Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing everyone a joyful 2009!
May you be blessed beyond measure

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

From our family to yours, a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

May your heart be filled with Love

Tonight will find some child all alone without a home or family to call their own. This makes me so sad because tonight we celebrate family and friends and laughter and life without a care in the world. We should care about these forgotten ones. These children may be surrounded by presents given to them by charities and kind strangers but what they really and truly want is the love of a family.

I would love more than anything to give them a home. Every single one if I could. There are so many. Each and every one is special. Each and every one deserves the love of a family. This is a present they may never know. This tears my heart to pieces. I would love to give them my love and my family but there are so many obstacles in the way to bringing them home.

If it were simple there would not be a child out there without a home, a family that loves them and hope for the future. This is my very simple wish. That there might be a way to give them this love, this family, this hope, this Christmas...and forever

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Spirit

I am really lacking in the Christmas Spirit right I drove to work this morning in the beautful, fluffy new fallen snow I could SEE Christmas but I just couldn't FEEL Christmas...I was listening to the radio playing "Here comes Santa Clause" and wondering to myself "Where are you Christmas?" I LOVE listening to KLOVE but have tuned in to the local station that plays Christmas tunes because there is no Christmas Carols and everytime I tune in they are asking for money. Yes, I know this is a difficult time and we should ALL give whatever we can, but shouldn't it come from the heart? Shouldn't you want to do it and do it without being asked or seen? Putting a dollar in the Salvation Army pot is a nice thing to do...but would you do it if there wasn't someone looking? I actually prefer the pots where there is no one there but that is besides the point. I wish that there were not a need for someone to stand out in the freezing cold to collect a pocketfull of change. Why can't we all give because our hearts tell us it is the right thing to do when we SEE someone in need? Why don't WE be the ones that makes the difference in the world? All this commercialism and talk about the economy has really been grating on my nerves. Every penny in America is imprinted with "IN GOD WE TRUST" Yet our taxpayers money is spent on bailing out billionaires so they can continue to make the same mistakes with our hard earned money. Where is the sense of it all? Why do we NEED to spend, spend, spend for our economy to survive? Maybe we just need to fall to our knees and Worship, Worship, Worship. Its free and its pretty easy to do. All we have to give is ourselves. In return we receive the greatest gift of all.

Monday, December 22, 2008


I would like to wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas Week!

May your homes be filled with love, laughter and the special joys that Christmas brings!

Just a Momentby Max Lucado

It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment.
As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other. If you could somehow pick it up off the timeline and examine it, it would look exactly like the ones that have passed while you have read these words. It came and it went. It was preceded and succeeded by others just like it. It was one of the countless moments that have marked time since eternity became measurable.
But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb.
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created.
God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
God had come near.
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
For thirty-three years he would feel everything you and I have ever felt. He felt weak. He grew weary. He was afraid of failure. He was susceptible to wooing women. He got colds, burped, and had body odor. His feelings got hurt. His feet got tired. And his head ached.
To think of Jesus in such a light is—well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn’t it? It’s not something we like to do; it’s uncomfortable. It is much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation. Clean the manure from around the manger. Wipe the sweat out of his eyes. Pretend he never snored or blew his nose or hit his thumb with a hammer.
He’s easier to stomach that way. There is something about keeping him divine that keeps him distant, packaged, predictable.
But don’t do it. For heaven’s sake, don’t. Let him be as human as he intended to be. Let him into the mire and muck of our world. For only if we let him in can he pull us out.
It all happened in a moment. In one moment … a most remarkable moment. The Word became flesh.
There will be another. The world will see another instantaneous transformation. You see, in becoming man, God made it possible for man to see God. When Jesus went home he left the back door open. As a result, “we will all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” (1 Corinthians 15:51–52)
The first moment of transformation went unnoticed by the world. But you can bet your sweet September that the second one won’t. The next time you use the phrase “just a moment, … ” remember that’s all the time it will take to change this world.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Jaidens Birthday...

