Wednesday, November 27, 2013

We text at stoplights.

Same Saturday. ^^^
Stuck behind a slow moving farm truck, stuck in Chicago traffic.

Like the weather, everything..Everything in life will eventually be different.

Our marriage has changed. It doesn't work or look the same as it used to.
Returning an overdue redbox and drinking gas station coffee was our date last night.
It's okay. We had fun. We laughed so hard we couldn't breath.

In our home, the children have become omnipresent. They can locate better than Google earth.
Their listening skills when husband and wife speak to each other are impeccable.

We haven't told many people, but we think our kids work for the government.
No, don't laugh..we're serious. They make Big Brother look like an amateur.

So getting out alone, even if it's for cheap and weak gas station coffee is simply wonderful.

We do have one up on them though....
Jeff and I have mastered the fine art of texting. We love modern technology.

We text at stoplights...from driver seat to passenger seat.
We text from opposite ends of the couch. Across the kitchen table. Upstairs to downstairs.
We say whatever we want whenever we want! The entourage can't hear us this way. It's great.
If you don't text your should. It will do wonders for your marriage.

{Yes! We have snow on the ground already.}

Having kids in our house now looks much different than it did five years ago.
There were early bedtimes and evenings alone. Sippy cups and toddler toys.

Things have changed.
The boys are growing into young men and the girls bake brownies by themselves.

This will be the 10th Thanksgiving we're hosting in our home.
Year one I had a six year old, a four year old, a two year old and a four month old baby.
Our youngest wasn't even born yet.

Now I have five helping hands. Holiday preparations are much easier than they used to be.

Today we are all working together to accomplished much.
They are cleaning while I write this blog post...see, Teamwork! ;)

I loved when they were tiny and small...and I love the ages they are now.
I don't want to get caught up in being sad about them growing up.
It's easy to do..especially if one were to turn on home movies. Pass the Kleenex please!

I won't lie....there are days I dream of Jeff and I living in our own apartment on the one millionth floor of a building in the middle of nowhere with a broken elevator that only a Chinese take-out delivery boy can get to work.
....but that's only sometimes.

Mostly I like us being together.
But I know this won't last. These times.

The clock is ticking.
Change will come. Change will happen. I know this.
So today I will be thankful for today. What I have in front of me right now.

{he spent the day with me yesterday....pushing the cart and eating doughnuts}
Happy day before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

7 Ways to Be Organized {and a little creative} For Thanksgiving.

I'd never make Martha Stewart's top 10 list of the most organized people. (if she even has a list ;)
I tend to procrastinate. I leave things until the last minute...
I'm the type of person who is usually running around sweating 10 minutes before guests arrive.

My husband says there is Liz and then there is Party Liz....he is not too fond of the latter.
Personally, I think Party Liz works well under pressure!
She works fast, she gets creative..but I guess she doesn't always have the best of attitudes. ;)
No one except Jeff and my family will ever meet her...unless you get to my house early for a party.
{P.S. If you come to my house for dinner, don't ever feel bad about being late! Ha!}

So yeah, I can be a little disorganized at times.
However, when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have organization down to a fine art.

The schedule. The crafts. The food. Yep, I've got it all together. (for the most part ;)

So, being I am a "have it all together type of gal"....I'm sure you'd appreciate a few tips and ideas from me. Nothing new, nothing you probably haven't heard of or done before....
Just a little inspiration for those of you hosting or helping host or just celebrating Thanksgiving.

1. Make a List
I have Thanksgiving dinner at my house each year. I make a list of everything...appetizers, dinner, desserts and drinks. Then I make another list for the grocery store. I do this the week/weekend before the holiday.  I also plan out breakfast for Thanksgiving morning. It's one less thing to think about the day of. Most of the time we have something simple and quick like store bought cinnamon rolls and fruit.

2. Make Thankful Place CardsEach year we make place cards for every guest attending. Each of the kids chooses (or is assigned, depending on the year) a person coming to dinner. They write on the inside of their place card why they are thankful for that person. They love this.

3. Make a Cleaning Schedule and STICK TO IT!We start cleaning the Monday before Thanksgiving. Trim gets washed, walls get washed, windows get washed...every nook and cranny in the house is cleaned.  This makes Thanksgiving Day SO much easier. All we have to do is a quick pick up and the house is ready for company.

4. Make Your Turkey the Day BeforeIf you are a "carve at the table" kind of family, skip ahead to number 5. If not, continue reading...

At our house, dinner will be served to almost 40 people...carving at the table isn't an option. I make two turkeys on Wednesday and put them into a giant roaster with gravy Thanksgiving morning. The turkey is so moist and flavorful.

*You can also make many of your other foods the day before. My mother in law has rubbed off on me, I even make my potatoes the day before like she does! It saves so much time on the actual holiday. Just put them in an oven safe pan, cover and bake until they warm back up. Add a little butter if you fear crispy, crunchy dried out potatoes.

5. Everyone Gets a Bath The Night Before
Clean your children, wash your own hair, lay out clothes the night before....big time saver.

