He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress and for his children it will be a refuge.
Proverbs 14:26

Friday, March 30, 2012

The extraordinary ordinary...

One day passes, then another.  We go about our regular activities.  We play this game, write this paper, have this thought, take this picture.  Some things we post on a blog, some on Facebook, some we write about in a journal or in an email.   And some things just happen and don't really get remembered.  They were just ordinary things that happen everyday that really don't make us think twice.  I mean it's really the more extraordinary moments that we tend to preserve in some way- scrapbooks, blogs, and now Facebook timelines.   I thought about all of this as I scrolled through the pictures that I just downloaded to the computer and didn't really come up with anything that I thought was "blogworthy".  And then I thought, wait...  These are the things that are blogworthy!  These are the little bits of life that I want to cherish and remember because they aren't the big things that I might TRY and remember, they are the little things.  They sweet precious marrow of life that make ordinary days extraordinary.  So take a walk through a few moments of our last week and have a glimpse of some ordinary moments that make my heart sing as a mommy...  (these are a little heavy on the Anabelle side simply because she is in that stage of life that changes oh so quickly...)

Sweet girl- so proud sitting in her chair.  Her hair has just gotten long enough to show over her ears.  Precious the way it curls out..

The beautiful "baby blues" that I get to look in at least 4 times a day for another month or so as my days as a nursing mommy come to an end.  Those moments are oh so precious and I love the way those sweet angel eyes stare up at me!

Hunger Games has been the favorite topic in our house lately.  I love this picture because Maddie is always begging Abbey to let her fix her hair and Abbey NEVER lets her- ever.   But, when Maddie offered to fix her hair like Katniss she said YES in a heartbeat!  I guess you can't really tell but it was a really pretty french braid that wrapped all around her head.

Naomi and her sweet friend hanging out while big sisters and brothers played baseball.  Naomi also had her first t-ball game this morning and loved every minute.  She was a bit frustrated that nobody seemed to know who won (no score kept in t-ball!) and she was not going along with the whole "we're all winners" bit.  She got distracted by playing with friends though.  In the picture below, they were using the disassembled playground equipment to climb into the window sill and then jumping down into the sand- there are no rules over here! (when it comes to public playground stuff I mean...  we have our own family rules but even those get a little lax at times due to cultural influence...)

Maddie loves to cook and create in the kitchen.  She used her cupcake cookbook and made these puppies all by herself.  

Abbey could care less about cooking but she loves to sample whatever Maddie makes...
(and much to her chagrin she is learning to cook- she made taco soup last week almost completely by herself..)

Fridays are going to be ballpark days between now and June.  It's still REALLY chilly and quite dusty.  Here's our view from the bleachers for the next 2 months.  AJ and Moo both really wanted to play even though they are the only 2 girls on their team of kid pitch baseball (NOT softball).  They are hanging with the boys really well.  Abbey got a triple and a single today.  Maddie didn't get on base- she is a bit more cautious at the plate and let's just say it's a good thing my dad wasn't there when the ump called her out twice after a full count cuz I'm 99% sure those last pitches were balls, not strikes...   She had a great attitude though and had a great time which is most important anyway..

Anabelle was much more interested in reading than in the baseball game.  She loves books so much and she makes the cutest noises when she's reading!

Anabelle's little personality is really coming out.  She loves people and is so much fun.  If someone new comes into the room she loves to try and get their attention and "talk" to them.  If she is being held by Maddie she usually refuses to go to anyone else, even if it's time to eat.  She knows she's being coy too, because she'll laugh and pat Maddie on the back.  She knows what the fish, lizard, tiger and puppy say although lizard is by far her favorite, followed probably by the tiger.  She'll wave bye bye, give kisses (occasionally a last minute raspberry), and she's learning the sign language for all done, more, please and thank you.  Here's a video of some of her latest tricks.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

One of THOSE days?!

