipe:

Two heads of broccoli---florets with a bit of the stem (or you can buy two bags of the prepackaged.) Bunches are more cost effective though.
1/2 a red onion chopped finely
6-8 slices of bacon, crumbled (this is the aphrodisiac that mesmerizes anti-broccoli folks.)  I don't think I'd be opposed to bacon perfume.

Dressing:
1 cup Hellman's mayonnaise (I use the low-fat model)
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. milk
2 tbsp. white vinegar

Mix dressing in large bowl then add the goods above.  I usually reserve two slices of the bacon to crumble and sprinkle on top.

It...Is...Incredible!!!

Come on...open your mouth and try just one bite!

Happy Holiday cooking all!







The Magic Broccoli Salad~Converting broccoli haters across the nation. Or, maybe just across Wagoner county~













This is a huge branch that fell directly outside our bedroom window in the middle of the night scaring the be-jezus out of my husband and I.  I decided I would take an artsy pic of the culprit, as opposed to being  mad at it.







He's baaaack!!!  My sisters and I are so thrilled to have my brother back in Oklahoma.  The holidays are all about family~










Look who actually got to come with me!!!  The exhausted U.P.S. man.  He worked 60 hours in the nasty, cold weather this week, at a full dead run when he wasn't behind the wheel.  He still has to work tomorrow which is Sunday to try to catch up from the snow storm a couple of weeks ago, though.  Please be kind to your delivery drivers this time of year!!  And come by and visit me anytime!  I'm lonely!!







IF YOUR NICE, I'LL GIVE YA A COOKIE!

The girls and I, (and an extra minion army of toddlers) had our annual holiday, marathon, treat making session this afternoon.   The kiddos are finally old enough this year to help with "sprinkling" duties.  I wonder who's going to get the white chocolate pretzel with 6 ounces of red sugar crystals on it---they get a little heavy handed sometimes! Yum-yum~~

We baked, iced, and dipped for almost 7 hours.  Exhausting, but we made lots of good old fashioned memories in the kitchen.

Now to give it all away before I eat it! 

Happy Holiday baking ya'll!



My U.P.S. man has been very good this year---he gets the first pick!







My favorite are the snowmen---mint oreos dipped in white candy quick.  I painted on their faces with a tiny paintbrush and colored frosting.  When you bite into them they are they prettiest color of holiday green.










We seem to get more "help" each year.  Our minion army is growing~














Maddy and Landon---yes, they are professional sprinklers.











Clara Jane helping mama.  Nothing like making memories in the kitchen during the holiday season.  The simplest things in life are the best.











Doesn't Annabelle look just like a Who from Whoville?  Or, maybe a Munchkin from the land of Oz?  She was such a good girl...as long as
Ga-Ga slipped her an M&M every so often---shhh!

You know it's been a good day when your shirt ends up in the washer mid-day because it has so much icing on it---It was a good day~~

A COLD MAN IN NEED AND HIS BEST FRIEND~


Forrest told Monty and I a story the other night-- He was going into to Quick Trip for gas after the big snow, and saw a gentleman, who was obviously in need, sitting out front to possibly pick up an extra buck, or a warm cup of coffee from kind strangers as they walked in and out.

The man had a dog with him that he had put two warm coats on, while he was only wearing one light coat in the sub freezing temperatures. The dog was obviously his very best friend in the world, and probably one of his only true, unconditional companions.  Forrest said as he walked by, the man was kissing the bundled up pup right on the nose, and speaking to him lovingly.

When Forrest walked back out he handed him some money, and started to walk on to his truck. The gentleman yelled to him within a few seconds.  He told Forrest that he had accidentally given him a 20 dollar bill which was wrapped in a single. Forrest smiled at him and said, "no man, I meant to do that!"

Forrest was blown away by the less than fortunate man's honesty, and love for the dog that he was unselfishly taking such good care of.

His story gave me tears, and made my heart happy, knowing that Forrest was moved by the experience of giving, and also by witnessing the love and compassion shown by the cold man with the warm dog~

Tis always the season to give to others, even if you don't have much to give--

BIRTHDAY LIGHTS~


We celebrated our sweet grand daughter's 3rd birthday yesterday evening with a trip to the McDonald's Play Place, and a trek through the breath taking Christmas lights at Rhema Bible College in Broken Arrow.  We let her pick which way to go at every turn on our light viewing adventure. Pa-Pa told Maddy that they put the lights up for her birthday!

What a fun family night!

If you are in the Tulsa area, make a point to grab a hot chocolate and hit the sidewalks of Rhema.  It takes six months for 15 member crew to string over a million lights across the 110 acre campus.  The lights shine from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day.

My favorite Holiday eye candy.




Sweetest Birthday Princess--blowing out her candles with daddy~
















How many of you have gotten to ride your bicycles in McDonalds?  Go Maddy, Go!















Clara Jane eating treats and enjoying the light show









Forrest and his friend Theresa by the duck pond--






                 RHEMA 2013---Birthday lights just for Maddy!!

GA-GA'S HOUSE~TEACH THEM GIVE

I had such a fun Saturday with all five of the g-babies. As much as I don't like clutter, some days you just have to say, "have at it kiddos!" Color on the (chalkboard) walls, decorate the wood floor with stickers, trample popcorn into the carpet, pull out every toy, rummage under the Christmas tree---you, my little friends, are at Ga-Ga's!!!"

