Tuesday, September 26, 2006

I Love Dr. Phil

Last year for spring break, we took Jordan and Janelle to California. Pops was working in San Diego, so we took a little side trip to Hollywood. Janelle and I had done the same trip the year before and since both of their spring breaks fell at the same time, we decided to do it again.

We had a great time. The night before, we ate at Maestro's Steakhouse. Tom Cruise walked by our table on his way to the bathroom. On the previous trip, we sat next to Drew Barrymore. Our hotel told us this is a great place to eat if you want to see someone famous.

We stayed at the Renaissance hotel (where the guest of the Dr. Phil show stay) and attended a taping of his show. It was a lot of fun. I have always liked Dr. Phil. Rumor has it that he used to attend my church before he moved to LA and that he was a part of the parking ministry.

Anyway, Robin McGraw has a new book and has been doing a "book tour." Yesterday, she and Dr. Phil were in town to tape Life Today and I went to the taping. They seemed very genuine and very strong in their faith.

The Fabulous Four - My Babies

Okay, they are not babies anymore, but they always will be in my heart. We have not had a family picture taken in a long time. We have always had trouble getting everyone (you know who you are) to cooperate. That was one of the greatest parts of the wedding, getting all of the pictures while everyone was dressed up and happy.

I am so proud of my children and who they have become as adults. The thing that I am the proudest about is something that I helped influence, but had no control over. That is their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They have each accepted Him and He is a big part of their lives.

Behind that is their education. Jennifer and Justin have graduated from college. Jordan will be graduating in December and Janelle is a sophomore. Thank goodness they took after their Dad and not their Mom on this one. He has a Ph.D. and I don't have one college hour. That is okay, because I did teach them a few things.

I love each of you so very much and I am so proud of you!

Kyndra's Wedding

We had a great weekend. Along with the Gala and Landrie's Birthday party, we had Kyndra's wedding on Saturday night. Everyone in the family was there. My Mom and Dad have been married for over 50 years and have three children, 11 grandchildren and eight great grand children. It was great to have everyone together. The picture is what I call the "cousin picture", all of the grandchildren except for Madison who is 1 and refused to participate.

Pops married Kyndra and Sergio. The wedding was very pretty, but it was a little rough in the beginning. Pops has the same eyesight problem that I do. If you have small print and bad lighting you are in trouble. As he started the ceremony and they dimmed the lights, he was reading a poem and it sounded like he didn't know how to read. He was stuttering and stammering around and I was getting really nervous for him. When he came to the part where he says, "Who gives this woman . . .", my Dad who had walked her down the aisle said his part, and Pops said, "Keith before you sit down can I borrow your glasses." There was a pretty big laugh from the audience.

All went well and the food was good. The waiters passed around stuffed mushrooms, brushetta and fried shrimp and then we had a buffet dinner. There was a pretty fruit and cheese cascade, Caesar salad, pasta, chicken with cream sauce and artichokes, port tenderloin, ham and beef Wellington.

Congratulations Kyndra and Sergio. We wish you many happy years together.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Blog Designs

When I first started reading blogs, I was amazed at how great some of the sites were. They had great fonts, colors and background pictures. My was the plain one you get from e blogger when you don't have a clue what you are doing. I was EMBARASSED for the other people with the great backgrounds to look at mine.

I started trying to figure out how they did it. I finally figured out that most people have a profession design it. Most of my favorites were designed by Bluebird Blogs.

I contacted Susie (who I think if from Georgia) and arranged for her work on mine. I told her what I liked and kind of what I wanted it to look like. I had to be patient and wait about 4 weeks (she was really busy).

I think she did a great job. Just what I wanted. She is having a drawing and giving away 2 free designs for fall. All you have to do is email her at bluebirdblogs@gmail.com to enter.

By writing about this on my blog, I get 5 extra entries into the drawing. I hope I win!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Love at First Sight

I have been reading blogs for about 4 months now. I am hooked. It is so interesting to see what is going on in other people's lives. I have read about some incredible people.

I found "blogging" by accident. Justin was telling me about a Home Team at church that he was visiting and wanted me to look at their website. I thought it was interesting for them to have a website and wondered if other Home Teams might have them. I googled "Fellowship Church" and "Home Team" and came up with tons of blogs. Before that time, I didn't even know what a blog was or that they existed.

You start reading one and it connects to another and you can spend hours reading. You feel like you know these people, even though you have never met. There is one blog that I really enjoy reading. It is written by Barb at A Chelsea Morning. She also writes weekly for another blog, Faith Lifts.

