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Thanksgiving 2008--the best of times/worst of times (for bones that is)

  • Sunday, November 30, 2008
  • Jeff and Kari
  • Well, another Thanksgiving come and gone... and, unfortunately for me (Jeff)--underappreciated. This whole food/bet thing is killing me--I may actually go a whole year without pumpkin pie now! Even in my feeble efforts to pick out the healthier fare, some stuffing-eaters had the audacity to wag their fingers at me saying my meager portion of potatos already put me off the wagon. My answer to that is "Let he without pie cast the first stone (and be sure and aim for my carb-starved brain)".

    Actually, it was a pretty eventful holiday. It all started with a dichotomy of Turkey Bowls. Dad, claiming to warm-up for the Sulphur Springs game, decided to play some football with G3/G4 that morning. Long story short, something about an end zone pass and inner ear problem left Dad's collar bone snapped like a turkey wishbone and pointing over his shoulder (does this really surprise anyone?). So, he spent most of Thanksgiving in a daze of anti-inflammatories and ice packs. Meanwhile, in Sulphur Springs, I'm throwing up some numbers of a lifetime--3 touchdown receptions, 1 touchdown pass, 1 defensive interception. The play of the game was an over-the-shoulder, no-look reception from the branch president with my arms out-stretched and defender crawling up my back (uphill, in the snow, etc...) for a 30 yard TD. So, the old men trounced the young men (and, yes, I'm included in the old men now). Unfortunately, my legs still haven't fully recovered from cutting and chasing kids half my age.

    Kari and I hosted the actual dinner portion of Thanksgiving. We were planning on 11, but were delightfully surprised with 16 guests (my parents; Kari's parents; Kar's sister Steph with two of her kids; and then Brad's fam)! We brined and roasted a nice bird--albeit a little pink in some parts, nevertheless, not bad for being a little out of practice. We were sprawled out all over the kitchen/dining room and even had Jake and Jonathan eating off the floor with the dogs (alright, so we put the dogs outside)!

    Black Friday was pretty uneventful. Brad, Karrie and Milo spent the night on Thursday. We lounged until late afternoon and then drove into Dallas. Mom and Dad watched the kids while we did a little shopping. And by shopping, I mean we spent an hour at Ikea to pick up a single mirror. And then Brad and I watched our wives pick at purses for another couple of hours. But, at least it was shopping without kids (it could've been a lot worse)!

    Saturday was more of the same except throwing the kids into the shopping mix to pick out Christmas presents. I took Jake to the video game section and we played PS3. It's nice having a boy his age for those kind of necessary diversions.

    Well, it's back to the grind tomorrow... I'm sure it'd be easier to stomach if I had some pie...

    slacking author has her blog tagged by bored husband

  • Monday, November 24, 2008
  • Jeff and Kari
  • Yeah, so Kari had great expectations for this thing, but she's having a hard enough time rolling out of bed at 5:45 AM to run... meanwhile, I (the sidekick) am sitting up at work going crazy with nothing to do, but surf the net and dream of working.

    I know she has a list of things to blog about over the past few weeks, so I'll just wing it:

    1) Hannah made her stage debut a couple of weeks ago. For those of you who don't know, Hannah's aspiration in life right now is to be a popstar. I don't know where this idea started, but I'm blaming Miley Cyrus and the whole Disney media. Anyways, apparently each grade does a little muscial skit (on a rotating monthly basis) for the Parent-Teacher meetings. So, Hannah decides to audition for one of the lead parts. And granted, we as parents are pretty biased, but she lands one of duet parts! So, little did I know it was scheduled for Veteran's Day. But, they had this huge American propaganda-themed little musical complete with some rapping about America and Hannah's country-twanged "Living in the heart-in the heart of America". Hannah has always had this terrible stage-fright (I know... it's gonna be a tough road to popstardom)--and she looked a little shaky at first--but, she did pretty well. So, who knows what her next hit will be?

    2) Jacob is gunning to be #1 at school. So, I come home from work one day and little Jake's got some news--he's the Bowie elementary "Star Student of the Month". Apparently, only two 1st graders all year get this honor. He had his picture taken for the paper. And, they gave us a sign to stick in our front yard for the next month. Hannah's best friend across the street was also "Star Student" for her grade. So, we have dueling "Star Student" placards in our yards. Jake's gonna be scary bright too--the kid has never had less than 100% on anything--ever! Can you imagine? We're talking homework, spelling tests, math problems. The kids infallible. He's probably batting a thousand on his score card in heaven, too! Now, if only some of his perfection would spill into his sports game...

