Christmas 2008

Most Practical Gift: a book titled How to Live with a Neurotic Dog and Lowe's gift cards

Funniest Gift: a can of cream of potato soup (there is a story behind this but I will save it for another time, if I choose to tell)

Most Redneck Gift: 100% Redneck t-shirts and "Alabama Redneck Survival Kit" complete with sunflower seeds and WD-40 for Ben and TH of course. Unfortunately, I had all of my hubcaps this year and didn't receive any this Christmas. However, we did replace a headlight on Christmas Eve at LaDaryl and Sandra's house (I have been asked to always refer to my uncle on the blog as "LaDaryl." He is a redneck and I must do what he says. Do I get redneck points?).

Most Sentimental Gift: let me give you background info first--My uncle passed away in '94. Before he was married, he dated a girl (Jan Montgomery for those of you in the Ham) for a long time and gave her a really pretty opal necklace while they were together. Mrs. Montgomery gave Leslie the necklace with a really sweet note this Christmas. 

Most Broken Gift: I will not say who this is about because I don't want this person to feel any worse than he/she already does. A very fragile present was given to someone. Less than 10 minutes after the present was open, it fell on the floor and shattered to pieces. No worries, the gift has already been reordered and will be delivered shortly.

Most Special Gift: I got a replica of the Sanibel Island lighthouse, a place that Brent and I visited many times while he was living in Fort Myers. I've been wanting this lighthouse for a while and never took the time to order it. I was told the man that made them passed away and the lighthouses were being retired. The Sanibel Island lighthouse was one of the first to retire so I just forgot about it. Brent and my mom found one and my parents gave it to me.

Most Disappointing Gift 1: I opened a gift of Ben's senior pictures and loved them. Turns out those pictures were intended for Quinton and I had to put them back in the bag with the tissue paper and he had to pretend he had no clue what was in them. It's ok though because I opened some later.

Most Disappointing Gift 2: Cleveland (cousin) got a guitar Christmas morning and we gave him a tuner and picks. However, we exchanged gifts with that side of the family Christmas Eve so I wrapped a notecard that said "Gift to come Christmas Morning."

Funniest Wrapping Paper: Dad couldn't find the wrapping paper to wrap mom's gift (even though it was sitting on the floor in the den) so he wrapped it with newspaper. He didn't realize until after he was done wrapping that he used the obituary section of the newspaper.

Best Bargain day after Christmas: lighted wreaths for $15 at Home Accents in Pelham.

Laughed so hard that my stomach hurt: playing Mad Gab with Brent, Mom, Dad, Ben and Savannah (Ben's friend)

Most Redneck moment: Riding with Ben and TH in his OLD Bronco to get Pop a toothbrush and razors at the Exxon

Best Quote of Christmas: "WD-40 is like Red Bull for rednecks" made famous by TH.

Here are some pictures. Unfortunately, I don't have any from Christmas with my mom's side of the family or the VK's. These are with my dad's side of the family. The one of the dog is Sparky, my parents dog. He is at least 13 years old. We aren't sure how old, he was a stray when we got him in 5th grade. He is wearing Brent's ear muffs he got for Christmas. 


If I Only Had a Blog

Naked Neighbor

Ok, this sounds like a "Friends" episode...but I promise you, I am referring to one of my former neighbors at my parents house. And, yes, I mean naked in the whole sense of the word. Not only was he a naked neighbor, he was a strange neighbor. He was a hairy naked Neanderthal. I'm almost positive he was single, although sometimes we did see a red Mustang outside of his house. It wasn't his car because he didn't own one. He walked everywhere. Of course, in Cahaba Heights that's easy to do. Speaking of walking, one day Leslie and mom were taking a morning walk around 6 am. NN (that's what I'll call him for short) was in his house screaming with the front door wide open. Leslie and Mom made sure to take a different route home.

Let me paint the picture for you. NN has an old small house. His front door and back door are connected with one straight hallway that has the rooms on either side. His kitchen sink faces the back of the house. And it just so happens that his house is at the top of a hill, facing you as you drive up this hill. The hill is a pretty popular route for our neighborhood and a vet office. Point is, he's hard to miss. Especially when the front and back doors are open and he is washing dishes at his kitchen sink with absolutely no clothes on, which he did on numerous occasions. It gets worse. He has been spotted, by me (everything I am talking about here, I have seen with my own eyes and I don't lie), sitting in his boxers in his front yard in a "canoe" rowing somewhere. He would occasionally pull out his "binoculars" I guess to find land and would continue rowing. You may be wondering, how did you see him do all of these things in the short time that you passed his house? First of all, I always drove slow so I didn't miss anything. Second, I always made sure to have a reason to drive back by his house a few minutes/hours later to see what he was up to. This particular time, he was rowing on the way up the hill and he was using his binoculars from the canoe on the way down the hill.

One night on our way home from church, we were frightened by a huge Spongebob pillow hanging from a tree. Imagine driving down a dark road with lots of trees and all of the sudden seeing a huge yellow thing with bug eyes and a huge smile staring at you. It freaked me out and for a while I would not drive on that road at night. That was until I saw Spongebob hanging on NN's porch one day.

NN was known for hanging things on his porch. He kept a skeleton up from Halloween about 6 months after the holiday. Some of our sane neighbors had to explain to their children that NN was "Mixed-Up Calendar Man" and got confused with holidays. Not only did he hang things on his porch, he liked to duct tape things in trees. For at least a year, he had gnomes randomly duct taped to the trees in his yard.

One night my dad was on his way home around 2 am (not sure why) and he saw NN unclothed with the doors open. My dad drove to the police station at the bottom of the hill to inform them. The police just laughed at him and said they weren't going near his house.

NN was a special man and a neighbor to never be forgotten. Unfortunately, he has moved and the property is for sale. But I must say, I'm glad he's gone and I hope he clothes himself in his new house.

**PS, I will have a Christmas post as soon as I get pictures from Dad.


ACA Official Members

That's right...Brent and I are now official members of the American Cornhole Association and we are getting a membership card to prove it. If you have no clue what I am talking about, go here to learn about the popular tailgating game that is sweeping the nation. If you've never played Cornhole, you've really missed out. Call us, we have a board and we would love to introduce you to the game. One of the benefits of becoming a member, other than costing nothing to join, is we get to host official Cornhole tournaments. Be practicing Twentysomething's, there may be a tournament coming your way! Also, here is a song dedicated to the game. Thanks Rod and Luke for the web suggestions! 


Christmas Favorites Part 2

Go here to hear "Oh Holy Night" like you've never heard it before. My dad found the mp3 of this song a few years ago and it is tradition to crank it up in his home office and listen to it...and laugh of course because you can't help it. I don't have the mp3 on my computer but I found this video on youtube. I don't know if the guy in the video is the one who actually sang the song. It's still hilarious. Listen to the whole thing, it gets really good at the end. Enjoy!


Christmas Favorites

***I usually don't post twice in one day, but I have 2 very good things to write about so please don't miss this post or the one below. 

If you have never heard of Dean and Company, you are really missing out on a Christmas treasure. The Dean Family (a somewhat slightly semi-talented family from Birmingham or somewhere near the city) puts out a video each year for Christmas. They will leave you thinking to yourself, "Why?" Why do they record this and make it available for public viewing? It's awful. It's horrible. It's the worst video production I have EVER seen. Creepy puppets are used for whatever reason. Who knows? This family thinks they have something special, a talent they all share of singing and acting. This is so far from the truth. I don't feel bad for saying these things, they have to know it. And if they ever listen to Rick and Bubba (which they do, they will be on their show on Wednesday) they have heard these comments and worse. It's as if they record random songs, scenes and whatnots throughout the year and compile them all into a "Christmas Special" and publish the video without editing or even reviewing the material. It's like publishing the rough draft of the first essay you ever wrote in the NY Times. I have actually sent the video link into the Ellen Degeneres Show. I'm sure it is something she and her viewers would love to see. Please go here and watch the 2008 Christmas Special. My favorite Christmas Special was from 2006 or 2007, don't remember. But you can see that youtube video here. Hope you enjoy!

