Friday, October 19, 2012

Sharing some Fall Fun!

I'm in a Witchy kind of there a full moon??

It's Friday week before our 1st Annual Family Fall Festival and I'm burning up with a fever! 102!!ughhh...the really bad part is Pinterest keeps adding all these pins to my "to do" list and I've got no idea where I'm going to come up with the hours to create all these adorable things this week! much as I love're killing me!   You get my creative juices flowing and I seriously cannot stop!  It's time for an intervention!  How did I survive before Pinterest?  Martha, Michael's, Hobby Lobby and dare I share this secret....FAMILY MAGAZINE!!  Now, I've abandoned them all for you Pinterest..... had everything in the pantry to create these little MELTED WITCHES and my camera is flaking out on me.  It's quite sad how I came become bewildered over something like, not taking a photo of  my latest creation I've copied!  Maybe it's the fever!!    -right     I can guarantee photos will be taken next Saturday even if I have to resort to the Nikon that I just can't seem to grasp, it does, after all have an Auto-Mode.

Just so you know,  I  do have my face mask on and I've bathed in hand sanitizer up to my elbows. There is nothing worse than your body feeling like its been ran over by one of those paving machines....not that I know what that feels like exactally ..but hey...we all know I am a wuss when it comes to being ill!  I'm the caretaker, the caregiver, not the patient.  

Any-BOOOOOOO...sorry....I can only do this a couple of days out of the year to annoy the kids!  I can hear them now, "Mom? Really?"

I'm sooooo excited about our evening!  We have a long list of activities for the kids (around 22 are expected from ages 1-11)  and that should keep them busy for all of ....hummmm....two hours if we're lucky!  The one thing I've come to learn in dealing with families, children and party all in the same sentence.....Moms and Dads don't always participate so it's up to YOU to keep the kids entertained!  Kind-a sad when you think of it but I'm not going to run off in that direction.  I'll simply state this:  we all know someone that never seems to know where or what their child is doing and you wonder how does this child survive??   I guess that's the one reason I've always wanted to co-host/host events especially when it comes to the kids!  I love it!

 NOTE TO MY DAUGHTER: STEPHANIE & JAMIE..... THANK YOU BOTH FOR ALLOWING ME TO HELP HOST while yall supply the home, the $$, the guest, the parking and I just get to use my creativity!! This IS MY KIND OF PARTY!!

 I would rather spend an evening with the kids than with adults most any day and what's really odd about that is, as a kid I always wanted to be with the adults when it was allowed.  It use to kill me to play with other kids  when my parents had card night!  I wanted to be right in the middle of the adults!  is that weird??  please don't

Lets see....we have lined up so far,  Debbie, you'd be so proud of my lists!!!     : )

  • Pin the nose on the the Pumpkin.  (Velcro actually to avoid unnecessary accidents!)  
  • Find the Candy Corn in rice  (it's a feel and touch motor skill game for the little ones)
  • Fall Duck Pond (6 themed ducks in a $1.00 oil-pan tub/basin)
  • Create your own Pumpkin from Foam (ready to do sticky kit for $5.00)
  • Hidden Acorn Game (3 solo cups and a acorn) 
  • Skeleton Hands (Fill a latex glove with kettle corn to take home)
  • Corn Shakers (color, place stickers on an empty tissue roll and fill with rice, tape ends)  
  • Creepy Coffin Coloring table (a 50' roll of printed paper rolled out across an old table to color,stamps) 
  • Glitter Pumpkins  (roll a tiny pumpkin in fairy dust to take home)
I've GOT TO create one of these Caillou and Gilbert Pumpkins for the girls!!
  Thank you Repeat Crafter Me for this amazing idea!!  

Sound fun?  Oh I forgot the older kids will be guessing the amount of "Pumpkin Poop" in a large pumpkin and we're having a costume contest!  Whoooo peeeee!  Seriously, I am sooo excited!!

For prizes we have all sorts of things we've collected for the last year from clearance sales, books from kids meals (my mom and I buy kids meal...don't judge...)  stickers, rings, special straws, seasonal cups, pencils, more stickers, stamps for the wee ones and treat bags.

We're still trying to configure the whole voting with the costume thingy.  Do we judge all the kids together and do 4 trophies and 1 overall.  Lets see we have Most Unique, Scariest, Cutest, Funniest and the Overall being the most Awesome-ness we've seen....?   The judges are still out on how to judge....  Wish us luck on this one!