How do I get this idea onto a cake in less than 24 hours? I just had this brilliant idea but it kinda came a bit late in the to find the right stuff to pull it off. Well, there is going to be snow tommorrow that is one thing that is for certain...I hope I can make her third birthday magical and one that she will remember...she is so excited to wear her Princess dress and tiara!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

44 Things about me

that you probably didn't really want to know...but if you would like to play along please do this on your blog too (and let me know so I can check you out)

1. Do you like blue cheese? bleh - does that answer it good enough?

2. Have you ever smoked? Tried it once; it made me cough. A lot....I hate the smell of smoke so this should have been a warning

3. Do you own a gun? Not really but the boys do and I like to target practice with coke cans :)

4. What was your favorite Kool-Aid flavor? Berry Lemonaid

5. Do you get nervous before doctor's appointments? Hmmm...I avoid them at all costs so I guess I must say yes doctors make me nervous

6. What do you think of hot dogs? they are better than a cold dog

7. Favorite Christmas movie? The Grinch

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Coffee

9. Do you do push ups? I should, but no.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? A Mood Ring

11. Favorite hobby? Shopping!

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No...definitely not...what was the question again?

13. What's one trait you hate about yourself? I am too quiet

14. Middle name? Yvette

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment. I wish I weren't at work. It's freekin cold. There are a lot of strange noises in my office right now

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink. Coffee, Milk, Dr Pepper

17. Current worry. Where the next 3 months will find us

18. Current hate right now. Living so far away from family. And the cold. I realize that's 2 but they're both battling for #1 on my list of hates right now.

19. Favorite place to be? outside (when its warm outside)

20. How did you bring in the New Year? I think I went to bed early

21. Where would you like to go? Somewhere the temp AND wind chill is above 75..and it doesn't have to go DOWN in order to get warmer....for example -18 is COLDER than -2 so if the number is DROPPING the temp is actually RISING...oh this is complicated...that is why I don't do math!

22. Name three people who will complete this. Not a clue.

23. Do you own slippers? favorites are a pair of pink crocs with fuzzy lining from AVON

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Multi colored sweater - greys reds with trees and snowflakes on it

25. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? No, tried them once and they kept slipping off the mattress and I kept sliding across them so its too much work to sleep and try to stay in bed at the same time. I prefer Egyptian cotton

26. Can you whistle? a little

27. Favorite color? Blue

28. Would you be a pirate? Hmmm if Johnny Depp was my captive...sure

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Christmas carols

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Katie

31. Favorite boy's name? Zachary

32. What's in your pocket right now? in my coat pocket there is a pink easter egg that Jaiden was playing with at church last night

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Jaiden being "Miss Attitude" this morning...sometimes you just have to laugh when a two year old INSISTS that she is the boss

34. Best bed sheets as a child? Holly Hobbie

35. Worst injury you've ever had? kicked in the ribs by my horse

36. Do you love where you live? Nope. No how. No way. I can't wait to move to someplace warmer than here and closer to family

37. How many TV's do you have in your house? 4

38. Who is your loudest friend? Krissie

39. How many dogs do you have? one Boston Terrier named Chloe

40. Does someone have a crush on you? I certainly hope not

41. What is your favorite book? My favorite collection of books is the Little House on the Prairie Series

42. What is your favorite candy? Chocolate! :)

43. Favorite Sports Team? Dallas Cowboys

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? ...Can I have two since it is my last request? My Wish by Rascall Flats and There You'll Be by Faith Hill

Monday, December 15, 2008

All I want for Christmas

This is a powerful song that I heard for the first time this morning. Wow!

Monday Morning Musings

I love the writings of Max Lucado and how they are so vivid and real. I got this in my inbox this morning and thought I would share it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and may the reason for this Holy season not be forgotten. I know with the hustle and bustle and clamor of shopping for gifts we often forget the most precious gift of all.

