Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Story

In the mid-1990's at Christmas time we found this story on NPR. And we have made listening to it part of our Christmas tradition every year since. It is a wonderful story that always brings tears to my eyes and puts a warm place in my heart. Hope that you will enjoy listening to it also.
Click on link below....

Then click on Listen now, turn up the volume and really hear every word of the story. I like to close my eyes as I listen and visualize the story playing out in my mind. Grab some kleenex because you will need them...

John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story on National Public Radio.


Wow! Christmas already! Where did the time go? It just slipped up on me...
Well, we are post Christmas gift opening and this is the breakdown on current activities:
Megan, Noah and Andrew are trying to figure out a Wii game that Megan got called Mario Cart,
Lauren is sleeping on the couch surrounded by opened gifts and covered in Megan's blanket.
Noah is whining because he wants to play Wii too, Mom is on the phone, Dad is snoozing it up, and I am aside from being on the computer, in the kitchen getting a few things ready for us to nibble on today.

Last night I cooked a ham, dirty rice, green peas, rolls and a carrot cake for Dad's birthday.

Today I took the easy way out, I sent Lauren to Whole Hog bbq yesterday to get a couple pounds of pulled pork for bbq sandwiches to go with the cocktail sausage, jalapeno cheese dip, cream cheese dip, crackers and chips. I think there is some of the carrot cake left, I made brownies, fudge and there is left over ham and dirty I think we will be well fed today, not that ALL of us (me) need to be well feed, uhmmmm.....but I will save that for a new years resolution!!

Well, the kitchen is calling, so I will post again later about the blessings the day brings. I have to work the next two days, so I will be scarce again.

At the end of the post I wanted to mention a family that we know from Louisiana who aren't having a good Christmas day today. Two days ago their 14 year old son was shot accidently and he died on Christmas Eve. His name was Brad Maddox. His parents are Danny and Sherry Maddox. The funeral is tomorrow, so please be in prayer for that family along with the family of the young man who accidently shot him. I am sure that both families are having a very difficult Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cold Day in December

Today was a very cold day. We are expecting icy conditions overnight. Lauren was off today, and I did plan to get out and do a little more Christmas shopping, but when I stepped out the front door, and felt that cold artic blast hit me, well I decided that I would rather stay in where it is warm...

Little man isn't feeling well. He has had that allergy mess for a couple of days, but nothing major. But today he really felt bad and lay around most of the day. I am giving him Zertec and praying that he will be better in a day or two.

Here is a photo of him in the recliner. He had been playing gameboy earlier and fell asleep. The photo was taken after he woke from the nap.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words....

So I will save the commentary and let the photo speak for itself....

And like Forrest Gump, "That's all I'm gonna say about that..."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Spirit Where are you???

I'm just not feeling it this year. I can't seem to find the Christmas Spirit anywhere! I have been shopping, and it only makes me cranky; ask my kids if you don't believe it.

The majority of the shopping, or should I say, buying that I have done, has been online. I get to sit in my pj's and have my purchases brought straight to my front door, and not fight over parking spaces and stand in long lines...Why haven't I don't this before?

Well, I have done shopping online, but until this year, I always enjoyed getting out and going to the stores, seeing the Christmas decorations, hearing the music, and feeling the vibe from all the shoppers bustling around, and carrying all the decorative bags of their purchases around.

But this year, it's just to much of a hassle. I don't want to go anywhere and have to shop.

We are cutting back this year, as I am sure that many are, but it isn't that, it's just, well...
I don't feel it...

I'd much rather be doing something else.

I suggested that we all just choose one thing we really want and then we use the rest of the money to go somewhere and spend Christmas. Like I don't know----Hmmmm....Seattle for instance...

But they wouldn't go for it. I even suggested we go to Colorado and stay in a ski lodge and just spend Christmas that way, instead of our traditional way. But no dice...They won't fall for it.

I got a call from my supervisor this morning, I have to work the day after Christmas anyway, so that wouldn't work after all. So I guess I will finish the Christmas shopping and we will do Christmas here at home, like we do every year.

But we are cutting back on the amount we spend on each one. In fact, Megan had a hard time deciding what she wanted for Christmas. She couldn't really think of anything specific, that big thing she wanted...but after looking around and thinking it over, she came up with a few things...

Well, gotta run...Megan has riding lessons in a little while, so I better get moving.

We decorated our tree Saturday evening. We bought new decorations this year. We had been using Silver and blue since we moved to Arkansas in '04, so we were ready for a change.