This is Jaylee-bugg a few years back...
she turned 10 this week!!

The food is going to be created by me in a very sterile kitchen if I don't get to feeling better or I'm having it catered!!  haha   My son, Larry has over 100 lbs of fresh catfish where he and Bret have fished this past summer.  Obviously we'll have a deep fryer off too itself where I'm sure all the men will gather.  If I'm as brilliant as I think I am then it's sure to be setup near the television with the SEC playing and talk of the days latest Tennessee Vols game against the South Carolina Gamecocks!  I'm pretty brilliant when it comes to football and my boys!  : )    I'm making 3 crock-pots of chili.  White Chicken Chili (Aunt Peggy's recipe)
My Chili and my not-so-famous but ever so popular HOT Chili!!  yummmmmmy     We thought about ordering pizzas but where's the fun in that?  That would be like gathering up the entire family and going to Shoney's for Thanksgiving Dinner!  Sorry Shoney's but some things should be done at home especially for a large group!

For dessert of course we will be having Little George's Eggnog Poundcake shaped like a pumpkin (sorry I can't share his recipe but found a great blog with one!  gotta try hers too!!) .   Love this one!!  It's even more special since Little George shared with me his recipe a few years back!

 Our table will also be filled with Pretzel Bones,Melted Witches,  Oreo Mummys, Pumpkin brownies, Pumpkin Fudge, Caramel Apples, Peanut Butter Buckeyes, Pumpkin Cheese Fondue, A Cider-Filled Pumpkin Keg and with a new Registered Dental Hygienist in the family we're having "Rotten Mouths" and finally for a real killer...."Dexter Slides".


After typing all this it seems that some magical potion has eased my discomfort and my boggled mind has come to it's senses.....I'M CALLING A CATERER!!  NOW!!

While we personally are not into celebrating Halloween with witches, horror and doom we are very excited to celebrate this time with family and welcome in fall with a little pixy dust, some runny noses, hand sanitizer and yep.....I will have a glass of Goblin Juice and we're not talking Welchs Grape!  : )   Thank you Middle Sister Wine for finding your place in Middle Tennessee!  Cold, dead, creeping bodies need a little REBEL RED to warm our bodies from time to time and wisk us back from the beyonnnnnd........on that's bedtime! more costume is "A SINGLE BALLOT" being that it's an election year and every single vote counts.....I'll be happy to cause some fun conversation for the night!! (cheesy grin)  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

This Glorious Day: Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

                       I found this on pinterest and just had to find the link and share it!  Well
While reading some of her blog posts' I fell in love with her writing!  Take a journey over and enjoy your cup of Joe' while doing some reading!  

photo courtesy of This Glorious
it's posted without her permission and I never do that but I'm just in love 
with this project!

                          This Glorious Day: Act Justly, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly:

 Micah 6:8 King James Version (KJV) He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and t...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cruise 2012

Jamaica, Key West and Grand Cayman were the destination for this years cruise.  It was a fantastic, very hot and humid week!  Lot's of walking and more water than I have ever consume in this body!!

  Many moments I'll never forget...especially my too few hours in Ft. Lauderdale with my sister Debbie's family as well as my Dad and step-mom.

Our trip began with a drive to Atlanta at midnight and catching a quick flight to Ft. Lauderdale.  Yes, we could have flown from Nashville...however, due to jobs and driving with a toddler, as well as it being much, much cheaper to fly from Atlanta...Our trip planning extraordinaire (Jamie) organized our itinerary!  Which worked out perfectly!  Not only did we make our flight and Miss Jersey did wonderful, we were able to meet up with Jamie's family from West Virginia and head to our hotel.  The Ft. Lauderdale Sheraton which is on the beach and beautiful!!  It's shaped like a ship!  While there my sister and her family drove up from Palm Beach with my Dad and step-mom as they were down visiting as well!  We enjoyed an amazing day at the beach and Bubba Gumps for dinner.  The streets were alive with music!!  The moon was full and shining so radiantly across the ocean! We walked and walked!!  It was just toooooo short a time with my sister and the boys!!  They are growing so much and seeing them made me miss being in FL that much more!! :((   Shoot....if I keep talking about them the tears will never cease!!  