Sanibel's First and Last Slumber Party

Brent and I went to Nashville for the weekend and had to leave Sanibel at the vet. I love the vet we use. They are helpful and nice and have always taken good care of Sanibel when we take her in for check-ups/surgery. And, the vets are Auburn grads so I know they are good! This was Sanibel's first time to stay at the vet overnight. Usually when we go out of town, our parents keep her. But we had to board her this time since we were not driving South towards the Ham. I hope we never have to do this again! She put up a fight when Brent tried to drop her off on Friday. He said I would have cried if I had taken her. He's probably right. But Sanibel has always been able to quickly recover from negative circumstances and she has a very short memory. For example, she ran right into a wall one night in the hallway when it was dark. Instead of moping around like it hurt, she shook it off and got right back to whatever toy she was after. We assumed she forgot about us leaving her and had fun playing with her new dog friends. Wishful thinking. Brent was going to pick her up today during his lunch break. However, he got a call around 10:30 from the vet asking for permission to SEDATE her before giving her a BATH! How embarrassing! Apparently she would bite or scratch anyone who attempted to get her out of her crate. Brent declined and left immediately to go pick her up. When he got there, the vet assisstants would not get her out themselves. They took Brent through the "employee only" area so that he could get her. When they got home, Sanibel already had a bowl full of food. Brent went to the bathroom and when he got back ALL the food was gone and she was gulping down the water. I guess she didn't eat or drink anything during her stay. I know she was fed and given water, this is not the vet's fault. Sanibel is just an absolute brat and refused to eat or drink. She wouldn't even take treats from the vet! Brent felt like he had just picked up his rebellious child from daycare that was too defiant to stay at school. I feel like I need to write a letter of appology to the vet asking forgiveness for her behavior. I couldn't believe it! Hopefully we will never have to board her again. I will do anything before I leave her at the vet overnight. I hope our children reflect better parenting skills than Sanibel. 


If I Only Had a Blog

Saturday Night Burgers

Growing up, I was so blessed to have my grandparents living so close to me. My mom's parents (Mom and Pop) lived across the street until I was in college. If I didn't like what my mom was cooking for dinner, I would run across the street and eat whatever Mom made. One day it was raining and I was running over to their house, only to slip and fall in the car port right on my backside. My mom has always told me that's how I got a crack in my behind. 

My dad's parents live down the street, about 4 minutes away. Every, and I mean every, Saturday night we went to Granny Rosie and Pop Pop's house to eat hamburgers. Even in middle and high school when it wasn't "cool" to hang out with your family on weekends, I rarely missed Saturday Night Burgers. If I wanted to be with my friends, I just invited them to dinner. It was a tradition that Granny Rosie's mom started. After dinner, the grandkids would go into the piano/sunroom and dance while my dad played the piano. Typically, someone would record us on the video camera. This past Saturday night, we were in Birmingham (for like the 10th weekend in a row, it's crazy) and we watched some of the videos. We frequently watch home videos because they are HILARIOUS! We just sit around, make fun of each other and laugh at how stupid we were and dumb we looked. In most of them, Ben is either in a diaper or stretched out Barney underwear (from frequent wedgies thanks to Quinton) They are some wonderful memories that I cherish so much. Now that we are older, we don't necessarily dance around and make fools of ourselves. I'm not saying that we never do...just not as often :) But Dad still plays the piano after dinner. I love to hear him play the piano. I really wish he would record his music (hint hint, Dad). I've mentioned this to him before, but he hasn't done it yet. My family records everything on video. We still record us opening presents every Christmas. Do we ever watch it? No, but at least the memories are there. Saturday Night Burgers will be a tradition that I hope to pass on to many generations. What are some of your family traditions? 


Death by Gift Certificate

Gift cards are a wonderful thing. However, I got an email today about a rather unusual gift certificate that I would NEVER want to give or recieve. Planned Parenthood of Indiana is offering gift certificates that can be cashed in at abortion clinics. Here is the article on Dr. Albert Mohler's blog. We have totally lost sight of what Christmas is all about. The BIRTH of our Savior. And now we are offering mothers a chance to murder their babies as a Christmas gift. 


From one random job to another...

Sometime this summer, I can't remember when exactly, I was sitting with Brent at work eating lunch. I got extremely irritated because while we were trying to eat, he kept being called to do something, check on something, go fix something, call someone, etc. I thought to myself, it's not right that my husband can't sit down for 20 minutes and enjoy lunch without someone bugging him with something. This type of thing happened on many occasions. And I remember thinking that day that I didn't want him working there anymore (there were many other things that bothered me about his job, not just the lunch thing). But that day at lunch was like the straw that broke the camel's back. I didn't say anything to Brent. He already knew what I was thinking. But it really bothered me and I decided I wanted him to find another job. I still didn't say anything. That evening when Brent came home from work, he told me he was ready for something new and he immediately started looking for a job. I don't think that was just a coincidence, I think it was the providence of God. Brent had looked for another job back in the spring and almost got one with Bill Heard Chevrolet...I'm VERY thankful that didn't happen! Brent bought the book 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller and foreward by Dave Ramsey. And so Brent started to seriously search for a job and we both began to seriously pray for God's plan to be revealed. To make a long story short (which I probably need to do with a lot of my blog posts) he accepted a job with Cornerstone Detention Products on Monday, December 1st. The company had been thinking about hiring another outside salesman but hadn't officially made a decision or advertised at all. Brent found them on the Athens Chamber of Commerce website, thought it sounded like a unique company, and decided to send them a resume. He didn't expect to hear back from them, but he did and now he will be working for them! He is extremely ecstatic about the new job! I am very proud of him and excited for him! Brent is such a hard worker and he deserves to work at a place where he will be appreciated and valued. I think he will feel that way at Cornerstone. So...all praises to my King and for His perfect plan and timing! 

What does Cornerstone do you ask??? It is a family-run local busines that does work all over the nation. They sell prison equipment (uniforms, guard towers, stainless steel toilets and sinks, beds, security glass, you name it they sell it). There is also a construction side that does a lot of work with architects who design prisons and other detention facilities. 

So now, when people ask me what Brent does, instead of explaining that he works for a wholesale plumbing supplier that also sells lighting and appliances (a toilet salesman) I will now have to explain that he works for a detention equipment supplier (a prison salesman). 


Thanksgiving Holidays and Black Friday

Thanksgiving day started by watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I was in the parade twice during high school. It is very sentimental to me and I never miss it. Then, I went on to making a dozen deviled eggs 1 of 2 (I made it again on Saturday for Thanksgiving with my mom's side of the family). I am always asked to make deviled eggs. I think it's because no one else wants to do it, but it just wouldn't be Thanksgiving without them, so they make me do it. I don't mind at all. They are easy and everyone loves them. However, I am capable of making more than just deviled eggs...hint hint. My mom made the turkey and dressing this year. It was her first year to take on this responsibility, therefore, it was mine too. After the eggs, I helped her rub an herb paste under the skin of the turkey breasts. It was absolutely disgusting but it tasted really good after it cooked! Then, I was greeted with a phone call from Quinton (cousin) wondering why he couldn't look at the newspaper ads yet. He and Leslie were already at Granny Rosie's and he wanted to go ahead and look at the ads. Leslie wouldn't let him...remember our cardinal rule...and he didn't understand so he called me to get clarification/permission. I gave him permission to look under two conditions 1) he could not tell us about any deal or discount and 2) he had to put the ads back exactly like he found them. Thankfully, he did just that and we didn't have to disown him. We had a yummy meal complete with lots of laughter and chaos. The three are never separated at the Wright's dinner table.  Afterwards, we watched a lot of youtube videos. My favorite was "The Turtleman." You need to watch it.  Don't miss his reason for losing his front teeth...HILARIOUS! Finally, we sat down to create a game plan for our Black Friday shopping extravaganza.  JCPenney opened at 4...so of course we had to be there at 4. 