We also got a smaller tree last year when we moved into this smaller house. We had no room for our big tree, so we downsized... That's okay with me, it fits the size of my enthusiasm this year; small and close to non existent!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

God in the small things...

Sometimes I suppose we need to be reminded that God is interested in the little things in our lives also. So this morning, I am getting ready to try to go do a little Christmas shopping and the doorbell rang. It was the little elderly lady from next door. She was letting us know that our dog was out and running up the street.

Well we discovered that he, Beaux, was now back in the backyard but the side gate was wide open and the other two; Sadie and Scout were missing. We immediately jumped into the car and started riding around looking for them. Of course, if you know where we live, on a very busy street, your first instinct is...well, that it won't turn out well.

As I was riding around looking and praying, I called Lauren at work and Mom, so they could start praying. I believe in praying for everything. When I don't know what to do, and even if I think I know, I pray. I just know that God is up there and can see it all, and knows the answer.

So as we drove around, asking everyone we saw out, if they had seen our dogs, Megan remembered that Scout had a tag on from the vet.

So we called our vet, and I ask where someone would call if they found our dogs who got out of our yard this morning?

She asked if it was a big dog and a little dog?
I said yes!

She said that someone had already found them and had them in their yard.

She gave me the number and it was a man who lived on the street behind us.

We went immediately to get them.

We were so thankful they were safe. And thankful to the neighbor for letting us know that there was a problem. And to the lady that saw them out and decided to get them into her fenced yard and look for the owners.

Yes, it is a small thing. But to us, it was a big thing. Yes, I understand that there are great big problems out there, people who are hurting, sick and dying. I know that those things are more important than our dogs. But my God is big enough to handle all of it, even the little things that we are concerned about. In the whole scheme of life and death and eternity, this isn't an important issue that one would think that someone like God would waste His time on.

But, I am His child, and He is concerned about me. So if it is something important to me, then it is important to Him. Because like those of you who have children know, if your child is upset about something, you will do whatever you can to make them happy or less worried. The Bible says in Matthew 7:11,

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children,

how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give

good things to them that ask Him?"

So I just want to express my gratitude to God for His goodness and answering my prayers, even the seemly less important prayer I pray, like keeping our dogs safe and helping us to find them.

He is on the job, watching out for us, paying attention to the small details of our lives.

Years ago I use to think that I only needed God for salvation and for the BIG things in life. But not the little ordinary things. However, as I got older, I realized that I need Him in everything in my life. I can't even get up out of bed in the morning without His help. I can't go through my mundane day, without Him grace and mercy and His hand directing me.

Like today, just an ordinary day, but I needed Him and He was there for me...

Try Him, see if He won't do the same for you in your life. He is no respecter of persons. If you pray, He will hear, and He will work on your behalf...

He's just Good that way....All the time!!!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fortune Cookie Wisdom Fried Chicken Dreams and Goodwill Bargains..

I have a confession to make

I can't fry...

I can fry catfish okay, but I do that in a fryer, so that doesn't count...

If it is in a pan, I can't fry it.
The problem is my batter won't stay on...

I have read how to remedy that and it still doesn't work for me.

It isn't because I didn't learn. I took four years of home-ec in high school and

My mom fried everything we ever ate, not really, but mostly...

We were the fried meat kind of people, at least they were..are still

But me, well, I am more of a bake, braise, boil, saute, steam, broil, blacken,
anything but fry...kind of gal.

Frying doesn't really do much for me.

But with that said, there are times when frying is just want you want.

Like say fried chicken...

All kids like fried chicken, and I don't really want to have to drive down to
Popeye's every timethe kids want fried chicken.
Even though I am sure they wish I would,

especially after they see my poor excuse for fried chicken.

Tonight I was in a daring mood and decided to try it again.

I pulled a bag of chicken parts from the freezer and thawed them.

Then I put milk into the bag for the chicken to soak in for a while.

I prepared my flour, adding Tony's, pepper, salt with a dash of garlic powder.

I pulled out the trusty cast iron pan and added my oil.

I coated each piece very heavily with the flour mixture and dropped them into the hot oil.

I waited, and after I felt it had browned enough on one side I

turned it over and let it brown on the reverse side.

Once that was done I turn the heat down some and continued to turn and cook.

And tonight, I guess the mood was right, and the stars aligned just so, because

my crispy didn't fall of of the meat!

Grant it, they were a little, wee bit browner than I like, but hey, there was

crispy on my fried chicken! Isn't that what really matters?

What does this have to do with anything?