Just so you know, this picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post....  but isn't that a good looking daddy with his baby? :)

So, have you ever just had one of THOSE days?  Not the kind where things are truly bad and you get lots of much needed sympathy and prayer support from your loved ones because you have truly hit a rough patch and really need it.  No, that's not what I"m talking about.  I'm talking about one of those obnoxiously annoying days where absolutely every little thing that possibly could go wrong seems to go wrong, but then when you try to articulate to someone how absolutely annoying all those little things have been you just end up sounding (and feeling) whiny and wondering why all these stupid things have gotten your panties in such a wad?


That defined my day (not today actually, a few days ago).  In all fairness, I should probably say it was more like a morning- not a whole day but it was a bear of a morning let me tell you and I feel the need to vent and maybe get a little more sympathy than I got on the home front so here goes...

First of all, I fed Anabelle breakfast.  Very normal activity, right?  Sort of.  I'll actually have to circle back to this one for you to understand why it falls under the everything going wrong category.  I realized that I was completely out of what I thought was a lifetime supply of Gerber Rice Cereal from the states.  Then I remembered that I had a ziploc bag of rice cereal in the cabinet from one of our trips so I fixed her that.  Moving on...

Time to go to the grocery.  Normally something I don't mind so much but I'm currently not feeling very organized in my kitchen and I was going without a list and meal plans in hand which I really don't like to do.  So I was grumpy.  But we had literally nothing to eat so not going to the grocery would make me even more grumpy so I went.  Jason had a meeting so he dropped Anabelle and I off at the mall where the grocery store is and we would taxi home.

This grocery store in and of itself actually makes me grumpy.  I find it highly annoying but because it has the best prices that I've found in this city, I tolerate it, especially when i have a big trip to make.  It is sprawling and spread out and things are in weird places and it just takes a really long time to navigate.  They are always stocking the aisles or cleaning with those massive floor polisher things at the most inconvenient times (in my opinion) and it's just really not a place I like to go.  To get from the top floor (with all the household items) to the bottom floor (with all the grocery items) you have to ride one of those people mover thingies (like that they have in airports) with your grocery cart.  But the grooves on the floor of the mover and the cart don't really match up so you can't walk down it even if there is no one in front of you.  You just have to stand there while it moves you at a snails pace to the bottom floor.  Annoying.

Oh, and maybe I didn't mention that i have yet to come across a grocery cart in this part of the world that pushes straight.  Never.  Never ever never.  Even new shiny carts at new shiny stores.  Never. push. straight.  Again, annoying.

So, there we are, me and Anabelle.  She's strapped into her infant carrier, placed up on top of the grocery cart (you know how they kind of wedge on the part of a cart where the baby could sit?  So anyway, there we are,  Anabelle and me and our household goods moseying down the people mover.  And then, holy cow, holy moly (and probably all sorts of other words that I shouldn't say), there we aren't- at least not Anabelle.  All in the blink of an eye, we reach the bottom of the people mover, I turn to the side, I hear a bump, I turn around and the infant carrier is no longer on top of the cart, but UPSIDE DOWN on the floor.  HOLY SCHNIKIES!!!   I grab her up and just as quickly realize that the handle is still up so that's what hit the floor and not one little part of her precious self is hurt praise the Lord thank you Jesus!  But my heart is beating out of my chest, scared me to death!  I quickly unstrap her and hug on her and love on her.  (she is screaming bloody murder by the way- may not have hurt her but scared her pretty bad, I mean how would you like to be happily sitting on top of the grocery cart and then in the blink of an eye looking at the tile floor...).   Calm her down, regroup and hurry to finish my shopping.  Realize in that process that the guy who is stocking the shelves and the guy cleaning the floor on that big obnoxious floor polisher thing are LAUGHING at me.  RUDE!  She could have really been hurt and apparently I looked like freak show mom but I did not find it the least bit funny.  So.  Moving on.

Finished the rest of my shopping as quickly as I could and headed home. My heartbeat finally returned to a normal pace by the time we were checking out and heading out to find a taxi.   Thank the Lord I actually got a taxi quite easily who was even agreeable about helping me load my groceries.

