Friday, October 31, 2008

Tricks...or...Treats...and a Few Things Not as Sweet...


My Treats: This evening I passed out candy to all the Trick Or Treaters. They are pretty cute. I still have lots of candy to pass out to friends this weekend....time to move that temptation along...
My Tricks: Ugh, I was trying to listen to Christmas music while I was working late (I've secretly been listening for several weeks now), waiting for the school festival to begin, and I realized my sound wasn't working. It wasn't so crucial, but I knew I would eventually need it for more important reasons. Today I called the help desk, and in the process of helping, they got onto my computer remotely, everything was completely erased....all my files....everything. I've taken it in for repairs, but it's not looking too great. For the most part, I have four years worth of stuff saved on disk, but this year I didn't save anything yet b/c I could not find a memory stick through the usual resources. Ugh, hoping that gets resolved, but I realize it is not the end of the world if it doesn't, just a pain in the neck.
A Few Things Not as Sweet: This Wednesday I had an appointment with my regular doctor to test my liver enzymes (and, I think, pay for her summer vacation). Hmmm, she seemed a little shocked that I didn't have my gallbladder out. Yes, I got her messages to get into a surgeon, and I did (just not in the time period she wanted). I guess apparently she decides when I need surgery, and his job is to operate, perhaps my job was to relay her wishes and not my own. They had marked me in the surgeon's files as planning on having the surgery on the 17th...there was a note 'if she can make it that long.' My doctor said I would not be going that long. She tried to send me the very next day, and stood in the office and called the doctor's office herself (I guess she didn't think I would do it when I returned to work....I would have, probably later than she wanted, I do believe she has my number now). She had lots of scary words and situations to share with me, OK, I get it. I tried to explain the importance of my 'calendar', the upcoming birthday parties and weddings, she was not impressed. I'm going on Tuesday (only one day past the absolute last day she gave me, and yes....Election Day). Ugh, so this Tuesday at 11:30, despite all my best efforts-I should be under with four new holes poked into my stomach, side, belly button, and chest wall, fun. There goes my bikini modeling career....of course, the part I'm the most sad about. So, scratch the 17th, I'm going in on the 4th. Good think I voted early!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Fundamental Lessons

My favorite stories always come from the kindergarten wing at work. Today I was working with a small group of kinders and as I was flipping through a deck of letters to check each students strengths and areas that need additional support. I got to the lowercase "t" and the little girl who had been reading all the letter in the flashcard series per usual up until that point said, "Oh, that's the cross that Jesus died on." I'd say she's got the most important fundamentals down already.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cakes


I had been working on recipes for chocolate icing for months-I had tried four batches rather unsuccessfully, and this fifth time I did ask a lady for a recipe, but even at that-it seems like I can often ruin what should be an easy dish (and I didn't try to make it until the day before the wedding). Truly, I can't say enough about how smoothly it all went, which I honestly needed for my sanity, and I can't contribue the success to myself because I fail more than I succeed in life. I enjoyed the end product of each piece, but it was overwhelming and I kept thinking of the old saying, "....don't bite off more than you can chew." I managed to successfully pull everything together, but I was a zombie yesterday with two majorly aching feet after standing on tiled floors most of the last three days. I took a nap today, and enjoyed every minute.
The Candy Bar
I just love these (which is why I collect the jars). They bought most of the candy, but I did dip some pretzels for the bar, so that's fun, and hung the wreaths to give the wall a little bit of relief.

The Cakes

The Bride's Cake-Pound cake with raspberry filling, and buttercream icing. I used some of the flowers for decorations, Greg's uncle carved the "B" to go on top, and I borrowed the 'tree cookies' for the platters from the 5th grade science room :O). She requested the little grooves instead of the 'smooth' look, which made icing the cakes soooooo much easier. Each piece was served with a lime green, and hot pink chocolate "B" I made a few weeks ahead of time (her new initial). Thanks definitely go to my Mom for mixing up a batch of icing xs 4 to finish the cakes with Friday night after I got home from the rehearsal dinner, this project kept me up until almost three am (and I had began baking cakes two days before, so it was just the icing and strawberries I was working on), I don't know how many more hours I would have tacken if she hadn't been so willing to help when needed!