Anyway, one of her recent posts asked everyone to write how you met your husband. So here it goes:

When I was in 8th grade I went to Nichols Jr. High and Pop's was in 9th grade at Bailey Jr. High. Everyone new that Bailey had all of the "hot" guys. One day when Nichols and Bailey were playing each other in football, I spotted Pop's. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. He was so cute. I told all my friends that he was mine. For two years, whenever I would see him I would just about have a heart attack. He didn't even know who I was.

For those two years, people were always going up to him and telling him about this girl that was madly in love with him. He still didn't know who I was.

One day in the summer of 1973 while we were both taking drivers ed, one of my friends met him and told him about me. She arranged for us to meet at the park for a baseball game that night. From that day on, we were a couple.

We waited for him to finish high school and college to get married. We always talked about it as though it was in our future. He was not very romantic back then, and one night on the phone while he was away at college, he told me I could go pick out my wedding ring. My mother, sister and I went and bought it. He told me to get what I wanted because that would be the only one I would ever have.

We married in November of 1978. He has gotten much more romantic over the years. For our 25th anniversary I got new ring. For my birthday the next year, he took the old ring and had it made into a necklace.

Twenty seven + years, four children and two grandchildren later, we are living happily ever after.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Horrible Grandmother!!!

After serving the girls lunch that consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Landrie and Similac for Karsyn (remember this is a food blog), I put the girls down for naps and headed upstairs to read and write blogs. This little angel did just what she was supposed to do:

I am upstairs blogging away and I hear Karsyn cry. She cried out for just a little bit and quit, so I kept on blogging. When I went downstairs a little while later, to check on them, this is what I found:

I was a horrible grandmother and did not buckle Karsyn (5 months) in her swing. Somehow she got out and rolled around the living room. She was smiling and just as happy as she could be.

Jodi's Birthday Lunch

Jodi's birthday, #45, was on Sunday so we all went out to lunch on Monday. Her sweet nephew reminded her on Sunday that she was really not that old, she was just 1/2 of 90. That made her feel much younger.

We all met at my house at 12, except Jan who arrived at about 35 minutes late. That's not really too bad for Jan. She has been known to be much later. We got everyone loaded up in the car and headed to Brio Tuscan Grille in Southlake. Landrie was very upset when we pulled into the parking space. She started crying and said, "I wanted to go to Celebrity Bakery."

I would love for you to see Jodi at her birthday lunch, but she does not like to have her picture taken.

We started out with the "Zucchini Friti" (fried zucchini) for an appetizer. I had the wedge salad which was very good. It had a creamy Parmesan dressing with bacon and blue cheese. Jodi and I spit the "Shrimp Fra Diavolo." It was very good. It is penne pasta tossed with shrimp in a spicy cream sauce.

We had a very interesting conversation with the ladies next to us. Monday was 9/11 and they were retired flight attendants who decided to go to lunch and drown their sorrows with LOTS of wine. They were very friendly, talking about how cute Karsyn and Landrie were. They were a little surprised when I told them they were my granddaughters. They proceeded to ask if Tina was their mother. I told them that their mother was a teacher and was at work.

As they left, they stopped by and chatted a little bit more and proceeded to tell Jan how adorable her little girls were and that she (Jan) and her mother (me) looked just alike. I know I have lots of wrinkles, but I don't think I look THAT old. As a matter of fact, I don't think I look like Tina's mother either. We got a good laugh. It is scary to think that they probably got in their car and drove home in that condition.

In the end, Landrie had fun and recovered from the fact that we were not at Celebrity Bakery.

Really Boring Food

The past couple of weeks have probably been the worst in a few years for our eating. I have eaten at McDonald's more in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years. We have been so busy and tired that I can't even be creative about my fast food.

Pop's taught the "Nearly Wed" class at church on Friday night. Anyone who is getting married by a Fellowship Church pastor has to attend this class. I volunteered in the information kiosk to help register people for the classes and then I spoke at the "Preparation for Parenting" class on Saturday morning. Since I have taken care of 60 newborns from the Gladney Center, I guess they think I might have something informative to say about putting babies on a schedule.

They have box dinners for these classes, but we were too busy to eat. We were so tired, we went home and there was nothing to eat, so I went back out and got McDonald's. Several nights it has been around 10 before I made it to the drive-thru and I was too tired to stop and think, "What is open at this time of night?"