SO.....Here are some moments / memories from the cruise: 

 The first night I ended up in Medical at 11pm getting my ankle wrapped from a trip over an unseen cord.  While many people rushed to my aid, I can say,,,next to falling on my face in front of my 11th grade boyfriend some many years ago,,,I was quite embarrassed   ugh!!   What a fuss these total strangers made over me as apparently no caution sign was posted to forewarn anyone.  Roland and Katherine from Ft. Lauderdale (strangers) argued and put up quite the protest with the housekeeping supervisor as I waited, foot swelling,turning a lovely shade a blue and my as crimson!!  They demanded my cruise be paid in full and an accident report be filled out.  Looking back as embarrassed as I was, as well as aggravated with myself for being a klutz...they were very sweet to come to my defense.  My foot was sprained and sprained quite well but fortunately nothing was broken!!  With the exception of hiking up Dunes Falls in Jamaica I was able to do most everything we had planned!  The great part was the ocean and pool being cold were amazing aides in healing!  :)  

Jamie and I enjoyed blowing a few dollars in the casino and yes I say blowing it!  I walk in with a set amount and expect to loose it.  If I come out ahead.... yippee!!!  I can play one poker machine for hours on 20.00 so for me it's just great entertainment while at sea, late at night!

Key West was our first port and while I've traveled this city and love what it offers my only goal here was to purchase Mr. Bret a certain cigar!  lol!  That was my goal other than getting the kids to the Southern Most Point and getting Miss Jersey a silver spoon for her collection.  While there was a line at the Southern Most Point it was nothing like I'd seen in the past.  We were so lucky!!  The weather was incredibly HOT and HUMID!  We walked from the ship which was approx. a mile and a half but felt like 5miles that day!  I tell you, there was no cooling off!  People were searching for trees and awnings to stand under everywhere you looked! Fortunately Jamie had his cell and was able to call a taxi to pick us up and return us to port.  The taxi fella was such a sweetheart!  For the four of us he charged only $8.00 and that wasn't even his minimum.  We must have looked rough!!  lol!  This is when tipping to me is that much more important!  He had a sheer joy about doing his job and it showed!  We were so thankful that Jamie saved us that walk back! 

The following day was an "At Sea" day and we enjoyed the Champagne Art Auction and I even bid on a piece but let it go to a higher bidder.  It was, after all, only the second day ...   I do so love the art auctions they offer from Park Avenue!  We  enjoyed the company of Jamie's family and explored what all the ship had to offer from the amazing lunch buffets (Mongolian and Thai!)  to your comfort foods.  We shopped for Stephanie some earrings to match her engagement ring as it was bought on-board from Diamonds International.  The ship offered the pools, the water-slide  putt-putt slide, bingo, the comedy hour and my favorite....Nap time with Jersey!!  :)  

Jamaica was our next port.  Jamie worked a deal with a local and we all got to travel via a bus for an island tour.  What a great tour too!!  The locals spoke of the rich history of the island and of the unfortunate poor economics today.  He stopped many, many times and let us meet other locals selling their goods and creative arts.  One many over the age of 80 lived simply behind a sheet and had carved out heads all along the walls that he called his home.  It was a sight!  Part of my soul felt terrible as I sat on a tour spending money on simple souvenirs while these people had no money to feed themselves, much less their families.  What really surprises me it that it is owned by the British Royals and you would think with it begin such a huge tourist industry there would be more employment.  We all did our part with contributing to this gentleman as well as several others we saw.  The tour guide was quick to tell us, "only give a dollar or two because other buses would come by."   I didn't understand that at first but she later explained that some people (like the lady in front of us who handed out $50.00 bills like they were $1) would give and give to those at the beginning which left those at the end of the tour with little or nothing.  Basically she was saying, "If you want to offer them something thats great, there was no obligation, just do so sparingly and spread it out as they are everywhere. "    and....everywhere is an understatement!!  They began knocking on the windows.  Begging us to buy a necklace for just $1.00.  I'd never seen anything like this except on a mission trip years ago.     As part of the tour we traveled to Dunn's Falls where you walk down a hillside to the ocean then hike back up it in a freshwater creek.  Oh my was that water cold!!  As much as my heart wanted to do this I didn't want to cause havoc with my ankle/foot so I chose, along with Jamie's parents, to watch Jersey and take photos of Steph and Jamie as they hiked it.  It was beautiful and looked like soooo much fun!