The Arrival by Max Lucado

God had entered the world as a baby.
Yet, were someone to chance upon the sheep stable on the outskirts of Bethlehem that morning, what a peculiar scene they would behold.
The stable stinks like all stables do. The stench of urine, dung, and sheep reeks pungently in the air. The ground is hard, the hay scarce. Cobwebs cling to the ceiling and a mouse scurries across the dirt floor.
A more lowly place of birth could not exist.
Off to one side sit a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor; perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him—so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds.
Near the young mother sits the weary father. If anyone is dozing, he is. He can’t remember the last time he sat down. And now that the excitement has subsided a bit, now that Mary and the baby are comfortable, he leans against the wall of the stable and feels his eyes grow heavy. He still hasn’t figured it all out. The mystery of the event puzzles him. But he hasn’t the energy to wrestle with the questions. What’s important is that the baby is fine and that Mary is safe. As sleep comes he remembers the name the angel told him to use … Jesus. “We will call him Jesus.”
Wide awake is Mary. My, how young she looks! Her head rests on the soft leather of Joseph’s saddle. The pain has been eclipsed by wonder. She looks into the face of the baby. Her son. Her Lord. His Majesty. At this point in history, the human being who best understands who God is and what he is doing is a teenage girl in a smelly stable. She can’t take her eyes off him. Somehow Mary knows she is holding God. So this is he. She remembers the words of the angel. “His kingdom will never end.” (Luke 1:33)
He looks like anything but a king. His face is prunish and red. His cry, though strong and healthy, is still the helpless and piercing cry of a baby. And he is absolutely dependent upon Mary for his well-being.
Majesty in the midst of the mundane. Holiness in the filth of sheep manure and sweat. Divinity entering the world on the floor of a stable, through the womb of a teenager and in the presence of a carpenter.
She touches the face of the infant-God. How long was your journey!
This baby had overlooked the universe. These rags keeping him warm were the robes of eternity. His golden throne room had been abandoned in favor of a dirty sheep pen. And worshiping angels had been replaced with kind but bewildered shepherds.
Meanwhile, the city hums. The merchants are unaware that God has visited their planet. The innkeeper would never believe that he had just sent God into the cold. And the people would scoff at anyone who told them the Messiah lay in the arms of a teenager on the outskirts of their village. They were all too busy to consider the possibility.
Those who missed His Majesty’s arrival that night missed it not because of evil acts or malice; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking.
Little has changed in the last two thousand years, has it?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Visit with Santa

Today we took the kiddos to see "The Grinch" and then went to Cabela's to shop for Jared a new pair of snowboots. We found Santa instead and the kids got a quick photo op on santa's lap.
Jaiden quietly whispered to Santa "I would like a Dora puzzle" she was just a bit shy but didn't cry although we thought for a minute she might.
Afterwards we went for haircuts...Jaiden had her first! Go check it out on her blog. I've put together a little slideshow of the big event. She looks so beautiful and smiled the whole time. She was a little afraid the wind was "going to blow the haircut away" which made me laugh...too cute! She really enjoyed her visit to the salon.

Friday, December 12, 2008

16 Amazing Years

Today Scott and I celebrate 16 years together :) We had our very first date 16 years ago and have been together ever since. I called him by the was just after my Squadron Christmas Party and I'd met him at work several weeks before and had been trying to drop hints through our coworkers to see what I could do to get him to ask me out...but he was and still isn't a very assertive type and had I waited I would probably not have ever gone out with him. His room mate at the time though had absolutely no qualms about asking me out and I had to repeatedly avoid him while trying to capture my one true love's eye. Our first date actually was on an outing with several of his friends (roommate included - ugh) In spite of that we had a great date obviously and I will never look at a Christmas tree by a fireplace without thinking back to that first date...:)

***I have a confession to make****
I am a horrid, horrible person....and you will and can say so after you hear why but in my defense I thought I made it perfectly clear that I DO NOT LIKE CUT FLOWERS...especially ones THAT WERE PURCHASED FROM A FLORIST...cut from the garden is ok, wildflowers and such are fabulous and they actually MEAN something...but PLEASE DO NOT BUY ME FLOWERS! I would rather have a living plant that I can keep for a long long time. Is that wrong? If you want to buy me cut flowers...keep them and enjoy them yourself. Because I don't enjoy seeing them die.

I came home yesterday to find hubs clearing the driveway (again) and when I say (again) it is like he would rather be clearing the driveway than being inside with his family...the wind is blowing and the snow just blowing back into the driveway again doesn't make any sense to me why it needs to be cleared away constantly...but that is his hobby so to each their own...I came inside to find on the table...cut flowers in a paper wrapper and a live poinsetta. This was not the only red I was seeing...I should have been happy that he was so thoughtful and sweet...instead I was LIVID. Does this man whom I've lived with for the past 16 years know me at all??? Not only do I dislike cut flowers from a florist but also flowers that I am destined to send to deaths when he came in a few minutes later he found me a bit steamed. I told him I didn't want the flowers and to give them to someone he threw them out into the snowbank. Hours later we came back from my office Christmas party and I asked him where they were...I got them out of the snow but they'd frozen and 5 minutes later when the warmed up were our anniversary didn't end especially well. I was left wondering how much if at all this guy really knows me. I love him unconditionally and that gets us through pretty much everything that life throws our way but just sometimes I wish he understood me. Guess that is why they say men are from Mars...any helpful advice?