Arrive home.  Unload groceries from back of taxi to sidewalk.  Move groceries from sidewalk up front stairs to entry hall at bottom of building.  Again move groceries from entry hall into the elevator using my body as a human shield to keep elevator door (which apparently has a very short timer) from closing with Anabelle and half of the groceries inside while I move the rest of the groceries.  Move groceries out of elevator on our floor into our entry area outside our front door.  Move groceries from entry area outside front door into our apt.  Yes, you counted correctly, that was 5 movements of the groceries.  You see, this whole process involves a lot of skill.  The stacking of the groceries in the very small elevator strategically so that you don't break the glass bottles that they package things in or squoosh your eggs or bread or whatever.  It's very strategic and you're trying to do it all very quickly- there's quite an art to it really.  Keep in mind also that this was a darn lot of groceries- enough for a family of 6 for a week including bulky things like diapers, paper towels and toilet paper.  So. I am fairly used to this process after almost 10 years of overseas apartment living and using taxis for grocery shopping and it usually doesn't phase me but on this particular day I found it very annoying.  (possibly not as annoying as the day I came home with groceries in one of our first overseas apartments and left a little too much lag time between setting the groceries on the curb and getting them up into the apartment and a cat got into the chicken i bought for dinner that night.  Pretty sure that whole event resulting in my hurling a raw chicken at my husband in anger but that's a story for another day...).  So, groceries successfully in apt, baby once more checked for bruises and put down for a nap almost an hour late and begin the process of unpacking groceries.

First bag unloaded, second bag.  Third bag, pull out coke zero cans to find them covered with sticky red goo- tomato paste.  See, something went wrong with my unloading system and a glass jar of tomato paste busted.  Could have been a lot worse.  Thankful I didn't cut my hand opened!   Continue unloading.  (keep in mind that by this time I am quite grumpy and mentally whining about the horrible day I'm having).  Begin taking eggs out of container and putting them in egg tray in frig.  (moving pretty quickly).  Pick up egg and realize after pretty much slinging it into the frig that the bottom has fallen out and there is egg goop going everywhere.  Somehow in one swoop, I managed to get it all over all shelves in the door of the frig, two shelves in the actual frig and a huge puddle of the floor.  ANNOYING!!!   ARGGGHHH!    Clean up mess..

So Jason gets home about the time I've finished unloading and says something to the effect of "have you had an uneventful morning?" which led to an overflow of "NO! I've had a terrible, horrible no good, very bad morning!"  but then when I proceeded to explain why the only part that sounded even partially bad was Anabelle falling out of the cart- and yes, that did have the potential to be bad (again, thank you Jesus) but when I started listing all the other things that had somehow made me incredibly grumpy (broken jars of tomato paste, and one, yes only one, broken egg) they seemed very small and insignificant and made me feel very whiny.  Probably didn't help that Jason was giving me this funny look that said, "I'm trying to be sympathetic here but really not tracking with you all that much..."

And then God did a funny thing that God does sometimes that makes me smile.  He reminded me of the verse I read just that morning in my quiet time.

John 1:16 "From the fullness of His grace, we have all received one blessing after another."

And then I had to chuckle.  I have received one blessing after another, not just one mind you, but blessing piled upon blessing and here I am whining about broken glass and cracked eggs.  Thank you Lord for the needed perspective.  And thank you for the blessings- not just the one.

Oh, and back to the beginning story.  I just discovered tonight that the bag of leftover rice cereal was in Anabelle's diaper bag.  Pretty sure that whatever I fixed her for breakfast on this morning was either coffee mate or powdered milk!   oops...  And I mentioned at the beginning that I was looking for sympathy that I didn't get.  Don't really think I need it anymore- writing this out was therapy enough...

Happy Birthday Namominus!

Don't know what it is but we seem to come up with nicknames that seem somewhat weird when typed out...  It seems perfectly normal to call Naomi, "Nominus" at home but when I typed it, it looked strange.  Either way our sweet Naomi just celebrated her 6th birthday and it was quite the affair!

Jason was traveling for a week the day after her birthday and I didn't have the presence of mind to plan her party for before his travels and with her birthday falling in the middle of the week, we just did our family thing on her actual birthday and planned her big party for a few weeks later.

