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Monday, November 22, 2010

ABCs of Thanksgiving - year 2

Lauren took some great pictures of us lately

All right, last year I was missing my second grade classroom (well, sort of) and I made and ABCs of Thanksgiving. So, here goes again - some serious, some ridiculous...

A - Auburn - this was the first of my list last year as well. But, it was such a prominent part of my life - how I grew up, family tradition, years spent there, where I met my husband and so many great memories! And, where we spend almost every weekend in the Fall! And, how fun has this year been to watch?! I love Auburn when they are terrible, and I love them when they are undefeated! War Eagle!
B - Burke Burke, of course. This junior weasel is SO SILLY!! I wondered how he would be, since Turner has been so smiley and silly in his almost 2 years of life. Fortunately, John Burke is pretty similar. He LOVES attention, loves to smile and laugh and watch people - especially his brother. He is very busy - like his mama, he never wants to miss anything!! Right now he is grabbing at the computer and trying to eat the edge! And, he kills me because he likes to sit with his legs up in a V position - with his feet by his head?! Flexible, I guess. Silly.
C - Covenant - this is our church. I grew up here, and our pastor of 30 plus years is about to retire. It is neat to come full circle. Mom used to be the Children's Director when we were younger and we were "church rats" - up there all the time. Well, I guess I have 2 new "church rats" with as often as we are at that place! God has blessed me with a wonderful part-time job where my children are able to love their teachers and classes and I have some precious adult time!
D - Dynamic Marriage Study - we just completed this wonderful bible study with about 10 other couples in our church. It was an 8 week course that pushed us out of our comfort zones, and made us realize what our needs are, and how we can better serve our mate and their needs. I highly recommend it or something similar just to keep your marriage in check. God has challenged us and reminded us that he made us specifically for each other and what a blessing that is!
E - Eating out. Chick-fil-A is where we frequent the most. I can't remember if I have written about Turner getting recognized when we go in there. We walk in and 4 or 5 of the sweet women working there will yell his name out, he will pretend to act all coy and then run up and hug them or give them high five. They love him, and it is hilarious to watch other people in there wonder who in the world we are. It is pretty sad that we are just in there all the time - not famous! And I have to give a shout out to our friends the Harlesses who we eat 97 percent of our meals out with. Bless them for putting up with us!
Turner and York Harless
F - Family - God has blessed us with such wonderful extended family, and then our own little family of 4. When John Burke was born, someone wrote on my blog about a family of 4 and it hit me that that is what we are!! Crazy - I forget sometimes that I am responsible for 2 children - in my mind I don't seem old enough. But, then someone calls me ma'am, and I remember I am!
G - Grandparents - Heath and I are blessed to still have 3 grandmothers and 2 grandfathers living. My 2 grandfathers, though, are in pretty poor health. I don't know how much longer they will be around, but one is 91 and the other 92, and they have been a wonderful blessing and example for all of my life. I am blessed they have been a big part of my life this long, and I pray God prepares our hearts as they leave this world for a much better place.
Turner with Grandad
H - Heath! Thank you, God, for making him my other half. I make him crazy (and he does the same, don't feel too sorry for him!), but I love watching him as a wonderful husband and father. He is kind and passionate about many things, and strives to lead our family and grow spiritually, and we are working on loosening him up more and more. :) He does own jeans, now - for the last couple of years. That is major!