The Groom's cake-Chocolate with chocolate icing, and chocolate ganache, and chocolate covered strawberries, and a chocolate mold (you get the idea)-they are Aggie's-which explains the maroon silk around the cake, and the Texas Shaped Chocolate on top with the A&M name (I found the mold for a great deal). Each piece was served with a chocolate covered strawberry-chocolate is tempermental!

The Flower Shop

My house has never been so 'full' (to my knowledge) as it was this past week. Not only was I balancing baking a cake, and all the ingrediants, and pans that go with that....the flowers for the wedding arrived on Thursday. There was one minor (minor only because I fixed it before it became major) problem-they sent the wrong colored roses....I now have 5 bunches of peach spray roses, and I needed hot pink. I called around, and luckily, there was a Sam's nearby that had a few bunches in the back. Truly, I spent a lot of time in prayer because there are just so many things that could go wrong with flowers, and cakes, and everything worked out as it should, including carting them an hour plus away to where the wedding was. It seems sometimes like I'm praying about frivilous things, but I know that God truly works in those moments as well. I filled three long work tables with buckets of flowers. My brother was able to bring the flowers in when Fed Ex brought them, and I ran home at lunch to cut the stems and place them in water. He asked me, as he watched me unpack all the stems if I knew what I was doing....at that point, I wasn't sure IF I knew what I was doing anymore. In the end everything worked out well. I began working on the flowers with the back door wide open (thank goodness for a night in the 40's....I had my own ice box in the house). I had to take a break to go to Kelly's shower, and then I came back home and worked until 5 am! (I took Friday off, so it was OK and I got about four hours worth of sleep before heading out to Commerce to deliver the flowers and help decorate for the reception)....I am a night owl by nature, and it serves me well. I was so completely exhausted, I really didn't get great pictures, but I am hoping someone else did and I can later share those. I snapped some quick shots of most of the flowers in transit. I created...
10 flowers for the guys lapels

4 Courages for Mom's/Grandma's (the Grandmothers got green ribbons, but the same general flowers were in all the coursages, so you get the idea).

Four little mini pins for the house party to wear (I used a lot of polka dots, Kelly wanted hot pink and green, and the black polka dots went well with her flower choices)

This next shot shows some of the arrangements ready to be brought over to the church, which included ten table arrangments (in the back), 8 little bundles for the cones (I used green and pink paper to make cones, but I only snapped this photo of the pink) hanging on the ends of the aisle pews (in the classy cool whip containers in the first picture), and a tossing bouquet (you'll later see on the cake table). I'm including a picture of some of the tables, but I was able to later go around and use the left over flowers to make them even a little fuller.




Two large arrangments (OK, the second one I just threw together to hide the kitchen a little, but it turned out better than I thought it would...all things considered).



We used a lot of green apples, and split peas in the different candle holders, and I had enough extra flowers to scatter them around front of the church as well.

Two bridesmaids bouquets


One Bride's Bouquet


All this to say, there were some flower casualties, but they all happened at my house, once I put the flowers into the arragements, they held together really well and made it through the wedding, which was more than I could ask for. When I've helped with flowers before each arrangment took several attempts, and a lot of time, this time the first time worked, I don't know how-I was sooooo tired, but I could not have asked for this to go any smoother with such a big job, and for that, I am so thankful!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kelly's Bridal Party


We played a little 'game' I haven't seen before-everyone told Kelly their best advice, and their worst advice to help her start her new life with Greg. Kelly's soon-to-be mother-in-law made her an album of a shower she previously threw, and another one of Greg growing up, with pages to add for herself.