First Blizzard

If the weather predictions come true this will be our first real blizzard. My office has been abuzz with activity these past few of the joys of working at the National Weather Service :) I am going to stock up on Oreos and cocoa and maybe read a good book :) Have a SAFE and cozy weekend! And if you're in Grand Forks and must travel - be careful!!! They are talking somewhere around 10.5 inches of snowfall. I know I will be making sure all our vehicles have winter survival kits before nightfall but plan on staying inside if at all possible.
Complete Winter Survival Kit

Warm socks, hat and mittens Long underwear Fleece or wool sweater and pants Ski or snow pants and jacket Sleeping bag or blankets Snow boots Water and a coffee can, pot or disposable bread pan (to melt snow in) Large stainless camp cup Dried fruit, nuts, granola, tea, Swiss Miss Shovel Flashlight and batteries Camp Heat, Sterno or emergency stove (to melt snow and heat water) First Aid kit 1 or 2 backpacking meals and spoonMatches and lighterEmergency candles/candle lantern
Multi=purpose tool or knife Colored ribbon (to tie to antenna)
Vehicle Emergency kit (tire changing tools, fuses, belts, hoses, clamps, strapping tape, assortment of screws, nuts, washers and bolts, bailing wire, tow chain, sand, flares, booster cables) Tool kit (screw drivers, needle-nose pliers, channel lock pliers, crescent wrench) 25-50 ft. of nylon cord Windshield de-icer and scraper Hand warmers Ski goggles Compass Road maps Cell phone batteries A good book...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Home Sweet Isolation...

Its not that we don't stay busy...last night was Advent service at church and the childrens Christmas pagent practice...tonight is the Christmas play at school...tommorrow is the Christmas Pary for my office...Saturday movie and Santa....Sunday church and then a spa party which I have agreed to host and now really regret because lately all I want to do after work is bury myself into a thick nest of blankets and sleep the winter away.

I don't know what is wrong with me lately. Ever since we got back from Arkansas its been a tough transition just to try to get normal back. Each morning Jaiden has woken up kicking and screaming and fighting my every effort to get her dressed and ready for daycare. This is not typical and I do not understand what she is going through. I try to have endless patience but sometimes it slips...especially when I have been late to work every day for the past two weeks because getting a struggling toddler into clothing takes a lot longer than normal...bundling her into layers is an additional challenge that is often met with a challenge so most times I just throw her jacket around her shoulders and carry her inside....or outside since in the afternoon she is just as stubborn and resisitant to getting a jacket on and coming home as she is to leaving home. Oh to just STAY home and not have to go through this daily. I am quite exhausted and do not look forward to the moment that I must wake her and begin it all over again. I wish we could stay home and cuddle. Last night she came and got into bed with me, something she doesn't normally do but while at Gramma's she slept with me so I am thinking this "new normal" is a bit of a transition for her getting back into the old "new" routine...we didn't have to deal with frigid weather in Arkansas or when we left...winter came sometime during the past weeks and its here to stay whether we like it or not.

What hurts the most is that home doesn't really feel like home here. I never thought I'd want to live in Arkansas but during our visit I started to see it with new eyes; how much the kids enjoyed being with their grandparents, how much Cody enjoyed hunting and target practice, how well we seem to just be welcomed into the church family every time we go even when it has been months or years since our last visit. Its a small community but they are family. I miss that. I don't feel like we have family here..sure we do but where are they? 3.5 hours away is not very close and it doesn't allow for very frequent visits. I also know that my Mom is not getting any younger. At 74 she is is decent health today but she is resistent to leave her home and I know someday she will not be able to do all the things she does today. She has lived hundreds of miles away from the only grandchildren she has for 17 years. I guess I am feeling guilty (finally) for living so far away and wanting to give it back before its too late to enjoy those moments.