I - Internet - Blogs are so, so fun for me to keep up with! I love the pictures and stories and random knowledge I pick up from them. I do have to watch it, though, because I can become obsessed. If you know me well, this probably shocks you that I would become obsessive with something. But, in moderation they are really fabulous!! Facebook, too, especially now that my husband is FINALLY on it! And trying to secretly beat me in friends. I am on to him.
J - Jeep - don't you worry, we just hit 158,000 miles and we are still trucking. And I got new brakes this weekend and I was amazed how much smoother the ride was! Two words - paid for. Makes me appreciate it so much more!
K - Keys - Turner and John Burke are always amazed by keys. And they both can sense when we are ready to go and they are almost always thrilled. Turner will start saying bye before I can get John Burke in his carrier. And lately, Turner's favorite things (besides cars) have been keys because he insistent that "he drive". Behind the driver's wheel is his favorite spot. Hilarious. We live in the car!
L - Laughter. I love to laugh and luckily these 2 keep me laughing every day. And the sweetest thing has happened as they have begun to entertain each other, and I will look back in the car and see them "talking" and laughing at each other. It is so, so precious!
M - Mom camera. I got it for Christmas last year. Even though it is big and not always easy to take places, and the lens had to be repaired a few months ago - it is a great way to track how my little monkeys are growing and changing! I have 3,500 pictures on this computer as we speak - and I am not even a "camera person". Gina, Evan, Kate - that is you!
N - Naptime!! People ask how it has been with 2 children now, and it has been much easier than I thought. Especially when I can count on Turner resting for several hours in the afternoon!
O - Outside - this weather has been unseasonably warm and awesome! Turner loves to play outside, and I know we will have to hibernate in a few days when it really does start getting cold outside, so I have loved the extra months of fun weather. And maybe I am just getting older, but I keep noticing how pretty the fall leaves are as they are changing. Especially in our retirement community and the street leading up to it!
Playing with cousin Ellie
P - Phone - my phone keeps me connected. While sometimes bordering on addiction, it is nice to be able to contact and stay in touch with so many friends and family through talking, email and text - especially on the go! Life saver!
Q - Coupons - "Q" is what the fancy bloggers call coupons. And I am such a fancy blogger. Wow. I wasted so much money over the years by not clipping coupons or paying attention!! Today I went to the Target on 150 (forget how awesome it is), and was able to save over 22 dollars on diapers and formula and some toys for birthday and Christmas just by clipping and watching the ads. Not hard, people. And don't even get me started on deals at Publix! God provides so much through the little things, and I can see each month how little savings add up (especially for this one-income family).
R - Reality - I have learned that being honest and open is very important to me. I love it in other people. It reminds me why I love my friends, they can be real with me and I with them. How refreshing. Friends are such a blessing.
S - Sugar and caffeine - Diet Dr. Pepper and Coke (and the real stuff), desserts, candy - while I know that this baby weight is still not all the way gone, it is too hard to give up these loves!! I try to make healthier choices, but that is all I can do. I am just being honest!!!
T - Turner Bug. This kid wears me out. But I treasure my time with him, because I see how quickly it passes! He is already almost 2!! I love that his default is to laugh about something (though we have already been making our way steadily in the 2-3 year old fits), and how curious he is. He has a sick obsession with his duck and paci - one that I am fine continuing for a while (see N for naptime:)) and cars.
He found my shoe
U - U-Verse from AT&T. I hesitated to leave Charter (not that they were that great, I just don't do change well!) But this Cable/DVR is amazing! You can record 4 shows and watch a fifth (and I have done that!) And there is a box in Turner's room, the den and our room. So he can watch Sesame Street on DVR in his room (not that he will sit still long enough to do that!). And we are saving about 60 dollars a month! I think I am a little too excited about t.v., but I love it.
V - Heath is stepping in for this one. He is home early from work and he suggested V for victory - because we are 11-0. And the Republicans took the State House and Senate and U.S. Congress, among others. This is totally Heath, in case you were wondering.
W - Words Turner is saying - I love how he is learning new things every day. A couple of his teachers mentioned he has just started talking more (well, that they can finally understand what he is saying!) This weekend I heard him say "that" and "over there" quite a bit, and he is trying to tell the difference between in/out and up/down. More like dat and over der, but still. And he loves Cordie (Gordon the dog) and saying "eat" and he will take him his food, and then put the scoop back in the laundry room. He loves "cucks" still (cups and/or anything involving water), and "dogs" and "Burke Burke" and his favorite, "Daddy." He will continue to say "Daddy, Mommy, Mommy, DADDY" and then throw in "Pap" (Heath's dad), "Pop Pop" (my dad), "MeMe" (Heath's mom) and "GiGi" (my mom, sometimes pronounced She She, like he is french). I think I mentioned on here that he loves to sing "Twinkle, Twinkle" and will throw any of these names in there at will to the tune. And he recently called Lindsey "See See" - no clue on that, but he won't stop. And yesterday he called Derek "Dee", which is also the name of one of his beloved Mother's Day Out teachers. These are all words he says with out prompting, dant tu. (Except he usually screams "DANT TUUU!" and "peaz" and "Bye!" and "Hey!!") And today I named everyone standing in his classroom (about 10 people) and he pointed to them as I said their names. He's a genius.
Pointing out the window at "Cordie"
X - Exploring - Turner is CONSTANTLY exploring, and his brother is trying hard to catch up to him. I keep catching John Burke flipping around on the floor and trying to scoot, though he cannot crawl yet. Last night I picked up my clothes in the closet, and Turner spent over an hour walking out of it with new treasures - my shoes, Heath's shoes, hats, shakers, belts, etc. He would walk out, parade what he found around the den, and then run it back like a hoarder before we took it away from him. Crazy.
Y - Yakina, Shaneka, Dee, Tenicia, Delois, Deb, Mary, Wanda - to name a few. Some of my fun co-workers at Mother's Day Out. And a couple of them read this blog!!! Yay - I love y'all. Thank you for being painfully honest with me - always. Especially when I was 8 and a half months pregnant and one of y'all said I looked like a dinosaur. Still trying to figure that out...
Delois with her boy, "John John"
Z - Zero teeth for the baby. Please, for us we have 6 more months if he's going to be like Turner. Consequently, he is still nursing. (And I HATE spending money on formula!!)