The day began at 2:30 am when the alarm went off. I had slept for a little less than 4 hours, yet I had no trouble getting up, showering, and putting on my hot pink matching pajamas. Here are some of the things we witnessed/experienced throughout the day:
1.  When we arrived at 4 am, there was a mother putting her infant in a stroller! Crazy!
2.  As we were walking in the store, there were people leaving with shopping bags full of pillows. Pillows were a doorbuster for $3.88. Not worth it at 4 am. 
3.  Around 6 am we made our first trip out to the car. The parking lot was full so everyone was looking for a place to park. We had a lot of small kitchen appliances and a mirror we were putting in Leslie's car, so it took us a while to get everything situated. There was a car waiting on us the entire time, thinking that we would eventually get in the car and leave. They obviously didn't know us at all. After we shut the car doors, the lady in the waiting car asked us if we were leaving and we kindly said "no." And she replied with an extremely rude, "Thanks for making us wait!" I'm sorry, but I don't think I made you sit there and wait on us. 
4.  I was on the lookout for some shoes so we visited ALDO. You need to know that I am a picky shopper. I think through a lot before I make a decision. I probably tried on 4-5 pairs of shoes. However, the saleslady that was helping me was inconvenienced by my presence. She reminded me of Bon Qui Qui. She questioned me a lot about the shoes I picked out, kept asking me "Are you sure?" Like she really wanted to say, "Seriously? You want me to bring you another pair of shoes?" ALDO has European sizes. I needed a 37. Many times she would bring me a 38 because there was no 37. After trying on 2 38's, I decided that they were too big and I just needed to stick with a shoe that had a 37 in stock. So, I asked for another pair of shoes in a 37 and she brought me a 39. If the 38's are too big, obvisouly the 39's will be even bigger. She got irritated with me that I didn't even try them on to see if they fit. She finally gave up on me and tried to avoid me. But I still didn't have any shoes and needed her to help me. So, I confronted her and told her I needed another shoe. She sighed, grabbed the shoe and walked off to the back. I left with 2 pairs of shoes size 37 that I really liked and she stayed in a bad mood. 
5.  Lunch was around 9 am. We ate at McAlister's in the food court. The Galleria never has enough tables, even on a regular day. Leslie went on the lookout for a table. She found a group of people that were getting up and she hovered over them until they did so she could slip in and claim the table. As the group got up, another girl ran over, sat down and turned her head as if she never saw Leslie. Very rude. Leslie remained calm and walked away. We found a Hispanic family (a dad plus his 4 children under the age of 7) finishing up their meal. He let us have his table. In the transition, someone stole one of the chairs leaving us only 2. The man left his 4 children with us and he walked around the food court until he found a third chair. He was a very kind man. I'm just thankful he left his children with trustworthy people. 
6.  We got plenty comments on our matching pj's. The teenagers all looked at us like we were dumb. One group of girls really wanted to laugh but was trying really hard not to until she passed us. I very loudly said, "Yeah, we match. It's ok to laugh." I made sure I made eye contact with everyone that stared to confirm that what they were seeing was true. Three grown women in matching pajamas. We weren't afraid. All the men said things like, "Look, triplets!" All the women said, "Aren't y'all so cute!" My favorite comment was an old man that reminded me of Pop Pop. We made him laugh so hard. He loved it! The funniest comment we heard was while mom was a little farther behind Leslie and me. We passed this lady and a few feet later, my mom passed her and heard her say, "I wonder if she knows those other girls are wearing the same thing she is?" We never made it on the news, but I can guarantee you that there will be people wearing matching pj's next year. We have a different idea in mind for Black Friday 2009. 
7.  We finally left at 7 pm. We didn't break our record but we did meet it. 

Saturday--A Typical Redneck Thanksgiving with the Milstead's
Mom woke me up at 9:45 and said we were leaving at 10:30 to go to Gary Springs. Yeah right. I hadn't made my deviled eggs yet. We left around 11:15 and got there around noon. Two four wheelers, a bow and arrow, small bonfire, camoflauge china, and an attempt to set up the TV outside so we could watch the game by the fire. At one point TH was running around the house with nothing but his boxers and cowboy boots on because he "was hot." After the meal, Rena May (my grandmother's sister) wanted to go "uptown" to Kelly's. Rena May (she prefers Rena, but I prefer Rena May) said it was a gift shop. Mom (my grandmother and don't ask me why I call her "mom" because I don't know) said it was just a consignment shop and I wouldn't be interested. However, I was looking forward to a trip with Rena May because she is SO giggly. And when you get my mom, grandmother mom, Rena May and me together it's never ending laughter usually about nothing at all. Unfortunately, Kelly's was closed. Rena May was so dissappointed that she stopped in the middle of the road to discuss plan B. We decided to go to the new Wal Mart!!! Woo Hoo. I haven't been in a Wal Mart since last week! On our way, we made a small detour to Wrap It Up (a really cute gift shop/boutique), Dollar General, and Factory Connection. Grandmother Mom bought all kinds of Christmas stuff at Dollar General. It was unbelievable, I've never spent so much time in a DG. We finally made it to the Wal Mart. Rena May wanted grandmother Mom to get Celine Dion's Christmas "tape". Rena May talked about it at lunch, talked about it on the way to all the stores, we even listened to it in the car during our little shopping trip and heard that she is coming to Birmingham in February. I laughed so hard. Oh, I love my family! Don't thinking I am making fun of anyone...poking fun is totally understandable and actually expected in my family. It wouldn't be us without always making fun of someone/something. What can I say, we love to laugh! We came back and watched the Iron Bowl until the 3rd quarter and then drove back to Huntsville in the Camry with one headlight. Wonderful trip. 

Went church and then went to the Christmas Tree Farm to cut down our Christmas tree. We went to the same place last year and everyone brought their dogs. We felt bad because we didn't bring Sanibel so we made sure to bring her this year.  I have two words that sum up our experience. Never again. We got home, decorated the house and the tree while listening to Elvis's Christmas CD. I never decorate for Christmas without listening to him. When I was growing up, dad always made us listen to Elvis, Bing Crosby or Leon Redbone while we decorated the tree. Mom wasn't very fond of it, but it was tradition and I don't mess with tradition. 


Shop til you Drop...literally

I know that Black Friday is 5 days away, but I am writing about this now for two reasons: I am really excited about it and I have been since September; I am going to be really busy this week so I need to blog about it while I can. 

Dictionary.com defines this wonderful day as "the day after Thanksgiving in the United States. Retailers generally see an upward spike in sales and consider this to be the start of the holiday shopping season. It's common for retailers to offer special promotions and to open early to draw in customers." 

Otherwise known as the day that Mom, Leslie (cousin) and I get geared up to do some serious Christmas shopping at the Galleria in Hoover. The preparation starts after our Thanksgiving meal on Thursday. We clear the dining room table and usually have ads from 2 newspapers spread across the table. Cardinal Rule #1 You may not, under any circumstances, look at the ads prior to the Thanksgiving meal. You will be forever shamed and disowned. During this time, we make a game plan. We decide what stores open first and who has the best doorbusters (we always get JCPenney's Christmas globe). We also pull together everyone's Christmas lists and decided what stores we need to go to to get the best deals on these items. You see, Christmas is a BIG deal for my family. My grandparents have always loved to give gifts to their grandchildren. Granny Rosie is unable to get out and shop all day long for her family, so we do it for her and do our own shopping at the same time. It takes 3 very fiesty and organized, yet absolutely crazy, women to accomplish this task. JC Penney and Sears tend to be hot spots for us...for the small kitchen/home appliances and the electronics. We never fail to spend hours in these stores because of the great deals and all the lines.  