6. Make Time To Remember
We dedicate a good portion of the month learning about the history of our country and the reason why we celebrate this holiday in the first place. We make the oh-so-popular-trace-your-hand-turkey, thankful quilts (made of paper) and read lots of books about pilgrims and Squanto and the Mayflower.

7. Don't Forget About Charlie Brown
Those old cartoons are the best!
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and The Mayflower Voyagers. A must watch.

...and there you have it.
Happy Wednesday to you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

He ate it like a boss.

My friend Kate posted a link...
So Apparently, We've Been Eating Apples Wrong

Of course my son had to try immediately following the video.
and guess what?..they were right!

When you eat an apple from the bottom up, or the top down you can't even tell there is a core.
{he took the stem off first, and two apple seeds were removed during this process}

But he did it. He ate the apple like a boss, just like the guy on the video.

The boys are working on popsicle stick crossbows...
...they saw a link that popped up at the end of the apple eating video.
(If a window breaks, I'm blaming you Katie ;)

Now, go try eating an apple, I know you're dying to see if it works.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I'll join all the others....

...and write a misc. Monday. :)


The chaotic sound of warming up strings makes my heart skip a beat.
John Williams was a surprise for my second oldest's birthday. He had no idea until we arrived.
"It was probably the best birthday gift ever." said he. This made his mother very happy.

P.S. This ^^^ is where you sit when you are tired at night and decide to....
"just purchase tickets in the morning."  But honestly...we didn't mind the seats at all.

My grandparents put on their traditional Christ-giving dinner on Sunday. {Christmas, Thanksgiving}
We also celebrated my grandmother's 80th and my grandfather's 81st birthdays.

Does she look 80 to you?
I don't think so either!

...and this ^^^ happened today!  They were quite thrilled.

Happy new week to you.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fashion Tip Friday ~

The Dingy White Cami.
You know, the one you bought a year and a half ago, washed and wore 8 million times...
It needs to be replaced. {of course I'm talking to myself}.

Undershirts..a hard thing for me to spend money on.
The reason? There is nothing exciting about them.

I often forget how long it's been.....
until I button up a fresh white blouse and that little dull piece is showing near the top.

Nothing looks worse than a grey-ish, fuzzballed undershirt.
As I run around on this busy Friday I will be picking up a new cami!
If it's been a should do the same.

Wondering where to shop for one? I've compiled a few places for you...
Here {with these prices there is no excuse!}
Here { FYI....prices may vary from store to store}
Here {you're here for a cami, you're here for a cami, you're ONLY here for a cami... stay focused!!!}
Here {there are some really nice ones here if the budget allows}

We have a busy weekend ahead.
A secret outing tomorrow (more about that next week ;)
An early Thanksgiving celebration with my family on Sunday.
My snowbird grandparents are getting ready to leave for their house in Key West soon....
it's the last shindig before they go.

How about you? Busy weekend?
Hope you have a wonderful one whatever your plans.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

"We should make grape jelly"....she said.

I have the best neighbor, I really do. Love her!
But there was this one afternoon I didn't like her too much.
It was the afternoon I squeezed 19 pounds of grapes into juice. ;)

She suggested making grape jelly.
It sounded like fun, and honestly (besides the messy juicing part ;) it was.

We picked, we juiced, we boiled, we jellied....and our kitchens smelled like grape bubble gum.

Since then, we learned of this fantastic little machine that juices grapes for you...
I'm thinking this would be a grand investment for next year.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Take your lawyer off speed dial.

{a few from the iphone}

I've been a little hooked on Matt Walsh lately.
His blog posts, his podcasts, his FB page....he's great.

I was really excited to find This post . He could not have said things better.
{Especially when you get to the politician part :) Read it, you'll see what I'm talking about.}

I can't stand, I mean I REALLY can't stand the "Customer Service Victim" role.
You know, the people who keep their lawyer on speed dial because society is out to get them.

It drives me absolutely bonkers to hear people complain over simple mistakes.
The complainer wants forgiveness and grace extended to them...
but tends to forget others would appreciate that too.

Also, when you make a scene and then leave a store/restaurant...
People talk about you. they do. and not in a nice way! You make a fool of yourself.

Being nice gets you So much farther in life. :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Little Tribute

Yesterday I took my boys shopping for shoes. The store was chocked full of Christmas!
Songs...Trees...decorations...wrapping paper. {which okay, my heart MAY have skipped a beat!..}
...but whilst I love the Christmas season with all my heart...I'm not ready yet.
I'm not willing to cheat on fall for winter wonderland.
I still want to bask in the season of cinnamon and salty caramel mochas.

I feel bad for November. It often doesn't get the credit it deserves.

November holds the last of the color...trees that scream golden orange and yellow.
November holds pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin lattes.
November holds the forgotten holiday. Does any store in America recognize Thanksgiving anymore?
November is cozy when the clocks are turned back.
November is the season to be thankful. (sorry pregnant Beth if you read this ;)
November is the month to color pilgrim and turkey pictures.

...and there you have it. My little tribute.
Hope your week is off to a great start.