Monday night was another late night of sweeping and mopping floors at the "little part time job" (remember the one where I work for the great discount on baby clothes). Every stroke of the broom and mop made me realize how bad I really don't care about the big discount!!!!! I was a little naive when I took the job and didn't have any idea that being a sales associate means you have to sweep and mop. I don't even sweep and mop my own floors.

Pop's was going to order pizza from Palio's and I was going to pick it up, but when he called at 9:00 they informed him they were so slow for the night that they closed early. A big storm came through in the evening and I guess everyone decided to stay home, except the people that decided to go to the baby store with their muddy strollers and out of control children.

Guess what we had for dinner????? McDonald's again.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Not Much Excitement In the Food Arena Lately

I wish I had more exciting news to post, but we have been a little bit boring lately. Other than my lunches, there has not been much to write about. On Tuesday night Pop's starting teaching a class at church (Seasons of Marriage) and I volunteered in the information kiosk. We were exhausted and stopped by Whataburger on the way home.

Yesterday for lunch, Karsyn (pictured above) and I went to Sonic and got a corny dog. All of my friends were preoccupied and we had to leave the house so the cleaning ladies could do their work.

Last night, I went to my little part-time job and worked myself to death. There is a sale going on and there were piles and piles of clothes that customers pulled out and then decided that they didn't want that had to be hung back up. The good news is that we spent all night hanging, so I didn't have to sweep or mop. Woo Hoo!!!!

Pop's worked late and I was so tired (got home at 10) that I couldn't even think of anything good to bring home, so I stopped by McDonald's and picked up some Big Mac's. I have to admit it was pretty darn good.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Word Cloud About My Blog

I Am Corrupting Landrie

We just got home from a 3 hour lunch at Celebrity Bakery and Landrie immediately went to my bathtub with her animals and started playing. When I went in there, she was saying to the animals, "Would you like to go to Celebrity?"

We had a great lunch today with Mommy, Tina, Jodi and Kelci. Kelci kept Landrie and Karsyn entertained the whole time. Landrie had a great time playing with the fancy toothpicks and the fruit and carrot slices. Who needs toys when you have all of that.

I had my usual cranberry chicken salad sandwich on wheat. Nothing is ever wasted. There are always extra carrots for Landrie to play with and Tina always collects everyone's green olives.

Celebration or Pappa's Barbecue???

Saturday afternoon as we were getting ready to go to church, Pop's asked if I wanted to eat at Celebration in Dallas or Pappadeaux. I answered, "Celebration." He then asked if I wanted Celebration or Clear Creek. I again answered, "Celebration." The conversation continued just like that and he finally agreed to go to Celebration. I don't think that is really where he wanted to go.

After church, we met Jennifer, Lamar and the girls and headed to Dallas. As we were on Northwest Highway, we spotted Pappa's Barbecue with a sign that said "All You Can Eat Combo for $12.95." Need I say more. Pop's busted a quick u-turn and headed to Pappa's. I did remind him that on Monday we had decided to start sharing meals and eat healthier. I don't think all you can eat barbecue fits that category.

Pappa's has great ribs. They have the traditional pork ribs, but also have huge beef ribs. You feel like a real pig when you eat them. They are about 8 inches long, 3 inches wide and 2 inches thick. They have a dry rub on them and have a really sweet mopping sauce. Delicious.

Of course Pop's got the all you can eat combo. I tried the brisket and it was really dry and the sausage had a funny flavor, but the ribs were definitely worth the trip. I had the beef rib plate ($7.95) and it came with 4 ribs and 2 sides. I had the coleslaw and potato salad and they were both very good.

My only suggestion is that they get some good bread. The only bread I saw was regular white sandwich bread. That won't do.

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Tolbert's Chili Parlor

Friday night, we decided to try a new place. It has been open for about 2 months so we were hoping that had gotten all of the kinks worked out. Justin called and wanted to go eat with us. When I told him where we were going, he said it was horrible, but agreed to go along for the free meal.

If you are going to go to a chili parlor, you need to try the chili, so that is what I had. I thought it was pretty good. I doctored it a little bit with some salt and sugar. It was served topped with cheese and onions and chips on the side. Pop's had some burrito's and he was not real thrilled with them.

What did Justin have at the chili parlor?????? Catfish. No wonder he thought it was bad. I tasted his catfish and I thought it was pretty good. I guess if I am going to go back, it will be by myself. I think one of the issues for Pop's and Justin is that we had a terrible waiter. I am guessing that it was probably his first day and he hadn't been out to eat very much in his life. We did feel sorry for him and gave him a good tip.

