Saturday, November 30, 2013

7 quick thankful takes; a photo-palooza

Well, it was all worth it! We enjoyed every minute.

1. As soon as they arrived, Kaden sat right down and took out his toys.

2. Monday evening we had a mini-surprise-birthday-party for Kaden. I made my somewhat famous chili for dinner. Afterward, Meghann took Kaden to the upstairs bathroom. (Cause what little boy doesn't have to go)? while we got things ready. The kitty decided to play his Under-the-Door-Swatting-at-Whatever-is-There game with them. Which seemed like a fun way to keep Kaden busy while we lit the candles on his cake -- except that Kaden's finger was the thing that got swatted. And scratched. Then he wanted Meghann to "tell on" Tumnus (the kitty) to Nonnie, (me). By the time he came downstairs he had indignant tears in his eyes, waiting for his mama to tattle. Instead, we all jumped out and yelled, "surprise!"

*--we are having trouble getting the pictures and video of this part from Malaika's phone--I will update ASAP--*

 But later, his surprise party, my favorite from scratch chocolate cake, and a few gifts, turned out to be one of the things he was thankful for.

3. After that, Kaden hung out playing games and putting together his new Legos with Uncle Ben, while Bob and I, Jeff and Meghann went out.

This one is a little blurry--but Uncle Ben became a quick favorite.

First, we went to Paddy's Pub. The show, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, a favorite of Jeff and Meghann, and is based on this bar. Not fancy, but we had fun.

Then, four cold and windy blocks to The Plough and the Stars. We walked because I did not want to lose my parking space. We passed several along the way...whoops.

The place was gorgeous! We sat right by the (real) fireplace, and ordered hot cocktails. Delicious.

4. Tuesday, we went by Love park. They were setting up the Christmas village, but they got some nice shots. Here is one-

On the way to Macy's to see the decorations and visit Poppie at his office (same building), we saw this store I had never seen before.

Funny how you see things with new eyes. How did I ever miss the Funk-O-Mart?

Then we went in Macy's. We got to hear and see the organ, and look around at the decorations. The light show didn't begin till Friday, but we looked up at the big tree and I told Kaden how I used to take his mama to see the light show. 

If you squint just right, you can see the organ to the left of the tree. It is like a gated-in room, but you can watch the organist on a screen. Behind the tree is where the light show takes place.
 We didn't take any pictures in Bob's office. By then, Kaden was hungry and wanted to try out one of the city's hot dog carts. Turned out to be a good choice! Yummy.

5. Then--getting ready for The Day. We were having our feast on Wednesday, as they had to be back for poor Jeff to work on Black Friday. Here are some shots of the preparations:

 Here is Corrie working on one of our appetizers, and I had just asked Jeff to go out back and get the turkey out of the brine, with a semi-lengthy explanation of how.  I sent him out with an aluminum pan, which he then brought in, empty. I just looked at him with kind of an alarmed expression. He said, "Oh, did you want the turkey?"

 There was also a Jenga tournament happening in the living room.

Here is Kaden making a turkey craft.

nothing like kid-crafts


Always so nice to see Daniel!

Loved having everyone here.
6. The meal.

Every year, I forget something. Chiefly, the rolls. Since they are put in last while we get everything to the table, they have been forgotten until someone smelled the burning. This year, we remarked on how smoothly things went.  The stuffing was not dry, nor the turkey, the mashed potatoes were perfect thanks to Rachael, and the roasted veggies all got done. Dessert was lovely, the custard set, the pumpkin pie delicious, even though I forgot the butter, and Daniel brought two yummy pies. Then,  Melissa went to work on the dishes. I came into the kitchen to find her doubled over, hands on her knees, making funny sounds. Like she couldn't catch her breath. She seemed to be pointing towards the oven.

Then I looked. The rolls. Again! Arrgh. I am roll-impaired! The only reason they didn't burn was that I had turned off the oven.

Funnier than anything.

After dinner, we played Scattergories and Apples to Apples, and tried out the chocolate wine.

Word to the wise. Don't. Or at least chill it to death.

All partied out.

7. The next day--Meghann and Jeff have to leave--:(

 Kaden putting on a brave face, but he was pretty sad. (we all were!) The plane ride helped him have a fun thing to focus on.
                  He's becoming a pro at traveling.

Pretzel in the airport.

When the dishes were all washed and stacked on the dining room table, I decided to take one more picture. See the cute, vegetable-shaped dishes Meghann gave us? Also, the hand made pottery my mother collected, and we only bring out for Thanksgiving.

Ahh, what a serene scene full of lovely memories.


                                                  But wait-- what is that shadow?

                           Always, and I mean always, right in the middle of whatever we are doing.

 Hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving, and that you were as blessed as we were to spend it with the people we love the most.

Next--Advent! Now where is that wreath? And I need candles!

Friday, November 15, 2013

4 cleaning takes + 2 cat takes + 1 super serious take = 7 quick This-is-what-lives-inside-my-head takes

1.  I have not been posting here because, insanity.  All for a good cause, namely; Thanksgiving with ALL the kids and family here. So excited! So much to do! So many lists!

2. I think I am a clean-house-person until someone is coming for a visit and is going to see every inch of my house. Then I realized I am a sloth who lives in squalor.

3. Anybody else out there wake up on the day you have invited guests over and see your house with a completely new set of eyes? And wonder how you never saw it before? 

4.  If I actually had prizes to give, I would post a contest for you to guess how many layers of slime accumulate on a kitchen ceiling fan in a year. It took me a number of neck-twisting, arm-aching hours to find out. While perched on a ladder.

5. The cat now loves the ladder.

6. I am hoping our dear feline adolescent does not intend to perform any of his teenage gross out stunts while my guests are here. Eating.

As in:

Using the BRAND NEW living room rug with its simultaneously soft and yet scrubby texture to do the butt wipe shuffle.

Using his litter box at all. It is in our dining room.

(Let me explain. He is a very hunter-y kitty. Which is excellent. Until he finds ANY unrecognizable object. Which he proceeds to sniff (nose must make contact).[I mean ANY object. Not excluding the lip of your drinking glass]. And then, if he deems that further research is needed on the object, he eats it. So putting his box in the basement, where most cat owners place theirs, is out of the question. You would need to see our basement, but then you would nod your head and say, "Oh, I see.")

I will provide pictures of the kitty (being cute, not the other stuff) and of our Epic Thanksgiving.

7. And now, for the serious portion of this post.  While all the nutty stuff happening here in our country grabs headline after headline; including the crack-using Canadian mayor; Christians are being slaughtered overseas. You may have seen that on November 3rd, Kim Jung Un brutally executed 80 people, reportedly for owning Bibles and watching South Korean TV dramas. I only saw this news mentioned online. It may have been reported in other places, but it wasn't a headline.
Here is just one article about the killing of Christians in the Middle East.

A fellow blogger recently took it upon himself to write to Cardinal Dolan and express his outrage and concern over the lack of attention and action these killings have received. You can read it here.

Please pray for these poor people. There have been a MILLION martyred in the first years of the twenty first century. They are our brothers and sisters. I ask those who have already paid the price of martyrdom to pray for this world and those who face religious persecution.

 Thank you