We have so much to be thankful for. It is so nice to have a time of year to reflect on all of our blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone...and War Eagle!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Recipe (and other ramblings)

Okay, I need to tell you about our weekend in Auburn. But first I want to share this apple pie recipe with you. I LOVE it. My mom has made it my whole life, and it comes from the Junior League Magic cookbook - the old school one with different colored pages and recipes from a typewriter. I tried to be all super-bloggy and take pictures to go along with it. Not because I know how to operate a camera (because that is not the case:)), but because I really enjoy recipes with pictures so I can follow along and make it and feel like I am doing it right. And, I am a sucker for seeing a recipe on a blog and making it almost immediately!
Now, you don't have to make this. I won't know. But, you will be sad if you don't - and don't be scared by the name. I don't even like sour cream!

Sour Cream Apple Pie:
Ingredients: 2 tablespoons flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 egg (slightly beaten), 8 oz. carton sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 cups very thinly sliced apples, 9-inch deep dish pie shell (unbaked)
Crumb Topping: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 stick butter (melted)

First, I sliced up the apple. Made very easy by this handy apple peeler/corer/slicer. I saw it a few years ago while teaching about Johnny Appleseed to second graders. So easy! I used to let my students use it, and then we would take the skins to the turtles in the courtyard. Oh, memories. Maybe I could improvise and have Turner give it to Gordon (who he now refers to constantly as "Cordie" - close enough).
I cut up 6, because I am making these pies for our Thanksgiving feast at Mother's Day Out. One will surely not be enough - these women don't play - so I am doing 2. I would cut up 3 apples if I were making one pie, knowing there might be some leftover apple in the end.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, salt and nutmeg into a large bowl.
Do people still sift? Just wondering.

Stir in beaten egg, sour cream, and vanilla.
Fold in apples; spoon into pastry shell.
I poke little holes in the crust to "let it breathe" - I am such a chef.

Bake for 15 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes longer.
Mix crumb topping ingredients.
Melt butter in microwave
I have learned to use a taller bowl and mix dry ingredients together first. Then, pour in the butter.
Sprinkle this onto this partially baked pie
Remove pie from oven. Reset oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle pie with topping and return to oven.
Bake 10 minutes longer or until topping is browned. Cool slightly on wire rack before serving.
Voila. If this chef could make it, then you can too!
Delicious. Trust me.
And what were the boys doing while I was doing by daily ritual of waking up and baking? Ha.
John Burke was jumping, which is his favorite pastime. And Turner was shirtless, due to an unfortunate incident with oatmeal COVERING his clothes.
I kept hearing him say "No, Duck!" and open and close the fridge. This is why!
I laughed so hard when I saw this that I snorted and it really freaked him out!
Turner has a froggy voice right now because he and Burke Burke were sick this weekend. Well, Friday at school, I forgot to put John Burke's baby food in his bag. Turns out I did put it in, and someone with little hands dumped his bag out in the car, but that is beside the point. Anyway, his teachers put rice cereal in his bottle. He threw up immediately after drinking it.
Fast forward to the car ride to Auburn. I gave him a bottle, and he spit every bit of it back up. Great that it happened in Chelsea, and we had a friend in the front seat - so I felt bad for the wonderful spit up smell all the way down. Oh, well. He was totally fine after that.
T with his friend Mary
The next day we woke up and tailgated. Turner had so much fun playing the football, and John Burke enjoyed being held by anyone that would pick him up. He is not picky!
And we went to a book signing of God and Football by the famous Chad Gibbs (a college friend - can't wait to read it).
Then, we went back to the house and our angel Amy Hand (a dear friend from college) watched the kids at the house so we could enjoy the game! So. Fun. Gorgeous and exciting and a relief not to have to watch and entertain little munchkins the whole time!
And, none of this:
Heath had to do something at church on Sunday, so we decided to come home after the game. We got home and went to bed. I woke up around 1 and checked on the boys. The baby was peacefully sleeping, but Turner was standing in his bed saying, "Momma, eat." What?! I walked over to the bed and saw throw up. Ughhhh. I picked him up and then he threw up in my hands. That is a mother's love by the way - it was so so so gross. But, I had to be strong for his little pitiful, terrified self. (Then I ran to the sink and gagged). He took a bath and watched some Sesame Street while I did laundry, wiped everything with Clorox wipes and then sprayed Lysol everywhere.
Then Heath got up and made a pallet on the floor and they "slept" there the rest of the night. Needless to say, we didn't sleep any and Sunday we stayed around here so Sicky could recover. Luckily, Slumpy never got any worse. Still don't know if he started it, or if Turner got it somewhere else and Slump missed it. I don't care - as long as it is gone. Meanwhile, Kate's mom had it, and so did Heath's sister, her husband, and Heath's dad. Terrible. Oh, and we passed it to sweet Amy who babysat. Sorry isn't even enough!!
So, yesterday we laid low around the house. Here is an action shot that sums up our day.
Also taken from my phone