It seems fairly typical here for birthdays that kids will invite their whole class to the event and it seems to usually be at some party hosting type place.  Well, that's not really me...  Both parts actually- the invite the whole class and the let somebody else do the whole party.  Naomi has never actually had a party where she got to invite her friends, it's always been family and maybe a few of our family friends which has always been just great.  We're a bunch of kids at heart anyway!  However, for this year, I got brave and we sent invitations to all the little girls in her class at school (I thought it was 4 and it ended up being 8 but that's ok...).   Naomi was super excited about planning her princess party and also I thought it would be a great way to get to know some of the families at the school..

On her actual birthday, breakfast in bed, a family tradition (or at least delivering it to the sleeping princess...)

We took her a birthday cake to her class at school since her birthday fell in the middle of the week.  She was very excited!

Figured I couldn't go wrong with a Texas sheet cake- can't get much better as far as chocolate cake!

So, like I said, Jason left for a trip the day after Naomi's birthday so we put off her party about a week and a half.  Since we invited the girls from her class as well as some American friends that we have here, I opted for Thursday afternoon (Friday/Saturday is our weekend so Thursday is the start of the weekend).  I figured that way I could get away with just doing cake and ice cream and a few other light snacks.  So many times at birthday parties here there is a full meal spread for the adults that bring their kids and I wasn't up to that and wanted to be able to focus on Naomi anyway.  

I confess that in preparation for Naomi's birthday I decided maybe it would be a good time to check out pinterest and see what all the fuss is about.  Hard part is, there are so many things, especially when it comes to birthday parties, that are SO easy to get done in the US, that somehow become SO complicated overseas because everything just takes that much longer.  Naomi had some very definite ideas about what she wanted to happen at her party so in the end, instead of getting too overwhelmed by everything that was on pinterest- great ideas, overwhelming ideas, perfect ideas, over the top ideas...  we opted for keeping things pretty simple and letting her decide how she wanted everything to be.  It turned out to be kind of a hodge podge of ideas but it was her designed and executed hodge podge and she was thrilled and that's what it's all about anyway!

Naomi wanted a pink princess dress-up party with rainbow cake.  Ok, think we can handle that.  I came across this cute cupcake idea and it was really pretty easy (a bit time consuming but overall easy).
Most importantly, it was something that Naomi loved helping with

Aren't' they pretty?!

The rest of our snacks included pink ice cream punch, pink popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels with pink sprinkles and rainbow cake.   The rainbow cake that I also did this past summer for Maddie's birthday was almost a complete disaster.  My cream cheese meringue icing would NOT thicken.  I blame either or cheapo cream cheese or collapsing egg whites.  Not really sure what happened but we got creative and put the cake in a trifle bowl, running icing and all.  I didn't have time to start completely over with the icing and Naomi was perfectly happy with this fix...  whoo!
Here's our spread...

To decorate the table, Maddie folded the pink napkins into princess crowns using an origami pattern that she had- thank goodness there's one creative genius in the family!

Naomi also wanted princess games at her princess party.  OH, and crafts...  Ok, still trying to keep it simple here but I think we can make that happen!  We used paper plates and ribbons and made dancing circles for the girls to use during our "musical dancing" game.  Here's Naomi's...

For "musical dance" we put princess cards on the floor (one less than the number of people) and the girls danced around the room to "princess music" until it stopped and they had to find their princess card.  Think a princified version of musical chairs...

We also played "pin the tiara on the princess" using an adorable princess that Naomi drew which apparently I didn't take a picture of...

We had a dress up station for those who didn't come with their own princess dress (or in some cases for those who wanted to change princess dresses 84 times...)

This little princess had her own wand and tutu.  Pretty cute and she knew it!

Maddie drew a beautiful castle to go on the front door to welcome our guests to "Naomi's princess castle"

I was holding my breath once party time came since it snowed ALOT for Jordan on the day of the party and I was super paranoid that no one would show up- thankfully our friends came through for us or we would have had one disappointed little princess!  Our princess castle ready for guests...