Well I asked myself that very thing before I sat down to write about it.

I suppose it means that sometimes, things just work out, sometimes they don't. Just because it never worked out for you before, doesn't mean it won't at some point happen.

What does all of that mean?

Well maybe I feel like sharing a little "fortune cookie wisdom" tonight.

Maybe I just have to much time on my hands and I am just rambling...

Here is a picture of Noah in his new pj's... Isn't he a cutie!

Here are a couple of my recent Goodwill finds:

I found these two bowls three weeks or so ago. They are hand crafted Japanese pottery. The design is Wild Iris. I am sure they aren't worth anything really, but their simple design and their shape and size was appealing to me. I think I paid $2.00 each for them. They are in perfect shape, no chips and look like there were brand new.

This is a magnetic board. I paid $2.00 for it. And really I would have never bought it although I am one of those people who has my refrigerator full of clippings, comic strips, kids drawings, appointment reminders, and anything that catches my eye that a magnet will hold up on the fridge... so I could use more space for posting things. I wasn't looking for anything like that but this reached out and grabbed my attention.

This was attached to it, done on a piece of vellum paper. I suppose I was in a "Fortune Cookie wisdom" kind of mood that day also. Sometimes I struggle with things; not great big things, but those small things in my head; like purpose, and why are we here, and what is the big picture. Maybe I am the only one...

...Anyway, this caught my eye. It was like a message, on a day when I needed some voice of wisdom speaking to me, some direction, some God-inspired message just for me. Whoever thought I could find such a thing at Goodwill, and for only two dollars at that! I'd say that was quite a bargain!

It also included magnetic letters that said I LOVE MY LITTLE. I started wondering about the previous owner. Little what? For me it would mean, my little ones, kiddos. But I wondered why the person that had this before decided to get rid of it. Did they stop dreaming? Did they no longer love their little? Yes, I have such a small brain that these things cause me to ponder...Humor me, please...

...or did they catch that dream that they dared...and did the little get the message no longer applied...

...maybe the motivation of the message worked so well for the prior owner they wanted to pass it along to someone they thought might need this bit of wisdom...

This is where I came in, searching through Goodwill for some source of inspiration. Some life changing Epiphany, some answers to those nagging questions that keep me up at night. So I bought it and it is now hanging on my kitchen wall, soon to be filled with comic strips that I find humorous or ironic. I will pass it daily and be reminded that in life, you should dare to dream, and you should always love your little_____!!!

I am sure that this post confirms what many of you have always believed about me...

I am a little nutty!! Some of you are saying, "More than a little nutty!"

But if you made it this far, at least it was interesting to you!!!

Or, like a freak show, you had to keep reading to see just how strange I do become!!!

Either way, thanks for visiting...tomorrow I may be medicated and the post may actually make sense...LOL!(not really, I'm not on medication, unless you count midol one week a month!) OH! TMI!! Sorry!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Smothered Pork Chops/Spicy Ricey

Tonight's menu is an old classic that I have cooked for years. When Megan was little she dubbed it "Spicy Ricey" because it is served over rice and it is spicy. Thus the name...

Earlier today I typed in "Cajun smothered pork chops" and this is what it brought up. I thought it looked very similar to our dish. My recipe varies in the fact I don't use bell pepper (the kids wouldn't eat it if I added all of that), celery, or tomato paste. But all of that sounds pretty good!

Here is a photo of my version.

I would say it could be called a pork gumbo. I can't even tell you where I got my recipe. I think it must have been inspired by something I had as a child; watching my mom or mawmaw cooking. But I suppose I just developed it on my own through the years. I'm sure it isn't unique in the least. I am sure that many of you have your own version of the same thing. I do know that it is very tasty, and my family really enjoys it.

Smothered Pork Chops/Spicy Ricey

4-5 pork chops
1 pound of sausage, sliced

3 T. oil

1 onion thinly sliced





Before cooking, season pork chops with Tony's, black pepper and

seasoning of your choice

Put oil into skillet and add seasoned pork chops

brown on each side.

Add sliced onions and garlic

pour in enough water to cover pork chops

Bring to a boil

Reduce heat and put a lid on the skillet

Cook until meat is done and tender

Serve over rice and enjoy!

The pan juices, oil and water combine to make a very tasty gravy

If pork chops were seasoned properly the gravy will be spicy.
I have put all of the ingredients into the crock pot and cooked them over night and until supper the following evening and it has turned out delicious! The meat is so tender it falls off the bone. YUM!


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