The day starts around 3:00 am when the alarm starts going off. Time to wake up from my nap! I snooze for at least 30 minutes then I have to rush in and out of the shower, get dressed and out the door! Mom and I meet Leslie outside of Sear's or JCPenney (whichever is on the schedule first) around 4:30 am and wait in the freezing weather with all the other loonies for the employees to open the doors. Then we all fight to get through the door and the madness begins. After getting the necessary doorbusters we need at Sear's, we run over to JCPenney (the opposite side of the mall) to see if we can also get those doorbusters. Then, we get in line at Starbuck's for breakfast. This is the day that my mom has her Annual Starbuck's Drink. She hates anything coffee, but she does it for us and she knows she needs the caffeine boost. After that we continue with shopping. By 9:30 we have probably already made 2-3 trips out to the van to unload our bags then we come back in for lunch. We always have to sit in the floor because this is also the time that the casual shoppers (the ones who really get on our nerves) get to the mall for breakfast. We continue shopping, make about 3 more trips to the car to unload bags and around noon we have our mid-afternoon snack. Snack time is usually at Auntie Anne's Pretzels...the home of the my one and only public argument/fight, whatever you want to call it. I don't even recall the details, but I had a yelling argument for all to hear with a lady who took my table. I'm not proud of my behavior, but I did get my table back :) Around 1:00 pm we start to stand out among all the other shoppers. Most people shop in reasonable amounts of time. Those who get there when the stores open usually leave between 10 and noon. Then, the ones who don't really care about the deals, got to sleep in, and put on makeup and nicer clothes, come after noon. We, in the clothes we put on in the dark at 4 am, the bags under our eyes, no makeup, exhausted and frazzled, stay all day long. Our record is 15 hours and some minutes. That's 4 am to 7 pm. When we are finally done with our shopping brigade, we make our way back to Granny Rosie's for leftovers. Then, we unload the bags in the basement and inform Granny Rosie of all her purchases for the day. 

This day was not designed for the faint at heart. If you can't get out and get serious about some shopping, please spare my nerves and stay at home. This is not a day designed for children-- especially those in strollers, leave them at home with your husband. This is not a day to linger around and get all smoochy smoochy with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Any other day of the year...be my guest. But not on Black Friday. You must walk very fast, squeeze through lines of people and know exactly what you are looking for. Get it and go. If you are there for a splendid day of window shopping, save me the irritation and stay in bed. If you are there to fight with me over the last GPS at Sear's...I welcome you. I will be extremely annoyed with you if you get the last one, but at least we are united in purpose and have understanding minds. 

As crazy as it may seem, the 3 of us LOVE Black Friday! We have so much fun together and find something to laugh about the entire day...of course, sometime around noon, the laughter becomes a result of lack of sleep. This year, we have decided to wear matching pajamas. I am laughing out loud right now because I think this is the most hilariously ridiculous idea, even though it was partly mine. Mom bought us pink/gray pants and a hot pink fleece pullover. I'm sure we will get some funny looks, but this day is not about looks. It's about getting fantastic deals. And that we know how to do. 


If I Only Had a Blog

Episodes in the Kitchen 

I have decided to expand my series to anything that happened before the blog. This one has to do with my best friend/college roommate, Allison. I was inspired by her blog post this week, you can read it here. If I get anything incorrect, Allison, feel free to fix it. 

Allison and I love to cook. We spent a lot of time learning to cook and trying to new recipes in college. While typical college students were eating All You Can Eat wings at Buffalo Connection, Allison and I were cooking meals your momma makes at 1602 N. Donahue Dr. Here's a few memories we share from our kitchen. Not all of them have to actually do with cooking. They might not be hilarious or even slightly funny to you...a lot of our memories are a "you had to be there" kind of thing. But I hope you enjoy anyway :)

1.  The Butter
We liked to buy in bulk when possible to be budget friendly. We always bought the huge tubs of Country Crock butter. I don't remember if we were unloading the groceries or if Allison was just getting the butter out of the fridge, regardless, the tub was brand new. It slipped out of her hands and she dropped the whole tub. The tub cracked all the way around, but somehow none of the butter was actually touching the floor. Allison just stood bent over saying, "What do I do?" I was laughing too hard to talk or think. We didn't want to throw away all that butter! We sat on the kitchen floor laughing (which was not rare for us) and finally came up with a solution. We put all that butter in a big tupperware bowl and put in back in the fridge. I remember it taking us FOREVER to go through that butter. 

2.  The Mice
Have you ever had a rodent in your house? How about 9 in 24 hours? Yeah...that's right. One day we saw a mouse run across the kitchen floor. We were really freaked out, but not to the point that we felt the need to call pest control. However, when we saw more than one mouse run across the kitchen floor, we became concerned and called. I made Allison call them...I wasn't going to tell them we had multiple rodents in our house. That's gross! Instead of putting out traps that kill the mice, they put out the stupid sticky pads that the mice run over and get stuck to it, then they just yip yip yip for help. I hated hearing that noise. It meant there was some nasty mouse trying to wiggle free in my kitchen. I am so thankful that our other roommate, Emily, was brave enough to deal with the mice. Allison and I would not go downstairs without her. And poor Emily, she had to take the trapped mice to the dumpster because we were not about to pick up that sticky pad! We totalled 9 mice in 24 hours. We (with the expertise of the pest control) determined that they were getting in through the openings for the water pipes that run to the sink, dishwasher and washer. So he had to come back and seal the openings with some kind of foamy stuff. Allison didn't mind him coming back...he was pretty cute! We were ecstatic to find out that the condo a few doors down was having the same problem. As a joke, I went the Pet Smart and bought a pet mouse and a cage. I left him on the kitchen counter for Allison and Emily to see when they got home. I bought this huge ball of food that was supposed to last for weeks. However, he died from dehydration because I never replenished his water supply. I didn't want to put my hand in his cage. I still feel bad to this day. I was a horrible mouse mom. I'm sure PETA is very unhappy with me. 

3.  The Worchestershire Sauce
Allison and I were making hamburger steak one night for dinner. I had the meat in a bowl and I was going to mix in a little worchestershire sauce. I guess by "a little" I really meant the whole bottle. I don't know what happened but somehow I got a little too happy with the sauce and before I knew it, the meat was covered in it. We were trying to not eat out, so I thought I would try to salvage the meal. Hmm...the meat is too liquidy, maybe I should add some flour. HAHA what an idea! Allison was skeptical, but she knew we really couldn't mess this up anymore. So, I mixed in some flour to thicken it up, made the patties, and placed them in the skillet. Allison had already made up her mind that we were going out for dinner, but I kept pressing on. I tasted the overly marinated yet floury-fried hamburger patty and thought to myself, "Well, it's still edible." I tried to convice Allison to taste it and she thought I had lost my mind. She grabbed her purse and said, "Let's go." We ended up eating brownies at bible study that night for dinner. 

4.  The Double Duty Pantry
Typically a pantry is used to store food. Ours did. One night it also served as a hide out from strangers. It was past midnight on a weekend night and our neighbors were having a wild n crazy party...like they did every night of the week. We were in the kitchen probably eating some kind of dessert when we hear this VERY drunk guy beating on our door. Not like a nice knock knock, but a very aggresive beating on our door. For those of you that don't know, I am a scaredy cat. I have seen one too many horror movies and the possibilities are endless. Who knows what this guy had in mind if we let him in? I certainly was NOT going to open the door. So, Allison just ignores it and starts her way upstairs. I, however, flip out and run into the pantry and yell for her to come back down and hide with me. I went straight to the pantry because the kitchen blinds were open, the lights were on, and there was a window in our front door that he could easily look into to see if we were home. The pantry was the only reasonably safe area at the time. He couldn't see us. And we weren't just in the pantry, we were crammed up by the door because if we had been too far to the right, he could have seen us through the window. We stood there for close to 30 minutes...no exaggeration. He wouldn't leave and I certainly wasn't going anywhere until I was postive he was gone. Allison tried to convince me to just take a run for it and get upstairs so we would at least be by our phones if something actually happened. I completely disagreed...I wasn't going anywhere and she wasn't going to leave me by myself. So, we just hung out in the pantry for a while until I felt safe again and could peacefully walk upstairs. 