Blogging Drought

I have been so busy, I have not returned calls, I have not checked emails, I've been out of work two days (preplanned), AND I have NOT even written on my blog. ::Gasp!:: I'm back. I was thinking about going and smashing a few of my fingers with a hammer so I can concentrate on the pain somewhere other than my very swollen feet that have been standing on hard tile for most of the last three days. This week I've been working on a wedding (well, for about six months, but more so this past week). I absolutely adore the couple-Kelly and Greg. My Mom has been good friends with Kelly's Mom since we were in grade school....and I happen to think Kelly and Greg are great-laid back, friendly, sweet natured, in love and respectful of each other and those around them. We've been meeting over the last few months, and I've been helping with the wedding details. So....here we go....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Today I Voted....

...early, of course.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Health Update


What does this bear have to do with my health? Nothing really. I stopped by the Baylor Bear Pit on the way home from Austin last week, and took a picture of one sleeping on her back with her cute little paws poking up in the air, but I did find out today that my surgeon did his undergraduate work at Baylor....which I guess leads me to my next point. I know, big surprise-I met with a surgeon today and he suggest I have surgery.....will wonders never cease. So, I booked it, or rather, myself for November 17th around 8 am-ish. I am not terribly happy about this, in fact, it would be fair to say if I thought about it a whole lot I'd be pretty unhappy about it. I've been praying about it. This past weekend in church the pastor was discussing how unique we each are, and how each of us has a role in this world that nobody else can fulfill, much like each body part has a unique role. I'm am a little perturbed that my gallbladder went on strike. I was hoping I'd get to keep it because we've been together almost thirty years, and we have been getting along pretty well up until a few weeks ago, but I also don't want anything to risk my health further. I brought all my knowledge I've gained over the last week or so of research, and he seemed pretty unimpressed, though he listened, and then he told me what I figured he would say. On Oct 29th I have a visit with 'my' regular doctor in which I plan to bring forth the same case I tried to make today, so who knows.... I am grateful for the prayers, and I have to say that if these are the answer God is providing through doctors,and I know that I have great friends in prayers, I need to put my trust in these decisions and move forward unless I hear otherwise. I understand rationally, this is not a 'big deal' surgery, but it's my body, and so it's a big deal to me. The last few weeks I've been feeling so much better, and I haven't had any sort of pain associated with my gallbladder in over a week, it's hard to choose to have surgery when I'm feeling healthy, but I guess the point is I need to stay healthy, and thus-the surgery is the best choice....I think.

Hangin' Tough


There are no words, but here are just a few that don't begin to do this post justice! Seriously, seriously, seriously-I had SO MUCH FUN at the New Kids on the Block Concert tonight. Tonight I remember being eleven, and I loved every minute.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mav's PreSeason Win


Last night I went to watch the Mav's play the Kings during their preseason. They won by about 20 points, perhaps there are good things to come this year?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Harvest Tea at the Arboretum


Today Nicole and I headed out for the Harvest Tea at the Arboretum in honor of her birthday (Oct 23rd). We got to walk around for awhile before and enjoy the fall flowers, and pumpkins. I bumped into two friends who brought their kids out to take pictures, and we took plenty of our own photos. The tea was great. It was a nice mix of fall foods-squash soup, pumpkins/cream sandwiches, and cranberries bread and turkey sandwiches mixed in with the usual on the sandwich plates, and the typical tea fair, and delicious desserts. They also brought lots of tea flavors to sample, I spent most of my time sampling the water, but I love the atmosphere, it's never really about the tea for me. Better than the tea was the conversation, thanks for listening, Nicole. Have a great birthday! I'll see you again soon!



David's Birthday


Last night I headed out to Babe's Chicken house for a David's birthday. The 'old' church group got together to celebrate, thanks to Maggie's arranging. Note to self-do not celebrate my birthday at Babe's-celebrations include a chicken hat, and a chicken dance. By this time next month, if all goes as planned I will have attended 8 more birthday parties, two weddings, and two showers. It is a busy, fun fall, for sure!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kristine's Circus Shower


Whew, it's finished! I've been babysitting a one-ring circus in my room at work for months now waiting for this day to come. Sweet Kristine is about to deliver baby girl number two, and today some of her biggest fans (myself included) threw her a baby shower! Everyone showed up, we had a great time, and the usually very healthy staff at my work dug into the junk food.
The Mom-to-be who does not look 8 months pregnant,and Missy.