Monday, September 4, 2006

Home Cooked Dinner

Yesterday, Jennifer took the girls to get their picture taken along with their Gigi. This is one of my favorites.

They came home and cooked a great meal and invited us over to eat. It was great and of course it always taste much better when someone else cooks it. Jennifer uses my recipes, but it is always better.

They smoked a brisket and we had baked beans, Chinese coleslaw, potato casserole, hominy casserole and for dessert we had brownie sundaes with coffee ice cream, hot fudge and almonds (kind of sounds like my mud pie).

I brought the hominy and the potatoes. I love just about any kind of potatoes. I have had many versions of "Hashbrown Casserole", but this is by far my favorite. I think it is the American cheese that is mixed in. Here is the recipe I got from Amy French.

Hashbrown Casserole

32 oz. Package of Country Style (shredded) Hashbrowns
1 C. Sour Cream
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Stick Butter
8 ozs. American Cheese
1 Small Onion, Finely Chopped
1 1/2 t. Salt
1/2 t. Pepper

Put soup, butter, onion, cheese and seasonings in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave until the butter and cheese is melted. Stir in sour cream. Add potatoes. Mix well. Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan. Sprinkle with paprika and a little bit of parsley for color. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Lunch at Celebrity - Again

Today, these little girls and I met Jan and Tina for lunch. I took a picture of the girls just before we left because I promised Tina I would not take hers anymore for a little while.

Our 2 1/2 hour lunch was fun today because I also saw four friends that I had not seen in a long time. Two of them I hadn't seen in over a year. Celebrity is the greatest place to eat lunch and run into friends.

Since I had the cranberry chicken salad sandwich two days this week, I decided to get the spinach salad. It is made with small baby spinach leaves and topped with lots of "real" crumbled bacon and chopped egg. I usually add avocado. I always get the honey mustard dressing. It is a great combination.

They also have great seasonal cut-out sugar cookies. Since school just started, they had apple trees and school buses. Landrie had a bus on Monday so she had a tree today. Landrie ate the chocolate trunk and Lolly enjoyed the top.

Cold Pizza and Another Gecko!!!

Yesterday was not the greatest as far as my cuisine goes. After having soggy Chick-Fil-A, I was hoping for a really good dinner.

Along with my love of food, I love to shop for clothes for Karsyn and Landrie. Since I have spent many hours and $$$ shopping at Gymboree, I started working there a few hours a month to get a great discount. I worked last night. Unfortunately, when you close, you have to clean. I had to dust the floors, mop them and Windex the windows. The funny part about that is that my cleaning ladies were at my house this afternoon doing the very same thing and I paid them a whole lot more than I made.

Pops and I had a plan that he would go to Palio's Pizza Cafe and order around 8:45 so that by the time the pizza was ready, I would be there. He didn't follow the instructions properly and went much earlier. Since I was running late (cleaning), he boxed it up and brought it home. He was sweet enough to wait on me and we had cold pizza together.

Since it was about time to go to bed, I went into the living room and started turning out the lights. Just as I was about to turn off the light by the chair, I noticed a small spot on the carpet. My cleaning ladies are good and I knew they didn't miss anything. Then the "spot" moved. I screamed for Pop's to get out of bed and come get the creature. He was not as big as the monster Tuesday, but it was huge for me.

Pops was kind enough to inform me that the small creature was a gecko, but the monster on Tuesday was a real lizard. Geckos come out at night and lizards are out in the day. Now I have a new battle on my hands.

Lunch at the Mall

Lunch at the mall is not very exciting, but as you can see, my lunch companion is! Landrie was at school yesterday and I had a couple of errands to do and needed to kill some time, so Karsyn and I headed to the mall.

I ate at Chick-Fil-A, which is usually my default lunch when I am not at Celebrity. My Chick-Fil-A was a disappointment yesterday. I usually order my sandwich without pickles. At 410 calories, it is fairly healthy. I love it with pickles, but I learned a long time ago (from Jennifer who used to work there many years ago), the you get a fresher sandwich if you order it minus the pickles. I like them when they are super crunchy with lots of coating.

Every once in a while, you will get one that has been sitting around with not much coating and soggy. That was mine yesterday. As a foodie, I know which of the 5 Chick-Fil-A's in the area has the crunchiest all the time. It is on Grapevine highway and is my Chick-Fil-A of choice.