So many wonderful memories. We talk all the time, reminisce and laugh as hard or harder than when it actually happened. I've never laughed so hard in my life (other than with my mother and Brent) than I did those four years at Auburn. I am so thankful and blessed that God allowed us to meet the very first day of classes in Mr. Blaufarb's history class. It's no coincidence that in a class of 300+ we sat next to each other. God knew we needed to be friends. 


Nissan Island

Brent and I went to Linens N Things tonight. My brother is moving into a dorm room at UA next year and my best friend just bought a house, so I figured I could find some stuff for them. After walking around for 30 minutes and picking up a lot of things, I didn't buy anything. I didn't really like anything I saw, it was only appealing because it was 20-40% off. It became even more unappealing after Brent told me that he read on The Consumerist that businesses that have a "Going Out of Business" sale usually jack up the prices before they give a discount. Anyway, it was raining tonight. As we were walking to the car, Brent noticed that our car was lonely. No other cars were near it. As we got closer, we noticed why. It was an island. There was a huge puddle of water surrounding our car. The puddle was so deep that when cars drove by we had to back up because of the waves. We stood there, in the middle of the parking lot, getting wet, trying to come up with a game plan of how to get to the car. I just assumed we would tip toe to the car and if our shoes got wet, we would just go home and change shoes before we finished our errands. Brent thought he had a better idea. He found a buggy and decided he would jump on the back of it and give himself a good push to the car. He realized this wouldn't work...what if he didn't make it to the car or what if he pushed off too hard and ran into the car? We also ran into the same problems when we considered me getting inside the buggy and having Brent give me a good push towards the car.  I'm sure the couple getting into their car found this very humorous. Thankfully, we did too. Especially when we started arguing over just getting in the car vs. walking to Best Buy in hopes that the water would drain while we were gone. Hmm...who do you think had the second idea? Not me. I really did not want to walk over to Best Buy-afterall, it's not in the same shopping center as LNT and it was raining. But, being the submissive wife I am supposed to be, I walked with Brent over to Best Buy. I was actually ok with that because I really had to go to the bathroom after drinking 3 Diet Cokes at dinner. We stayed in there for about 10 minutes...long enough for Brent to point out all the things he wants for Christmas and for me to go to the bathroom. When we left, of course it was raining harder, which means the puddle was becoming an ocean. Unless the drain decided to work in the 10 minutes while we were gone. Not likely. Brent offered to let me wait at Best Buy while he went and got the car. I told him, "Nope, you got us into this together, we are going to get out of this together." So we made the trip across parking lots, dodging all kinds of puddles, back to the car in the pouring rain. You're right Brent, that was a good idea! Brent let me stand on land while he swam to the car. He had water 6 inches up his pant legs. Needless to say, we didn't finish our errands tonight. However, we laughed a lot. And in the end, that's what matters, right?


Just like her momma

I took Sanibel to the vet today for her annual checkup. She usually behaves at the vet--always a little scared and nervous, but she cooperates. Today she decided she was going to be difficult. She reminded me of myself a while back. When I was six, I had to get stitches in my upper lip because my dog bit me. My family and I were taking a walk down the street and a bull mastiff caught a glimpse of my dog, a tiny yorkie, and attacked him. Once we got my dog loose from the others dog's mouth, I carried him back home. Little did I know that every single rib was broken and as I put him in my arms, I hurt him. In response, he jumped up and bit off a chunk of skin above my lip. That was traumatic enough for me. Then, my parents told me I had to go to the hospital and get stitches. You would have thought I was dying a brutal death. Not because I was in pain, but because I absolutely was not going to the hospital. I didn't win that argument and next thing I knew, I was in a hospital room. The doctor was trying to give me a shot of anesthetics so he could sew me up. I was so hysterical and volatile that the doctor had to put me in a straight jacket just to calm me down for the shot. Now, take that picture in your head of little me freaking out and apply it to Sanibel at the vet today. She was terrified to be there. She was shaking from the moment we got in the car. It's funny how she could sense we were going somewhere she didn't like. The nurse called us in to the room. She attempted to take her temperature (in the rear) but because Sanibel kept tucking her tail, she had to take the temp 3 times. Then, she pried Sanibel's claws off of me to go weigh her. She brought her back in the room and said the vet would be with us shortly. No problem...we are half way there. All that's left is 2 quick shots and we're out. The nurse came back in the room and told me it would be a little longer because the vet was with another patient. I asked her to clip Sanibel's claws while we waited. In the past, they have done this in the room while I held her. For some reason, the nurse took her out the room. For the next 5 minutes, all I hear is Sanibel crying and screeching. I had no clue what was going on, but I knew it had to be bad. The nurse came back in the room looking a little frazzled. Sanibel had pitched a royal fit so bad that it required a muzzle over her mouth. She was described as a "Tasmanian Devil". The nurse had red scratches that covered her arms and apparently Sanibel peed all over the floor. I felt horrible for her behavior. The vet finally arrived in the room. Sanibel had such a horrible experience getting her nails clipped that the vet couldn't even look at her ears, teeth, eyes, etc. Sanibel was being such brat. She turned her head away as if to say, "Umm, no. I don't know what you are trying to do, but it's not going to happen." At this point Sanibel had her front paws up on my shoulder and was clinging for dear life. The vet told me that the nurse needed to hold her during the shots for my safety...I guess she envisioned Sanibel lashing out on me. Sanibel starts to bark excruciatingly loud and bites the nurse. She has a playful bite...but this is NOT playful. She is 100% on the defense and that lady was not going to lay a hand on her. I didn't know what to do because Sanibel turned into a little devil and I've never seen that side of her before. I just stood there and let the trained professionals figure something out. The vet suggested they put the muzzle on her again. I'm sure Sanibel was thinking, "Oh, I've seen this before. You must be crazy!" Sanibel jumped up on my left shoulder. All four paws were on the top of my shoulder and her head was tucked in my shirt. How she stayed up there, I don't know. Obviously, she was making it impossible to get the muzzle on. The vet decided to put a leash on her and take her to the "lift table." She explained it to me and assured me that she was not going to harm my dog. I didn't really listen, but it was something like a short leash connected to a wall and some other stuff that would make this easier. I told her it wasn't a problem and she could do whatever it took to calm her down for the shots. I expected it to take a while to give her the shots. The vet and nurse were back in the room in less than a minute. They said that once they got her connected to the lift table, Sanibel was fine and accepted the shots with no problems. Apparently, Sanibel freaks herself out during the down time while waiting for the vet. They have now put an alert on her file to do everything at once to eliminate the violent anxiety Sanibel brings upon herself. After MUCH appology, we left. I dropped her off at home and went straight to the grocery store...which is another story in itself. I had to go to 3 grocery stores to find one can of chili beans. I guess tonight was chili night for everyone. 