With Scott retiring in just 3 months (Gasp) we still don't have "a plan" yeah ok so we've stopped trying to plan because it doesn't seem any of our "plans" were meant to be anyway. We take each new day as it comes. When March rolls around and we are still trying to figure out this new life and where to go I will trust in God's plan. Maybe He's talking already and gearing us up for this next new life...finding two federal jobs in the forests of Arkansas is a daunting challenge...but...upon doing a job search there is a forestry technician position open right now...and its just below my current job level (so not a major pay cut) only thing is I had a DREAM of being a park ranger...I didn't actually pursue this the qualifications thing is a minor issue...I don't know the ecology of a tree or how to manage the sounds like a great job....walking the hills and forests each day, taking measurements and observations, doing research and creating reports (just my cup of tea) but how to get from point A to point B in such a short time? Its more than my little brain can comprehend. what is the plan?

So when overwhelmed with decision and activities abuzz around me is it any wonder why I want to bury under the covers until spring? Cowardly approach to life I must admit but it appears darn appealing at the moment.

Its time to face the day.... Hope you have a great one! :)

*Morning Update: Today started off GREAT!!! I was in the bathroom getting ready for work when Jaiden came toddling out of her room and actually said Good Morning back when I said Good Morning to her, then we sat and cuddled for a while and then she watched the Higley Town Heroes while I finished my routine maintenance :) She didn't fight me (too much) when I got her dressed and didn't cry (hardly at all) during the morning rush. Thank You God!!!! I was beginning to feel like a Monster Mommy and was wondering if and when my sweet little girl would return. I am so very thankful for a peaceful morning. And Jaiden gave me the sweetest hugs and kisses when I left her at daycare this morning :) Her "attitude" was totally changed and she was her normal happy self again.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

7 Random Things

I have been tagged by Audrey to do a meme and didn't even know it until I happened to be passing by her blog and saw my name. What a surprise! I love surprises and I especially love memes (is it pronounced Meme....rhyming with cream or Meme as in MeeeMeee?) I've always wondered but since this is done on a blog you never hear the pronounciation. Just curious if someone out there should know and would like to share that tidbit of knowledge I'd appreciate it! :)

The Rules
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.

1. I wish we could keep our Christmas tree up all year

2. I wish our cat would stay OUT of the Christmas tree - every day I come home to see the lights drooping down around the bottom and a pile of ornaments scattered about the floor and some in other rooms of the house. The limbs are are bent out of whack and it looks like it has been violated.

3. I am looking forward to Saturday. I plan to take Jared and Jaiden to see the Grinch and visit with Santa at the theater

4. I have started getting the winter blahs already and every day when I come home all I want to do is crawl into a warm bed and sleep.

5. I think the snow here is like living inside a giant snowglobe...its very beautiful and the world has to slow down to a crawl

6. I am trying to decide what to do for Jaiden's 3rd birthday - she is going to have a princess party; she has a cute Princess dress and the invitations are pink tiaras for the girls and green frogs for the boys - I can't wait to send them out but I'm not sure where to have the party...options are 1)Home 2)McDonalds 3)movie theater....she's already stated that she wants ICECREAM at the party and every day she asks if she can wear her dress. Too cute! Since last year she wore black and attended a funeral for her Great Grandma on her birthday I want to make this year extra special for her.

7. I love Amazon! I have been finding some great deals online and it sure beats getting out in the cold and weaving through the crowds, trying to find a babysitter etc. Plus a lot of items have free shipping which is really great, I can shop at home and the goodies come to me :) I found the cutest surprise for Jaiden but you'll just have to wait to see it and I hope she loves it too.

TAG! The following friends have been tagged to do this on their blogs! :)

1. Heather

2. Dusty

3. Nicole

4. Susan

5. PIPO (OMG You're NEXT!!!) Congratulations!!! (LID 2 years, 9 months and 14 days - Whew! This gal is the pillar of patience)

6. Monica

7. Krissie

Friday, December 5, 2008

Photos from Thanksgiving

Gingerbread House that lasted all of 5 min before it collapsed
Cody and his first squirrel
Jaiden clowning with Pappaws glasses
goats and donkeys on the farm
Princess, Cisco and Eeyore
Pappaw teaching Jared how to load his bb gun
the greenhouse 80 degrees....aaaaah!
Code man
Dinner Sat night; deer steak and home grown veggies
Playing checkers with Pappaw

Rollin' in the dough

Momma and Jaiden taking a walk and looking for hickory nuts

Last night the house was warm and scrumptious with the sweet smells of vanilla and sugar wafting through the air...we made dozens and dozens of cookies for the church bake sale this coming Saturday. We made Peanut Butter cookies first and then Double Butterscotch cookies...I was up rolling dough into balls late into the night :) I'd never made the butterscotch cookies before but they turned out really nicely. I used the hickory nuts that my Mom gave me from our trip to Arkansas. There are some trees at her house that have huge hickory nuts but they are quite the challenge to get out of their shells. The taste is something similar to a walnut but its kinda sweet like a pecan.