Luckily today we are back in business!! War Eagle!!
P.S. - I have been meaning to share this for a few weeks. A couple of weeks ago my diagonal neighbors (who I had never met), had a truck FULL of pumpkins in their driveway. I put the kids down for a nap, and then wandered over there to see if it was a joke. I thought surely it was, since Halloween is over. Nope. They were decorating with them. And before I knew it, they offered and quickly "decorated" my yard for me. Heath's response when he came home from work was so funny. "Why all the pumpkins?" Good question. And I have left them there - part out of rebellion against our Homeowners Association and part because they will notice if I throw them away. Hope they make you laugh - we are nothing if not Thanksgiving festive!!
These plus these
equal 18 total!! Jealous?

Thursday, November 4, 2010


What's up??

I have been meaning to update for a while. We have been extra busy! Two nights ago was my goal, but if you know my husband, then you know it was like Christmas around here with the election results coming in. Not kidding. I didn't realize how exciting these results were until I married him.
He made me laugh last night because he told me he was scarred as a child because his parents would not let him go vote with them. (Funny, I vividly remember sitting in the car outside of mom and dad's polling location BEGGING them to hurry up!). Anyway, I laughed - we are so different. He said he remembers being in second grade and watching the State of the Union address from beginning to end. I remember being 4 or 5 years old and trying to change the channel because Ronald Reagan was on every t.v.! Anyway, he loves Voting Day (and checking the computer for up-to-the-minute election info)!!
I have to say - Halloween was pretty fun! My penguins had a good time. Especially the bigger one. He had a ball trick or treating. Anything involving Turner running through the neighborhood and getting candy is an A+ in his book.
We had a busy weekend - family pictures and a birthday party for our sweet cousin Ellie (pictured below with her 2 crazy cousins - hopefully the professional pictures turned out better than this one!)
Then we went to some great friends' house (and former students of mine) to watch the Auburn/Ole Miss game. The boys had a ball, and it is always nice to go hang out with friends (and their older children) who love to play with your kids! Fun for everyone:).
Former students W and O are the 2 on the left - and here I am with their moms on the right - I love them.
We went over to a friend's house for a dinner/hayride and then ended up coming home and trick or treating in our (unofficial) retirement community. They were very, very sweet and accommodating to Turner. He would knock on the door and say "Tic Tee" and then they would give him candy. Every single time his eyes grew big and he screamed "Dantu!!!" So cute.

We did go 2 or 3 doors down (it was hard to tell which of these young bucks were still up late that night) and saw a house with skeleton garland hanging and several pumpkins. We knocked on their door, and started talking to them. I heard them call their dog by name, and I said "Oh, my dog loves your dog. They play together a lot." They said, "Oh Gordon? He is in our garage." Oops. Get this - his battery on his electric fence collar broke, so he just walked in their front door!! They had left a note for us, but we hadn't been home to see it. So it was random that we brought Gordon up in conversation. He is home, safe and sound, much to Heath's dismay.
Turner and John Burke have been playing together so much more. Turner wakes up and asks for Burt Burt every morning. It was cute to call him that last week, but now it is more permanent. It's the only thing he will call him. Oh well, at least he notices him.
I like to pretend I don't know where the baby is, and watch Turner frantically run around and look for him. Then he yells "MOMMY - Burt Burt" and points him out to me. So funny.
What is not so funny is that when I put John Burke down for his morning nap, Turner doesn't like it. His playmate is gone. I keep finding him like this.
So I am having to shut the door completely and distract Turner until he blissfully forgets he has a brother.

We went to the doctor last week. It was John Burke's appointment, but we brought Turner. He is 3 foot 1. Off the charts in height. The doctor says he is going to be pretty tall. That is probably why twice last week people asked me how old I was, and when I said he was about to turn 2, they said "You mean 3?" Nope, pretty sure I know how old he is. Just tall. And I hope when he is 3, he can do more than hum "Twinkle, Twinkle" and the alphabet song. That is what he is doing in this phase of life - and yesterday I was so proud because I actually heard him say, "A, B, C, D..." - it trailed off after that, but he is off to a good start. And last night, I had to call my parents because we passed their street and he started singing "Pop Pop, Pop Pop" to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle. Well, he's getting there.
And this little monkey is 14 and a half pounds. He is in the 25th percentile for weight (at 6 months), but the 75th-90th for height. And, before Uncle Derek makes another comment about his ginormous head, it is just in the 50th percentile. His cousin Chloe, though just 2 days younger, is just significantly smaller (we love her tiny little self). She had just taken off her ladybug costume in this picture. So cute! And she can sit up on her own, something Slumpy is still working on!
All right, that's all for now! Gotta roll...