In need of rest

And I don't mean a good nap, I mean spriritual rest. Quality time spent with my Father. Sit at His feet and treasure His every word. I won't say that I have too much on my plate, but I definitely have enough. This is not a blog of complaint. I 100% LOVE every thing I am doing and all that I am involved in--teaching Sunday school, teaching Bible study, teaching Kindergarten, finding a curriculum for LLCA, helping the youth on Wednesday nights, going home to see family, Bunko, etc. But lately it has consumed me and I have had no time to just be. I can not tell you the last time I sat down with nothing to do. I don't have time for TV (which I really haven't missed, except for Jon and Kate and The Office), no time to cook good meals, no time to check email, no time to blog, no time for Sanibel, no time for laundry, no time to clean the house, barely time to go grocery shopping--you get the point. Even my quiet times in the morning are interrupted because Sanibel needs to go outside or she wants me to play fetch. Brent and I signed up for Netflix in September so we won't pay late fees anymore. So far we've watched one movie and I fell asleep because I was so exhausted. I get up at 5:15 am, and go non-stop until 5:30 pm and by 9:00pm my body shuts down and is ready to crawl in the bed. In that short 3 1/2 hours I attempt house work, errands, quality time with Brent, play with Sanibel, cook dinner, clean up the kitchen, pay bills, balance the checkbook, make lunches for the next day, check email/blogs/facebook, etc. And that's only on days when I have nothing to do after work. Brent is a huge help around the house, but there is always something else to be done even with both of us knocking out the to-do list. Lately, I've had something to do every night of the week except Thursday. But, Thursday is no time for rest because I'm cleaning the house and doing laundry because we are going out of town Friday after work. We have gone out of town the past 3 weekends and this coming one will be our 4th. Like I said, I am not complaining. I'm not asking for sympathy. I know it may be hard to see it that way, but I'm just sharing what's on my heart. Completely open and honest. And I know that every one else in this world has their fair share of being busy. I am in no way trying to say that I'm the only one that has a lot to do and has to be in a million places at once. I just wonder if that is what we are made for? Am I meant to have to cram everything that matters to me in the 3 1/2 hours between getting home from work and going to bed?  I do love work and I am blessed with the most wonderful assistant, children and parents, but it's not what matters most to me. I feel like so many times, work just gets in the way of living life. I know that God created work and even Adam and Eve had to work the land, but is there ever time to rest? I know, you're thinking Sunday, the day of rest. But even weekends get busy and provide no time for rest. There is a new song called "Whatever You're Doing (Something Heavenly)" by Sanctus Real that I LOVE and can totally relate to. The lyrics are at the bottom of this post. But, my most favorite line is "Whatever you're doing inside of me, It feels like chaos somehow there's peace." That is how a feel right now--pure chaos. I know God is working and I find comfort in knowing that God is everlasting and either allows or causes everything that I am doing. But no matter how chaotic my life is, I do have peace. I know that the things that are keeping me busy are things that God has called me to do. If I had to give something up, I don't know what it would be. I just pray for rest--spiritual rest. I am tired and weary and need some quality time resting in the arms of my Savior. I imagine sitting on my daddy's lap in the recliner when I was little and rocking to sleep with my night gown on that said "My heart belongs to daddy."  Let me sit in Your lap and find rest, my heart belongs to you Father. Rid my of myself, rid me of this world. Let me be all that you created me to be. 

It's time for healing time to move on
It's time to fix what's been broken too long
Time make right what has been wrong
It's time to find my way to where I belong
There's a wave that's crashing over me
All I can do is surrender

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Time for a milestone
Time to begin again
Revaluate who I really am
Am I doing everything to follow your will
or just climbing aimlessly over these hills
So show me what it is you want from me
I give everything I surrender...


Time to face up
Clean this old house
Time to breathe in and let everything out
That I've wanted to say for so many years
Time to to release all my held back tears

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but I believe
You're up to something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly

Whatever you're doing inside of me
It feels like chaos but now I can see
This something bigger than me
Larger than life something heavenly
Something heavenly

It's time to face up
Clean this old house
Time breathe in and let everything out 


If I Only Had a Blog

The Night We Got Pulled Over

Side note: The original thought was to do this series in chronological order, but I don't think it will happen that way. 

It was Christmas Break 2002. Brent's dad had just bought a new Ford Expedition. We had been at his house in Hoover and Brent brought me home in the new ride. New car, no tag or insurance. Once we got into Cahaba Heights, we ran into (not literally) my parents at an intersection. So, we both rolled down our windows and had a conversation, yelling at each other from across the intersection so we could hear. We were on the main road and didn't have a stop sign, but no one was behind us so it wasn't a problem that we were stopped. My parents asked us where we were going, I asked them where they were going. Turns out they were going to Granny Rosie and Pop Pop's house for dinner and we decided to go as well. We pulled into a gas station parking lot to turn around just as we saw blue flashing lights pull up behind us. Ok let me re-paint the scene for you:  Two young teenagers, brand new car, no insurance, no tag, yelling at someone at an intersection. Looks like trouble to a police officer. He got out of his car with the a flashlight bright enough to search for aliens and started shining it in the car. He asked for tag registration and insurance cards and we couldn't give him either. Ding Ding Ding, the car must be stolen! I guess telling him that Brent's dad had just bought the car that day sounded legit enough to leave that alone. Then, he thought we were in a fight with the people in the car at the intersection. "Oh no sir, those are just my parents." So he thinks we are a bunch of rebellious teenagers disrespecting our parents. I explained that were just making dinner plans. I'm sure that sounded strange, but if you only knew my family you wouldn't think anything of it. He left that idea alone as well. Then he started to search the car and ask me strange questions that implied he thought I had been kidnapped and Brent had intentions to rape me. I wasn't scared and gave him straight up honest answers and he finally left that idea alone too. We left the scene with no charges, tickets, fees, whatever. We were just told to "be careful" and "don't drive a car without a tag and insurance" and "get to where you are going." I know, not as eventful as you were probably thinking it would be. But, it's late, I'm tired, and this memory didn't take much thought. Good night!


Hey Diddle Diddle

Update on the Mystery Trash: I'm assuming the coffee was full of caffeine because Sanibel was full of restless energy, but it didn't kick in until the weekend. I washed the bedspread but there is still some coffee grounds that are stuck in the fabric. Thankfully, it is not stained and Sanibel is back to normal (if you consider her normal). 

Friday night Brent and I drove to Mentone, AL to visit my grandparents. They have a house that they started building when I was in first grade and finished it and moved in sometime while I was in college. My grandfather built the house himself as a hobby.  I love going there because it is so relaxing, especially in the Fall when the leaves are changing colors on the mountain. They live next to an old lady who owns lots of property and cows. Many times the cows come right up to the fence. When Sanibel was 7 weeks old, she visited Mentone for the first time and got a chance to see the cows. She didn't really care for them then. On Saturday, I noticed there was a cow by the fence, so I threw my shoes on, put the leash on Sanibel and we ran outside. I wanted to see how she would react now that she is older. As soon as we got outside, she made a straight line for that cow, so fast that the leash slipped out of Brent's hand and we had to chase her down before the she got inside the fence (it is old and the spaces are big enough that she could easily climb to the other side if she really wanted to). Now remember how scared she was of Samford, Josh and Kristin's lab? I assumed she would be scared of a cow as well. She barked so much that she scared the cow off. The cow actually ran away. I didn't know that cows could run. The cow backed up about 20 yards and just stood there staring at us. We were waiting for his next move, having no clue what he was thinking. Brent said, "I bet he's calling his cow buddies to come gang up on us." Sure enough, we start seeing cows come from all sides of the farm. It was like a scary slow motion scene in a movie. I was getting a little freaked out and stepped back. The cows just kept coming. There were close to 20 cows surrounding the fence! I am NOT exaggerating. Most of them were all black with a white face...seeing 20 white faces coming towards me at dusk was not a comforting feeling. I asked Brent if cows could jump and he said no. I think he's wrong...what about the nursery rhyme "Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow JUMPED over the moon"? The original cow was the leader of the pack. He stood in front as if to protect all the others. He kept turning his head to the side like he was updating his cow buddies on the game plan of how to attack this crazy little creature that was barking at them. I envisioned all 20 of those cows counting 1, 2, 3 and jumping over the fence and chasing us down to the ground. That is not how I want to die--getting mauled by a herd of cows. Our little rat terrier kept us safe. She never stopped her fierce barking. The cows finally got tired and went home. The picture above is one I found on Google Images but it is a pretty accurate picture of the scene Saturday night. www.harkphoto.com/05252004.html  

Be on the lookout for another blog in the series "If I Only Had Blog" this week. 