Happy Birthday Naomi!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Our little mover and shaker

I guess I might as well get used to the fact that at every milestone from here on out, I'm going to be saying "how in the world is she already__?!"  So let's just get it over with- Miss Bella Rose- how in the world are you already 10 months old?!  Precious little angel!  A year ago, I wouldn't have thought it possible that we could have more pink joy in our house but that is exactly what the Lord has given us and we are all so thankful.

Never a dull moment around here especially now that Anabelle is so mobile!  She navigates from one room to another quite easily which means when she's awake, and the big girls aren't home- I don't get a lot done!  I think I'd kind of forgotten how all consuming this stage of having a baby is, but I love it so much.  She is such a joy and we've all loved watching her explore and discover her world...

usually with a grin and her tongue hanging out...

What, I can't play with all of these?

Sadly, since we arrived back from our trip to the gulf in January, sweet little Anabelle has had a HORRIBLE time with ear infections.  Which mean our stellar sleeper (and yes, maybe I've bragged about that a little...) has gone from sleeping 11-12 hours straight a night to getting up 1, maybe 2 or 3 times a night.  I believe she even pulled an all nighter sometime in there and by all nighter, I don't mean that she woke up several times, I mean that she was literally awake and mostly crying from 11:30 PM until 6 AM.  Yeah, I really think that might have been a first for us as parents.  Not fun.  BUT, in spite of all the night craziness, she is still so sweet and happy and fun during the day.  I'm totally exhausted but this to shall pass, right?  RIGHT?!


Still no teeth so meal times can be a challenge since she likes to feed herself, does not like anything I make, and if Gerber products are found her they just might cost the same as a steak...

Sweet Mia puppy has returned though, and Anabelle is quickly becoming her favorite by being the only one who gets away with feeding her from the table.

Anabelle, your favorite things right now are books (mostly pulling them off of the shelf) but you do love the Curious George touch and feel book with the mirror at the back, Hokey Pokey Elmo makes you cackle which of course your sisters love, cheerios (I found a box of multi-grain cheerios which I bought ONLY for you and so far they've lasted over a month- thankfully you don't mind that they are stale and it keeps everyone else away!), Maddie is the favorite sister right now- you even reject mommy at nursing time to stay with her!

You've got quite a lot of tricks these days too.  The favorite is definitely waving "bye bye"- folding your fingers inward and looking at your hand, you "pat pat" whoever is holding you and LOVE to look at all the pictures of your sisters as babies around the house.  You give sweet kisses which will sometimes be open mouth with tongue, and sometimes a full blown raspberry since you know that makes everyone laugh.  You love getting the attention of new people in the room and then waving at them.  Somehow you really do already have a radar for the people you don't know well and you are definitely NOT shy.  

Love those sisters...

(and they love you too- just maybe not your increasing mobility!!)

Just this week you have started pulling up.  This picture was staged but you're doing it on your own now.

Maddie and Naomi's pink room is your favorite.  You love climbing on their bed and reading books!

I think you are going to have a bit of curl in your hair like Abbey.  It's just getting long enough that it's starting to curl up around the edges.   Especially when it's wet!

In the picture above you can see the little bump above her right eye.  We're told it's a benign cyst and will hopefully go away on it's own without surgery- pray that it does!

Pray also for better sleep for Anabelle and me.  At the moment her ear infection is gone but she still has lots of fluid on both ears.  Pray she won't be in pain and that she'll sleep better.  

Here you are with Maddie, walking down the hall, saying "hi" to all the babies!

Love you Anabelle Rose!  Never knew our lives needed more pink but you are adding just the right amount!  We love you!

Ride 'em cowgirl (!?)

Every once in a while Naomi comes up with the funniest/goofiest/most creative things.  Actually, probably more than every once in a while.  Since the get go, she has been a little comedian.  Here are videos of her entertaining on purpose at less than a year old!  Anyway, the other night, when I refused to be the horse again for her to ride "piggy back" on (don't judge, I'd already done it for at least 20 minutes and my 37 year old back is not what it used to be...), she came up with her own solution.  She threw this horse together in a manner of minutes and was back in the saddle again!