  Jamaica was gorgeous and considering a tropical storm had affected their island just days earlier you certainly couldn't tell it!

Another couple days at sea and then the beautiful Grand Cayman!  The day started early

Chubby and the servers singing on our last night...Jersey loved this man!

more photos soon

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Approximately 4 months ago I had a horrible experience with choking after taking just one bite of a riblet at Red Robin.  Being that I am the driver when with my Mom, I knew I didn't want to alarm her....but I tell you, my mind was flooded with thoughts of, "I am going to pass out right here from the fact that I cannot breathe!"   My face turned crimson red and I tried to smile while holding up my finger implying, I'll be okay in a moment.   Fortunately, after getting up and getting some air outdoors I was able to regain control of my air and while exhausted...explained to Mom that this wasn't the first time.   For the next several weeks this occurred over and over.  I kept a journal thinking that it had to do with foods I was eating, Maybe an adult onset allergic reaction?  But  over the weeks I noticed no similarities. The breaking point was our trip to The Great Smoky Mountains.  With each meal for three days I would end up with chronic choking, sweating profusely and ultimately ending up in the bathroom or on the side of the road vomiting until I could catch my breath.  Mom and Connie threatening to take me to the local Emergency gastroenterology I went.   Below is an update I shared on Facebook.  I was overwhelmed at the outpouring of comments from friends!                                                        

 Understand that I have to see my physician monthly for my MS when it's in the middle of a flareup and then I have a monthly visit for trigger point injections for my spine....So, that's a minimum of 2 days a month at the Dr's and not counting home health care visits.   Going to another physician is NOT on my top ten favorite lists!!  First of all the majority of Diagnosis' are this, "Well, you know this could be due to your Multiple Sclerosis."   UGH....NOT everything is connected to my MS!!  I swore I was going to pay out-of-pocket for a new Dr, obtain a complete physical and not disclose my MS just to see the outcome!!   lol's as brief a summary as I could write to let everyone know my outcome:   

SO.....Here's yesterday update:  I went for a routine EGD due to swallowing/severe choking issues in the past few months.  We found that my esophagus had closed/swollen to the mere size of a pencil when it is normally the size of a quarter.  (No wonder I couldn't swallow!)  There was lots of acid/blood but no hernia/ulcers. YIPPEE~~
 However, with my blood-counts have been all out of wack he is quite certain I have Autoimmune Gastritis/Pernicious Anemia.  Very common for those with autoimmune diseases such as MS, Lupus, RA, Hypothyroidism but anyone can "have it".  The anemia occurs when the stomach can no longer absorb vitamin B12 and other factors and can lead to stomach cancer.   SOOOOOO......biopsy's were taken.   When he looked at my stomach there was lots of "old blood" as well as infection that appears to be Menetrier's disease which causes protein loss.   (This explains my inability to lose more weight with all the in fact can cause one to gain because you can't process/digest food correctly)  Hope I restated that right!  SOOOOOO.......I get to go back on Tuesday for a complete colonoscopy/GI series with more biopsy's to rule out the Big C!  I'm all for preventative medicine!!!   
FRIENDS:  PLEASE, PLEASE DO YOUR ROUTINE CHECKS!!  Some people have different ideas of medicine and the medical field...but when it comes to PREVENTION FOR CANCER ANY AND EVERYONE SHOULD DO THE SIMPLE TEST!!  I may have MS but I am so fortunate I am alive, walking, talking!! God knew I would endure this the day he created me and it's my responsibility to stay faithful and strong and make a positive impact.  It has opened my eyes to many things!!
  That old saying, "You never know until you've walked in someone else's shoes"   Well.....those shoes are now mine and I'm standing strong in them and I refuse to let it get me down.  WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS LIKE I HAVE HOW COULD I GET DOWN???  I LOVE EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU!!  THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART FOR BRIGHTENING MY DAYS  from a simple "HI" or playing my "silly games" here on FB.   I AM ONE BLESSED LADY! MUCH LOVE and YES I'M TYPING IN CAPS BECAUSE I'M SHOUTING THIS!!!  :) 
****To my Stephanie Staats, THANK YOU for being there yesterday on your day off and for patiently waiting for 6 hours with a toddler!! I know the Dr's bedside manner is a little strange and he overloaded you with a lot of scary information but I'm so lucky to have you!! 

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