Mystery Trash

Brent and I were enjoying a perfect Fall evening: Santa Fe Soup, Homemade Pumpkin Pie, Fresh Coffee, Auburn Football, and...wet coffee grounds all over the bed. I'm sure you are confused. Let me back up. Sanibel was outside tonight while I was cleaning up the kitchen. She was scratching at the door so Brent let her in. She went to one of the back bedrooms (she thinks the room is hers). This is very typical of her so we didn't think anything of it. Normally, she takes one of her toys and chews on it while lying on the bed and eventually falls asleep. When I got done cleaning the kitchen, I couldn't remember if Sanibel was outside or in "her room." I asked Brent if he let her in earlier and he couldn't remember either. So, I went outside to check on her, called her name a few times and she never came. Obviously, she was inside. I went to the back to check on her only to find wet coffee grounds ALL over the bed! And she just sat there looking at me as if there was absolutely nothing abnormal about the situation--"Why are you looking at me, I always chew on wet coffee grounds." Brent and I just assumed that she sneaked into the trash while I was cleaning the kitchen, because sometimes I pull the trash can out of the cabinet for easier access. But, we soon realized that couldn't be the case because on the bed was also a coffee filter and our coffee maker doesn't require those. That coffee couldn't be ours.  So who's is it and how did she get it? I assume that since it's windy and tomorrow is trash day someone put their trash out and the wind picked it up and it landed in our backyard. If this is true, that means one of two things:
1. Our neighbors don't use trash bags, they just throw things in the can and roll it to the street (otherwise, how would Sanibel find just one coffee filter?). 
2. Our neigbors do use trash bags and a whole bag was blown into our yard and Sanibel got into it...which also means someone else's trash is all over our yard. And it's too dark and cold to go out and check. 

How did we miss her coming inside with a full coffee filter in her mouth? One thing I know for sure, that coffee better be decaf.  Otherwise, Sanibel will be doing somersaults in her crate tonight. She already acts like she is on speed. I can't imagine what speed plus caffeine must look like. 


Conversations with God

I recieved the following email from my dad. There is a link to a more in depth article at the bottom of the post. 

Be on alert for this book.  Make sure it doesn't end up in your kids hands or home.  
If you have children or grandchildren, work with children at church, or you have neighborhood children whose parents you know, please take note of the information below and pass it along to others. Schools are distributing this book to children through the Scholastic Book Club

The name of the book is Conversations with God.. James Dobson talked about this book twice this week. It is devastating. Parents, churches and Christian schools need to be aware of it. Please pass this information on to church/e-mail addressees, Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, friends. 

Please pay special attention not only to what your kids watch on TV, in movie theaters, on the internet, and the music they listen to, but also be alert regarding the books they read. 

Two particular books are, Conversations with God and Conversations with God for Teens, written by Neale D. Walsch. They sound harmless enough by their titles alone. 

The author purports to answer various questions asked by kids using the 'voice of God.' However, the 'answers' that he gives are not Bible-based and go against the very infallible word of God. For instance (and I paraphrase), when a girl asks the question 'Why am I a lesbian?' His answer is that she was 'born that way' because of genetics (just as you were born right-handed, 
with brown eyes, etc.). Then he tells her to go out and 'celebrate' her differences. 

Another girls poses the question 'I am living with my boyfriend. My parents say that I should marry him because I am living in sin.  Should I marry him?' 

His reply is, 'Who are you sinning against? Not me, because you have done nothing wrong.' 

Another question asks about God's forgiveness of sin. His reply 'I do not forgive anyone because there is nothing to forgive. There is no such thing as right or wrong and that is what I have been trying to tell everyone, do not judge people. People have chosen to judge one another and this is wrong, because the rule is ''judge not lest ye be judged.'

Not only are these books the false doctrine of the devil, but in some instances quote (in error) the Word of God.  And the list goes on. These books (and others like it) are being sold to school children through The Scholastic Book Club, and we need to be aware of what is being fed to our children. 

Our children are under attack. So I pray that you be sober and vigilant about teaching your children the Word of God, and guarding their exposure to worldly mediums, because our adversary, the devil, roams about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We know that lions usually hunt for the slowest, weakest and YOUNGEST of its prey. 

Pass this on to every Believer you know. God bless! And, if you are in doubt, check out the books yourself.
Found a good article concerning this book w/ even more info on Scholastic: 


Going to the Ham

Brent and I took Friday off and we are going home! We haven't been home in a while, at least a month. We are going to be very busy. Thursday night we are going to Ryan's (Brent's brother) middle school football game to see him play in the band. Friday, we are running errands then tailgating before the BIG game (Vestavia vs. Hoover). Ben goes to Vestavia and Brent graduated from Hoover in '02. It's probably one of the biggest, if not the biggest, high school football rivals in the state so it's important that we are there. Ben plays trumpet in the band and it is his senior year so I want to see him toot his horn for the last time. After the game, we are going to dinner with Ashley and Brian. Ashley is one of my best friends from Auburn. If you read the blog titled "My most embarrassing moment, " that moment was at her rehearsal dinner. I haven't seen her since June and I am uber excited about it! On Saturday we are going to Six Flags with my family!!! I love roller coasters and can't wait to get on the Goliath and Superman again. My mom hurt her back a few weeks ago and I'm hoping she will be recovered enough to ride. I need someone to scream with! On Sunday, we are going to Philly family day at Oak Mountain state park. Philly family day happens 4 times a year. My church back home goes to the state park to fellowship, eat good food and play games. The weekend won't be very relaxing, but it will be fun just getting to hang out with people I haven't seen in a while, not to mention not having to work on Friday! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


SO tacky!

We changed the lighting in the hall bath tonight and guess what we found behind it??? Wall paper! Pretty 90's wallpaper. Apparently, the previous homeowners painted over the wallpaper, which isn't such a big deal, except when they painted over it they did a stucco like texture. We also can't find the paint color in the garage...so it looks like we will be scraping/sanding down the texture and completely repainting the entire bathroom. Wonderful. Oh yeah, the light fixture doesn't give off enough light. We have to return the 3 light and get the 4 light fixture. It will be a couple of weeks though before we can do it. That's a weekend project and we have something to do the next 2 Saturdays. Looks like we'll be tacky for a while. Maybe I'll get redneck points...Ben? TH?


No more brass!

Brent and I are trying to update the look of our home without spending a fortune. The house was built in 1997 so we have ugly brass lighting fixtures, door handles, and cabinet hardware all over our house that can be blinding at times.  Fortunately, Brent works at a company where he can get plumbing, appliances, lighting, cabinet and door hardware at cost. Brent got the door hardware put up this past week and we worked this weekend to get some of the lighting put up. Brent's family came up to help us do all of the lights...but we decided to spend our Saturday just relaxing instead. As of right now, we have 5 lights up (hallway, one of the bedrooms, 2 outside, and the chandelier in the kitchen). I must say Brent is a hard worker and I am so thankful, but I also must say that he is NOT nice when he is doing any kind of handy work around the house. I thought installing the dishwasher was bad until we hung the chandelier tonight. He was downright mean to me, and he'll admit it. He gave me permission to blog about his bad attitude. It takes a lot to get him stirred up and he has never been ugly to me...until tonight. But I can't blame him, everything went wrong. I think we took the fixture down at least 3 times and had to call 3 people to ask about the wiring becuase it wasn't colored. Brent said "dang it" or "freakin" probably about 15 times. I kept offering to help but was told, "I don't want your help, I just want you to be quiet." And of course, we are sitting here laughing about the whole situation after the fact. No damage done. We still love each other. Here are the before, during and after pictures. 