Don't ask me why but this is one scary looking (albeit quite pink) cowgirl!  Somehow these scary poses went along with the story she was acting out...

I was a bit confused when she said she had a "stelescope" as my nursing brain immediately jumped to "stethoscope"...

AHH- she meant "telescope"

And no cowgirl outfit is complete without a gun/tip of a golf putter...


The cowgirl went a little diva on us...

But don't worry, scary cowgirl came back quickly...

Tiger Nation

As a disclaimer, if you've stumbled across this post hoping to find an expert review of Tiger basketball or even a somewhat knowledgeable discussion of what to expect from the team in weeks to come with March Madness upon us, you might want to just keep on going- that's not what you'll find here.  What you will find is a family of true blue fans who live and breathe Tiger basketball as any good Memphis family should- even though we live half a world away...

I'm possibly even more sentimental about the Tigers given that I do live half a world away.  As I sat in my living room this fall and listened to the Tigers game streaming over the internet, I kind of had to stop and check myself and wonder why in the world are there tears streaming down my cheeks just from hearing the fight song?!  Ok, yes, I definitely could have been a little homesick considering that we spent the previous year in Memphis, and as I said before, Tiger basketball is a family affair. I wanted to text my brother or sis-in-law or mom or dad every time Joe Jackson did something amazing or Will Barton hit a 3.  Or I wanted to roll my eyes with my brother when my dad decided he was jinxing the game and should no longer watch, only listen.   Or maybe, considering I had a 4 month old at the time, I was simply hormonal.  Maybe, but doubtful...

Like I said, I was born and raised on Tiger basketball.

NOT University of Memphis Tigers, but Memphis State Tigers.  Dana Kirk, Andre Turner-the little general, Keith Lee, Baskerville Holmes, William Bedford (who was the 5th in that starting line up?).  Then John Wilfong, Vincent Askew- I'm not consulting the internet here- this is all from memory so I'm sure I have some of the timeline messed up!

I remember being as young as 7 or 8 (is that right Dad? John?) and going with my grandparents who had season tickets to the Mid South Coliseum.  My Papa John (not the pizza, that's what we called my granddad long before the pizza)worked for Choctaw and they had season tickets in the folding chairs on the floor, mind you!  6th row on the floor if I remember correctly.  At least in my memory, we went as often as we could and I absolutely loved it.  I remember so clearly the drive down Central avenue following the white Tiger footprints painted on the road.   Saturdays were all about basketball- playing church league in the mornings and then going to cheer on the Tigers in the afternoon/evening.

I guess I'd be lying if I said it was ALL about the basketball for me...  Really, it was/is about the total experience.  I LOVED the Memphis State Cheerleaders- had a poster on my closet door and everything.  In a twisted way I could blame them that I decided to try out for cheerleading in Jr High and high school rather than basketball like Dad wanted me to.  My Dad still insists that I could have played high school basketball...  I'm thinking no but we'll let him think it...

My grandmother Camille was such a cute little fan!  She's definitely a big part of my Tiger basketball nostalgia!   Many times when we couldn't go to the games, we would watch at her house.  Maybe I shouldn't say "we"-  Papa John would get very stressed watching the games and would have to stop as he got older but I remember Grandmother loving every bit of the excitement.  Maybe that's where dad gets his current belief that some games are better off listened to than watched?

Fast forward through high school and college- they weren't so great there for a while but we were still loyal.  The games moved from the coliseum over to the Pyramid- I really don't have memories of those games although I know we went to several.  In college, a large group of us participated in March Madness brackets competitions every year.  No remembrance whatsoever of which years, but I know if the Tigers were in the bracket, I was going to pick them to go all the way- probably not the most logical move especially considering my competitive spirit, but I had to follow my heart!