    3) Last week our garage got pillaged. I was messing around in the garage and had left my car in the driveway. I was going inside to get my keys to pull it in and Kari distracted me with something (it's always smoke and mirrors with her). So, that was the first slip up. Then Kari, actually let her OCD nightly ritual of checking every door in the house lapse (which is pretty fun to mess with... there's nothing better than waiting until she's crawled into bed and about to doze off and saying, "Did you check the back door? I don't remember you checking it?" She'll be like "Of course, I did..." and then you can just count it down 5-4-3-2... "Dang it, Jeff... why did you have to say anything" as she goes marching off to check all the doors again) and didn't check the garage door. So, it got left up all night. Which really hasn't been a big deal. In the 7 years of living in Lubbock and Waco we've had one kids scooter snagged (and it was sitting out in the middle of the driveway for half a day). But, then as the day progressed Kari started noting stuff that was missing out of her car. First, it was her purse (which kinda made me smile because I've been saying for years "Why do you leave your purse in the car?"), but then she started in on the list... my whole CD case (all 100+ grunge CDs that get pulled out every once in awhile when I like to reminesce). But, at least I still had our... awh, nuts--the iPod too? My sunglasses (I had a pair in each car because I'm too lazy to move them back and forth).

    The kicker is the teenagers (how, did I know it was teenagers? Who else would steal sunglasses, iPod, and CDs) went on a shopping spree in Fort Worth. They were spending $500 a pop at these mini-marts. So, I started calling them. I was talking to one manager and I was like, "Did someone just buy $500 of stuff at your store?" "Yeah." "Who was it?" "Some teenagers." (that's really how I know) "And you let them buy $500 of stuff on a debit card?" "They said it was their dad's" "So, out of curiousity, what'd they buy?" "Clothes and food" So, in case you're looking for another store besides WalMart to blow $500 on quality clothes and food--apparently, Mike at some Deli Mart in Ft. Worth is your man. He'll hook you up no questions asked!

    4) I think that's it for now... Kari and I have a bet going. I'm doing this terrible meal plan that is no-salt, no-sugar, (no-flavor) and it's kicking my tail. Kari's trying to lose weight to go shopping with Christy at Christmas. So, I bet her I could stick with this plan longer than she could continue to lose weight. Luckily, she reminded me of the bet last week during a moment of weakness when I was craving a sugar-fix (I had forgotten the bet and thought I was just going through some phase again). Now I'm dedicated just to do it (read: stubborn husband). Who cares about whatever health benefit it's supposed to have--I need to kick the Smith ice cream addiction and I'll stick it to her while I'm at it! So, if either one of us is grumpy over the next two months it's because she's losing sleep to exercise and I'm eating cardboard. Happy Holidays for us!

    Jeff's Creative Budgeting

  • Monday, November 17, 2008
  • Jeff and Kari
  • So Jeff and I have been working on staying on a budget to get all those school loans paid off. OK, so it's really Jeff and I'm being drug along kicking and screaming. Well he's been working out lately and drinking some shakes and taking some vitamin supplements. Tonight I had to run to walmart and he asked me to pick up some more creatine powder. When I got home I asked him if it should go under food or misc in the budget to which he replied "Just put it under HOME SECURITY". If you know Jeff at all you know how funny this truly is.

    We've Got Waaaayyyy Too Much Candy

  • Friday, November 14, 2008
  • Jeff and Kari

  • First of all, we finally carved our pumpkins. It's been warm and they tend to rot if you do it too early. Everyone picked their patterns and Jeff and I started scooping. Hannah actually carved hers by herself (the cat) and Jeff ended up doing most of Jacob's (the skull). Then we put them all out and Jeff took pictures. He's really good with the camera.

    Halloween came and went and we still have a huge bowl of candy. Granted it's not the best stuff that's left, but I've had four kids going through it for two weeks now. The candy actually started coming a few days before Halloween at the branch party. There is a couple in the branch that love this holiday. They have some land and they really go to town decorating. Thing's hanging from trees, lights, huge cutouts and the house is completely decorated inside too. The craziest thing was that they drained their in-ground pool and constructed a haunted pirate ship. the main mast was probably 12 feet tall. The kids had a blast looking at everything and then there was the trunk-or-treat of course. Jeff really got into it this year and created a huge painted bat to put across the back of our car. He cut the mouth out and kids had to stick their hand in to get candy. It was a hit. We did this once while in Lubbock and apparently I made him throw it away upon moving. I wont' make that mistake again. I forgot to get a picture that night so I'll have to post one later.

    On the actual big day we got the kids dressed and went over to a friends house for a party and trick-or-treating. There were several kids and we all had fun.

    Rachel went as "The blue princess" (Cinderella), Hannah was an Asian Princess,
    Jake was Ben 10 (of course) and Jonathan was Optimus Prime.
    The little pink princess was Rachel's good friend Ella.

    Jacob always has the same smile in every picture.

    See how Hannah's standing next to the cute tennis player, we're keeping an eye on that.

    The Garden

  • Jeff and Kari
  • It's been way too long since I've posted so now I'm playing catch up. I'll start with the garden. It was coming along beautifully. Everything was green and just about to start producing. I say was because all of a sudden we had a cold snap. For one, just one night it got down to freezing. Now I brought in the chicks and rabbits (not a fun task) but I didn't think about covering up the garden. I didn't even get a picture of it pre-freeze. I will say that the weather got warmer and things started to come back. We've harvested squash, zucchini, green beans, and tons of lettuce. But I'm not sure if there's enough warm weather left for everything else to make it. On an ironic note, the couple of things that do survive the cold weather, broccoli and peas, the chickens destroyed. Oh well. Anyone want to come over for some salad???
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