If I Only Had a Blog

Our First Date
The first 3 songs on our playlist are ones that we liked when we first started dating.

Our first date was on Friday, August 3, 2001. The week leading up to the date, we had been counselors at Kid's Camp with PBC. We had already been talking and hanging out more than usual that summer and had actually planned a date before Kid's Camp, but Brent had to go visit his grandparents in Florida. The last night we were at camp, we stayed up until 3 am in the gazebo talking...not about anything in particular, just talking. I was very surprised by how long the conversation lasted and how easy he was to talk to. We had known each other for 6 years and were in the same youth group, but never actually talked to each other alone for an extended period of time. By 3 am that night, we decided we should probably get some sleep so we parted ways back to our stinky cabins. We confirmed that the date was still on once we got back home and...Brent kissed me on the forehead. I remember being all jittery and thinking "Oh my gosh, he totally just kissed my forehead!" I was head over heels from that point and there was no turning back. The whole week at camp, I had really been in the Word and asking God for guidance for this possible relationship. I specifically remember reading Isaiah 30:20-22, "And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And you ears shall hear a word behind you saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, 'Be gone!' " I read this on August 2, the night before our first date and I felt like the Lord was telling me, "This is the way I want you to go Brittany. Follow Me." I know it may sound crazy, but I knew that week that I was going to marry Brent. I was barely 16, but I knew he was the one the Lord designed for me, I knew this was it for me. So...on to the first date.  

We were going to go see "Rush Hour 2", but it was sold out. So, we just rented "Gone in 60 Seconds" and watched it at my house. It was everything but an ideal first date. First of all, I hated the movie because I just can't get into boy movies unless it is funny or has a love story. Second of all, I was exhausted from camp and fell asleep probably 20 minutes into the movie. When the movie was over Brent said bye to my parents and then we went to the porch to say bye to each other. I asked Brent to sing me a song so we could dance. He chose "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling". Why you ask? We had to sing it for one of the activities at camp and I didn't know it, so Brent taught it to me. I guess it was fresh on his mind. After he was done singing such a romantic song, we began to kiss. According to my mother it lasted forever. I don't know what she is talking about. Apparently, my parents were on their way to bed and walked by the front door and saw us kissing. They didn't really know we were "dating" but my mom  quickly found out why Brent had been hanging around so much. As my mom likes to tell the story, they watched for a little while, but got bored and turned off the porch light and went to bed. Neither of us never knew they were there, but Brent did notice that the porch light was off after the kiss. We didn't think anything of it and he went home. The next day, I was going to the beach for our family vacation. I was listening to the radio with my headphones on and the DJ announced that August is Romance Awareness Month. I thought that was an interesting fact, so I took off my headphones and shared it with my family. My mom wittingly replied, "Is that why you were kissing Brent on the porch with the light on, so the neighbors would be aware of your romance?!" I wanted to crawl in a hole, I was so embarrassed. But it makes a great story...one my mother loves to tell everyone. Regardless of my embarrassment, I will never forget our first date. 


The Definition of "Look"

Look: v., to use one's sight or vision in seeking, searching, examining, watching, etc
AKA something that men do not know how to do

First of all, I love playing Bunko. Actually, I love the fellowship with the other girls. When we first began to play together, we were very serious. We did not waste any time eating dinner because we were so excited to play Bunko! We are still excited to play, but the dinner conversations get longer and longer and the Bunko rounds get shorter and shorter. Tonight a few of us got to talking about how men can't find anything. I can't tell you how many times Brent has asked me where something is and all I have to do is look for it and it's right there. When we first got married and were moving all over the place, packing and unpacking boxes, Brent always assumed I was hiding things from him when he couldn't find something (he still does). There is a pair of black shorts he likes to wear around the house and he could never find them. His only assumption was that I hid them from him...I guess as a joke or something? He is always asking me where his pants are, where his shoes are, where the milk is, where the spaghetti noodles are...I mean, it could really be anything. And it never fails, if he would just look (see definition above) for them he would find them. Here is my theory based on my own experience--and men that read this, if I am wrong please correct me--when men go to look for something, if it is not straight in front of them without moving or touching anything, it must be misplaced, lost or hidden by the wife. For example, if a man goes into his closet to find a pair of pants, he expects to see them as soon as he opens the closet door. He shouldn't have to move any other articles of clothing or even move his feet or eyes. He should be able to see the pants from where he is standing. It's as if he expects the pants to jump off the hangar, walk out of the closet and say, "Have you been looking for me?" If this does not happen, the man comes to his wife and asks, "Do you know where my pants are?" And the wife walks to the closet, maybe moves a few other pairs of pants over, and gets the pants. The husband acts very surprised as if she has performed a miracle and says, "Where did you find those?" And the wife responds, "In the closet, " but is really thinking, "COME ON, did you even look, dufus?" 
Ok now that I have been a little mean, I need to brag on Brent (who agrees with everything in this blog). I have been very busy the past week with all kinds of stuff and Brent has been doing all the housework...cleaning, cooking, laundry. I do have the best husband in the world, even if he can't find ANYTHING! 


New Blog Series

Be on the look out for a new blog series Brent and I are about to start. It will be titled "If I Only Had a Blog." When you read title, we prefer that you to sing it to the tune of "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz. The series will be on our life before the blog...things we would have told you if we only had a blog then. Some will be funny and there might be some serious ones in there too. I will continue to update the blog like normal because I know I will still have things to say about my current life. But if you see the series title, know it's a must read. We will write whenever we think of something. Some topics to be looking foward to: Our first date, my car and the mailbox, our first 2 months of marriage, the night we got Sanibel, and so on. I don't know if you have noticed, but Brent rarely blogs and this was all his idea! I'm so proud of him, I think it's a great idea. Now, let's just see if he follows through with it. Have no fear, if he doesn't you know I will!


We define abnormal

There is nothing normal about the Wright family (my dad's side of the family). We ALWAYS find a way to have fun when we are together, no matter the circumstance. I love my family(all sides: Wright's, Milstead's, Von Kanel's, Handley's) more than life itself. You have not really gotten to know me until you have sat at the dinner table with my family. If you have had that opportunity, and many have, you understand us and have become family. Our dinner conversations are never normal and I'm surprised that some of us, if not all, have not choked to death due to laughing. Ok...I don't mean to be morbid or wish that on anyone...just trying to make a point. Anyway, I've found some pictures of us. These are just the ones on my computer...there are so many more I would like to share but that will have to wait until I go home again. 

Ben, Sparky and me on my wedding day. Getting Ben to be normal in pictures is impossible.

Ben excited about his Christmas gift: potatoes for his potato gun. 

Not sure how to feel about my Christmas gift: a hubcap for the Camry. It doesn't match the other three. But it sure looks better than no hubcap at all. 

My cousin, Quinton, and I at Kid's Camp 2006. 

Easter 2008. One of my faves. From left to right: Granny Rosie, Leslie, Quinton, Me, Mom, Dad, Ryan VK, Teresa VK (hidden), Katie VK, and Brent.

Easter again. Leslie, Quinton, me, Ben

Dad and me singing "My Girl" at the reception

Granny Rosie and Leslie in the conga line at the reception. Love it!

Doing our best "redneck face." Fort Morgan 2008. From the top left: Dad, Mom, Brent, me, Ben, TH. Bottom: Quinton, Granny Rosie

This is the ultimate. Very typical. Parents, Ben and me at Roly Poly in Vestavia. 

We do know how to smile and say cheese, but it's much more fun to be crazy.

The one picture I really wish I had is one of Pop Pop making his face. If you've seen it, you know what I am talking about. 


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