Now I have my own little family of Tiger fans.  We live overseas so it's kind of hard to follow basketball like we want especially considering our not so great internet connection but we do our best.  In 2008, when the Tigers went all the way to the final, I was up at 3 AM listening to the whole game.  I use the term "listening" somewhat loosely.  What I had to do, was watch the game tracker play-by-play using my oh so slow DIAL UP internet?!  Am I a fan or what?  So I was probably 5-10 minutes behind when the Kansas game slipped away from us during those last minutes but I was oh so proud of my Tigers- even from half a world away.  And, can I just say that that year was and has been the ONLY year that I have ever almost won the bracket contest from college that we still participate in!  I came in second only because the guy who won had picked Kansas to go all the way!  The next year, mom sent us t-shirts so we could feel a little more part of the excitement and so we could being educating our girls on the oh so important topic of being a Tiger fan.  Things like when a game is on and they hear, "da, da da da, da, da, da, da" - they're supposed to say, "Go Tigers Go!"  Important stuff...

We followed from half a world away when Tiger fans were gathering outside Calipari's home in Memphis and protesting his possible departure to Kentucky.  We followed when Pastner came on the scene as head coach.  (this is where I"m going to refrain from any additional commentary as I know little to nothing about coaching ability etc).  I know after a year in Memphis last year following the Tigers in person, that I like him but I can't tell you why as far as coaching ability etc.  He just seems like a good guy (ok, laughter is ok from all you male sports fans, I KNOW being a good guy does not a good coach make...), I'm just saying...  I like him.  Whatever.  I know he must be a pretty decent recruiter as we now have an awesome team of mostly home grown players.  And I like that.  I like that Joe Jackson and that other guy whose name I can't remember right now went to my alma mater.  I like that we have 4 starters who are sophomores so look out, we're going to be around for a while.  I like that if I wanted to get opinions about coaching ability, playing ability etc, all I would have to do is go with my dad down the street to Gibson's donuts some morning and throw out a "how bout them Tigers?" and there would be enough conversation to last through lunch.

Last year we had so much fun being IN MEMPHIS during basketball season.  So fun to cheer on our team with family and friends and remember just how much my town loves my team!  I love that.  I really do.  So there is probably the reason for my tears, my nostalgia.  It's just a good feeling to be a part of a town that rallies around a team.  It really is.  And I know, if you're not from Memphis, you're probably thinking, "uh, Memphis is a bit bigger than a town, right?"  Not so much.  Come visit and you'll discover that it's the biggest small town around, and there's nothing like a little small town pride behind a home team cheering them on.

So once again this year, I've chosen Memphis to go all the way.  It's not a matter of whether they can do it or not- I KNOW they can, Memphis KNOWS they can- we just need to prove it to the rest of the country!
And thank the Lord this year we've moved beyond dial up internet to somewhat highish speed ADSL so hopefully we'll be able to at least listen to and maybe watch...  here's hoping!

(and we'll be stocking up on our Tiger gear this summer, until then this is the best we've got...)

(but she's pretty cute, right?!)

Monday, March 5, 2012

A treasured keepsake

 When Jason and I got married almost 17 years ago, the women in our families gave me a fabulous gift.  They gathered recipes from both of our moms, my grandmothers, and both of our aunts and compiled them in a cookbook for me.  The great thing is that all of the recipes are handwritten by the contributor so I have some precious treasures.  The cookbook also includes personal notes from both of my grandmothers and drawings by my cousins who were 8ish and 11ish at the time.   You can see from the picture that it is very well used and is starting to fall apart.

My cousin Sarah did the drawing in the first picture and this precious drawing that says, "Have a happy honeymoon!"  funny!!

Here's what the pages look like...

I know this gift is somewhat dated.  I mean I guess today it probably would have been put together online in some sort of fancy book, but it is that much more precious to me because it is handwritten and preciously put together.  I love it so much!  So thanks to all the ladies who made this book possible!  I bet you had all forgotten about it.  

Oh and the reason for this post was actually to share a recipe.  My cousin Mary (who was 11ish around the time I got married?) actually contributed a recipe called Cocoa-Mint Yo-yos and I confess that I had never tried it until this Christmas.  I can't believe we've been missing out on this yumminess for all these years!  These little treasures were fabulous- kind of like chocolate mint whoopee pies- so yummy!  

Click here to go to my cooking blog for the recipe