If you hit a hickory nut on the ""bull-eye - a point about 1/3 of the way down from its stem - the husk should fracture approximately along the lines drawn on the sample pictured here. (The nut on the right has been cracked, and glued back together.) ABOVE: RIGHT: The sequence of steps used in opening one of the tough nuts. [1] Lay the nugget on its side and raise your hammer several inches above it. [2] Aim for that optimum impact spot. [3] Whack the nut sharply... and [4] it'll break cleanly into several pieces, from which you can extract the meats.

Hickory nut meats are rarely found on grocery shelves, simply because the kernels are so difficult to extract in large pieces. But you can forage a bushel of the odd-shaped nuts in one afternoon . . . and then (believe it or not!) shell them yourself to reap mostly large, beautiful nutmeat "halves". In fact, it's my opinion that every fruit, nut, or seed has a hidden "zipper" or "door" somewhere . . . all a person has to do is find the combination and open 'er up!

A lot of folks think that hickories—which are native to most areas of eastern North America—are well-nigh impossible to crack neatly . . . but if you strike one of the nuts in just the right spot, the shell will fracture along clean lines almost every time. I discovered the secret quite by accident one day while shelling a bowlful: I began to notice that if I struck one of the nuggets in a particular place—ping!—a piece of shell would fly in one direction and bounce off the screen door. I soon found that the predictable breakage pattern was due to the interior architecture (or framework) of the pod itself. A membranous partition—called the septum—divides the kernel in such a way that when a nut is struck near its stem end (where the thickest part of that membrane attaches to the outer hull), the shock waves can travel along the septum and through the shell . . . causing the rugged casing to fall apart in six separate pieces.

Hickory nuts usually begin to drop from the trees in early autumn, as soon as they're loosened by rain or frost. But, if you want to forage a good supply, be sure to head for the nearest grove as soon as the nuts start falling . . . since this wild food is a favorite of squirrels. The plumetailed scavengers are skillful hickory hunters too . . . if you're not quick, they may plunder your entire local crop before you have time to collect any nuts at all!

Take a bucket or sack with you on foraging trips (or just wear an apron with big pockets), and use a small stick to scratch around in the leaves under each tree. Most of the nuts you pick up will still be encased in their rough, dark hulls . . . which have to be removed before you can start cracking them. Some gatherers stomp on their crop to dehusk the "fruits", but I usually pick the sections of the outer coverings off carefully, one at a time. Whichever way you remove the hulls, though, don't throw away those hand-staining pods . . . they can be used as mulch material for your garden.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Movie Reviews

Its been a fairly quiet week, getting back into the rhythm of our very uneventful life so not much to talk about...just wanted to share that we are really enjoying the "early" Christmas gift of the big screen that hubs got just a week ago. It was installed the day we left for Arkansas so we didn't get to enjoy it as a family until we got home last Sunday. The first movie we watched was Shrek III - and I must say....WOW! I am not much of a tv watcher but the colors on the High Def really pop and its almost like having our own personal theater in our den.

The next movie we watched was Night at the Museum...and I must say this is the first Ben Stiller movie that I have actually fact I really like this movie. It was a very good family movie. Jared and I were both a bit frightened at first when "Rex" was unleashed but after that it got pretty funny....definitely recommend it.

After that we watched IRON MAN. I've always been a fan of Robert Downey Jr since the bratpak days of yore...I am happy to see that he cleans up well and I'm hoping that his drug induced days are a thing of the past. Watching the movie right before bedtime was not a very smart move...I felt like I was flying for about an hour afterwards and it was nearly impossible to sleep so the next day I was exhausted. It was a great movie and if you are able to see it on a big screen with blue ray it is a truly awesome experience. Thanks to my Mom for that gift, it was a BIG hit! *My Mom bought the movie, not the TV - the TV is getting paid off over the next 3 years thanks to Best Buys 0% interest deal...couldn't pass that up!