The guest sign-in area.


The 'concessions.'

The cupcakes in all their glory. It took forever to get people to try them.

Here we are serving drinks and general junk food, is there any other food group at a circus?

The candy bar was everyone's favorite spot.


Terry was in charge of passing out popcorn, and harrassing people in general, no clown necessary with this gal around.

We covered the tables with different colored butcher paper and crayons, popcorn, vintage, and not so vintage circus toys, and old circus programs. Each table had a different little collection.

We put the gifts in the baby tent.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More Cupcakes


This afternoon my pal Heather and I got to work on the cupcakes for Kristine's baby shower tomorrow. We used the cupcakes set out in Hello, Cupcakes circus pages (the elephant, the monkey, and the lion). I have three boxes full of the following three kinds of cupcakes to keep me company tomorrow. I'll take more pictures, but here are a few quick shots of the little critters.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Dreams

Here is some food for people that like to dig waaaaay to deep into silly things.
I've been having the STRANGEST dreams lately.
Dream 1: My Mom said she brought home two little brown bunnies she had found....somewhere, and she put them in the backyard. Fastforward through a dream cycle or two and she was upset because the bunnies gave birth to 65 baby bunnies. She assured me it would be OK though, she was going to find a snake to feed the baby bunnies to, so I didn't need to worry about it. (Like I'd have a problem with 65 baby bunnies, hello, cute!) I got really upset, and ran into the backyard trying to collect all the bunnies before she could come back with the snake. Some of the little brown bunnies that were covering my backyard looked a lot like puppies, but really-like this made any sense up through this point? The last thing I remember was that I was trying to gather up 65 brown baby bunny (and puppies I was calling bunnies). My Mom is disturbed by this dream because she wants to know what my true concerns are regarding some dark part of our relationship, and my feelings about her. I blame Jo completely for putting the scary kitty story on her blog. ;o)
Dream 2: I was in Europe with my family. There were lots of boats, and buses etc we were traveling around in, and I was so surprised because I thought Europe would be MUCH bigger. In my dream, Europe really was the size of The Lands at Epcot Center-minus the lagoon, where you just walked from one country to another (with 3 or so buildings representing each country), and amid all the stress of trying to get around (had I the ability to reason through a dream, I would have walked) I sat there thinking-if I knew this was what Europe was going to be like, I would have just gone to Epcot at Disneyworld and saved the money. Maurine, if I change my summer plans and come to Florida instead, you will know why ;o).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Speeding into Three


Umm, seriously, how cute is John Ross? He's every bit as sweet as he is cute. This morning I made the drive down I-35 to Austin for the big 'three' celebration. TODAY, John Ross turned three....except, he didn't know exactly at what point in the day he went from two to three. I started my greeting with a hug, and a "Happy birthday." He was excited to add my gift to his growing pile, and when we discussed his birthday, he knew something good was going to happen very soon, but he wasn't sure exactly at what point it would BE his birthday, he was still 'two' when I arrived and asked,and he was going to BE three when it was his birthday. He was unsure of the exact timing. After cake, when asked, he finally turned his 'I'm two' into a three. I was catchig up with Carla for a minute while we waited for others to arrive, and I look over and John Ross is patiently sitting on the couch.....tense with excited, beside himself, confused about what he is supposed to do as he looks around at all his Cars decorations, and waits for the party to begin. Once some little friends arrived, they spent the afternoon chasing bubbles, coloring, shooting silly string, and Carla's uncle brought his dog. THIS was the BIGGEST event at the party...forget the pony. He put his dog in the run so it could settle down after the long drive, and all the kids stood around the fence squealing, sticking their fingers through, and jumping when the dog pushed his paws through the fence in a similiar greeting! Ahh to be three and to think bubbles are brilliantly entertaining. I had a great time, and I am always impressed by how precious this little guy is, and what a great job his parents are doing raising him with manners, a firm hand, and a patient attitude.