Saturday, November 26, 2011


This was my first Thanksgiving in many without my parents and my sister.  I missed them fiercely!  But I think the pain was definitely dulled by not cooking and by being extremely full both in body and spirit. 

We are spending Thanksgiving weekend with Paul's folks in Plano.  Our Thanksgiving feast was fit for a king and it is wonderful spending some time with this side of the family.   My in-laws are the connsumate hosts and boy, can they cook!  The "horn of plenty" was filled to overflowing this year!

The bird was roasted in a new-fangled infrared cooker and it was so delicious.   I really, really love turkey and have resolved to be eating it more often in the future.  I didn't bring my camera so you will have to try to imagine what the cooker looks like;  it kind of looks like a stock-pot sized space capsule with a propane tank attached.

Yesterday was my black Friday shopping day. Boy, howdy.  For various reasons, I couldn't sleep Thursday night.  I went to bed at 10:00 because I was tired - triptophan dontcha know -- and I went right to sleep, but by midnight I was sleeping fitfully and after 1:00, I gave up.  I wound up doing the very thing I swore I wouldn't  -- shopping in the middle of the night.  At least I waited until Thanksgiving was over.  I shopped until about 6:00 then declared myself finished.  Since I was  little behind the crowds for most stores, I only encountered long lines and crazed shoppers twice.  I sure did miss my shopping companions though!  I think Mom was sleeping in at home in Idaho and sister hit the Idaho pavement early with her new beau.  I bet she missed shopping in Texas where I was able to leave my jacket in the car!

Littles and Bigs alike have been good guests so far.  If we can just keep 'em out of "mist - chef" (as Tink says) one more day, we'll call the weekend a success.  Then we'll get home and back to diet and exercise.  Happy Thanksgiving, dear reader!

PS - being the most disorganized Mom ever means I left my camera at home. Sorry.  Please enjoy this lovely stock photo instead.

Friday, November 18, 2011

7th Inning Stretch

Well, fall ball is over and Nitro emerged victorious. [This is slightly old news.] Sunshine is elated and she has a hysterical bobble-head trophy to display.  Their championship was hard fought and we were all so proud.  Looking at the scoreboard you can see their final game was a shut-out!

Last week her tournament team, The Lady Outlaws, had their "breaking up" tournament and lost in the middle rounds.  She won't get to play with this team again as she has aged out of their bracket.  But they played great. 

Lady Outlaws sizing up competition
Fierce Shortstop
That girl loves ball.  She LOVES it.  And what is even more shocking to me is that I love it too.  When Pepper started playing about 5 years ago I learned what every mother knows -- nothing is better than watching your kid play sports.  It doesn't matter if they win or lose; it doesn't matter if they are a big star or a big klutz -- it's thrilling.  [Okay -- well neither of the Bigs are klutzes so I don't really know it that last sentence is true but I suspect it is!]

It's really only the 7th Inning Stretch though, because that girl has gone and got herself onto a Select Team.  We probably won't see any tournament play until January because of our previous family commitments, but practice started for her yesterday.   She came home excited and upbeat.  Her coach is "great," the girls are "great," and the team is "great."   She already knew four of the girls on the team and two of her new friends are African American so she is really excited.

Did I mention she was the undisputed home-run queen on both teams?
Baseline hit
Heading home

She's safe!

Pepper thinks she may return to the fields next fall if her schedule won't work for track at school.  The Captain hopes to have his inaugural season in the spring.   If either Tinker or the Blitz have some crazy notion of playing soccer or taking dance, I have only one thing to say:

Play ball!

Daddy and The Blitz (not watching the game)

Cute but cold baby

Rambo costumes for the Monster Mash

With her buddy Nicole

Future Pinch Hitter



Coach Tammy

Maggie Rose - yes, it was COLD!

Photo credits go to Annette Ramirez and Tami Roberts.  Thanks a million, ladies!

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Premature Christmas

Yesterday, I made the mistake of going to Target with all the kids.  As we entered, Sunshine said, "Ah, Christmas is here!"

"No it's not," I replied with a bit too much force.  "It's a whole month almost to Thanksgiving and then it will be Advent and then Christmas."

She wasn't buying it.  "It looks like Christmas!  Let's go look at the electronics," she said to Pepper, and off they went.

The Littles, however, are blissfully unaware of anything.  The decorations mean nothing to them, they barely remember hearing the name, "Santa" once.  Maybe I can have a good Advent with them.  But still, we are skipping ahead.

I love Thanksgiving.   I'm not cooking this year but when I do, it's turkey and stuffing every year.  If you are one of those snooty people who says you don't like turkey because you are tired of having it once a year, every year, you are welcome to my home but you might leave hungry.  The tradition of Thanksgiving is the food and in my family, it's turkey, stuffing,  mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, rolls, and pumpkin pie.  Anything else we may serve is just fluff.  And if I do not have some lovely breast of turkey to eat on buttered white bread with a bit of good mayonnaise for supper, I am going to be a little sad!

Did I mention I love Thanksgiving?  I love the cooler weather and the turkey and the stuffing.  But most importantly, I love the holiday that has somehow remained virtually noncommercial and free of gift-giving.  It's a truly fantastic idea:  take the time to thank God for his magnificent benevolence with us, to thank him for providing a bounty; to give thanks that on this day I am not hungry. I can provide food for my family.  In fact, I can provide a feast.

I am grateful.  I am grateful for each hungry little mouth and for my husband who somehow, miraculously, feeds us all.  I am grateful for a roof over our heads and that each of us is alive and well.  I can truly say that on Thanksgiving, "It is well with my soul!"

Go away Christmas!  You'll get your turn!