I dumped out a bunch of mis-matched Christmas cards left over from years past, ribbon, Christmas stickers, crayons, etc. onto the kitchen floor, and let them decorate cards for their mamas and dads.  I haven't seen them work so intently on something in a long time.

I think sometimes we get so involved in making our detailed holiday lists, and shopping till we drop to get our children the perfect presents, we forget how much they love to give.  The kids were so excited to give their "in-batations" (as Landon called the cards) to their parents when they picked them up.

Children are natural givers.  Nurturing that instinct in them is a wonderfully rewarding thing to do.

It's so much fun to spoil the grand babies and then send them home for a nap---and by nap, I mean MY nap, not theirs!!

Worn out, but blessed!  Happy Holidays!



 The kids making Christmas cards, (or in-batations) for their mom and dads.  Even baby Annabelle was crafting~









I made nutter butter cookie snowmen and treats for Maddy's birthday party this weekend~festive little critters.















Eddie Jett enjoyed coloring on my new chalk board door-- his favorite color of chalk was black!
















Landon put the elf hat on me---it's clear who the "helper" is, and who's the "boss." I'm pretty good at fetching chocolate milk~

HAPPY HEART FAILURE HOLIDAYS!


You know that moment when you're sitting all alone in your house, and the largest ornament on your Christmas tree comes crashing down, plinko style behind you.  This tranquil little jewel just about gave me a heart attack---Happy heart failure Holidays!

COUSIN ED!!!!




    COUSIN ED!! Just in time for Christmas!  A big thank you to
    Forrest for getting up early to drive me, Skylar and the kiddos
    around in his trusty pick up truck. 

     School's back in session here in Coweta today.  Be careful out there
     peeps!
   

CHRISTINA AGUILERA AND TOOTHPASTE AT WALMART

I had a gentleman stop me in Walmart this evening to tell me that I reminded him of Christina Aguilera.  I told him he couldn't sing, and carried on with my shopping!  J/k  He actually said "the younger" Christina Aguilera.  I shall take your compliment fine sir and Merry Christmas!"Tomorrow it could be Emilio Estevez, "the older" version~

And for the record, I am fully convinced that unless someone was to follow me around with a gun to my head, there is no way I can get out of Walmart with just the four items on my list.  I went in for exactly four things, (one of which was toothpaste) and came out with a full cart totaling over $200.00. 

You are marketing geniuses Walmart!

BE KIND TO YOUR LOCAL U.P.S. DEIVERY MAN IN DECEMBER~

  1. I know many of you are feeling the frustration of a slow down of delivery from U.P.S. etc. Please be kind to your U.P.S. delivery drivers. It's not that they're being lazy or keeping your pkgs. on their trucks, but many of the trailers haven't been able to even get to the local U.P.S. centers, especially when your merch is coming from up North, and interstates are iced over.
  2.  
  3. I become a "U.P.S. Christmas widow" each year at this time when the Christmas rush arrives. I know that sounds dramatic, but we become two ships that pass in the night this time of year. Monty leaves at 7:30 a.m. and doesn't even get home until 10:00p.m. or later most of these blistery, cold days. He's so worn out from running double time in bad conditions that he barely has strength to eat a warm meal (that's been sitting for several hours) before dragging himself to bed for 8 hours sleep.

  4. Last year he was out in the big snow storm and ran off the icy road. Within minutes, a semi came down the same hill and barreled into his truck, sending it up into a tree...He was running away from his truck as fast as he could in the deep snow, seconds before the semi rammed his vehicle. (And I was on the phone with him while he ran!) I was beside myself, and wanted him home right then!

  5.  Monty's missed many meals with the family on Christmas Eve, as he usually has to work that day also, until all pkgs. are delivered. He comes in wind burned, barely able to walk from having frozen feet, hours late as the rest of the family celebrates---Christmas is a wonderful, warm time of year that most are spending a bit of extra time with their family.

  6. Those U.P.S. drivers are just hoping for 8 hours of sleep each night, and a hot meal once a day until December 26! I  love my delivery driver/husband, (and miss him being around this time of year.) Weekends are their only reprieve, and that's the time they use to catch up on their rest, (lots of recliner naps) and battle colds that they can't miss work for~~

  7. And down from my soap box I step .
  
          Be kind to your local U.P.S. man this holiday season!

And I'm not sure what the "numbers" are for, (I guess my lap top thought my rant needed to be a numbered power point!!!)  I tried to remove them, but the computer won. 



CHRISTMAS ANGELS

My daughter, Skylar's heat went out at her house, so I had some pretty sweet visitors make the snowy trek to my place to warm up.

Schools are still closed here in Coweta, so Eddie Jett got another footie pajama snow day.

Eddie Jett has always loved my Christmas angel.  He smiles, loves on her, and has one-sided conversations with her, (she's the beautiful silent type.)  :) 

Very grateful that Sky got her heater fixed so quickly, but sure enjoyed my little Christmas Angels this morning!






Annabelle discovering Ga-Ga's Christmas Angel~















I was so thrilled that I captured the moment that she put her precious little finger under her chin--

















Eddie Jett was glad to see his sweet friend had returned for the Holidays---he had quite the conversation with her!












Christmas Warmth <3









Had two more QTs come in the afternoon today---Landon was stoked that I put all the Christmas hats in a basket by the tree.  We usually have to put them on them, but he found the festive items and put them on himself~~as you can see he is a proud little Santa's helper!
*Can you tell what movie we're watching?  The background still shot of Despicable Me 2 made me laugh!






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