Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back to Work!

Had a nice Thanksgiving week with the family.  We visited family and went to our last college football game of the season.  Our team didn't win but they and their fans were good losers and to me, that's what is all about.

As I sat at the football game with my two children around me, I began to wonder how we have gotten so crazed and fanatical as sports fans.  It seems that when you are in a sports stadium, everyday reason and common sense gets thrown out the window for insanity.  Grown men and even sometimes, women, act like jerks and worse. 

I remember as a child, we hosted a preacher in our home.  He was preaching our revival and he stayed with us over the weekend.  To say he was a big fan was an understatement.  I lost respect for the man when, as I child, I witnessed him kneeling down and praying to God for a win!  Even as a kid, I wondered if he truly believed that God cared about who won? 

Going to the games has been fun.  Most schools we've hosted have been very nice and good sports.  The men, dare I even call those boys that, have exhibited good sportsmanship whether winning or losing on both teams.  It is sad that just a few jerky fans can ruin an entire program.  This last game had jerky fans, no one else this season did.  I guess 9 out of 10 ain't bad!

We'll definitely go back next year.  It was a fun time with the entire family.  We reconnected with old friends by tailgating.  I hope my husband and I are showing our children how to win with grace and lose with dignity.  As a grown-up, I realize that it's only a game.  I wish more grown-ups did.....

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mother Daughter Date Night!

My daughter and I traveled to Tulsa last night to see the musical Wicked.  I splurged this year and bought season tickets for the Tulsa Performing Arts Center.  I really love live theater but haven't been able to since the kids have been born to see more than one performance a year.  This year, my kids have decided that soccer is not for them and honestly, I am extremely happy!  It sure leaves a lot of time to do other things!

We started our night with a hair appointment.  It was a real luxury that I didn't plan!  It just happened that I made the appointments and then realized that it was the same night of Wicked!  It was so very, very nice to not have to worry about my hair all day long.  I just had to pick out something to wear. 

We then went and ate at Olive Garden.  We were hoping to eat sushi but our restaurant was closed on monday.  Oh well, Olive Garden is my daughter's second favorite restaurant.  We shared an entree because we had our eyes on the prize.....dessert!  We don't normally get dessert out but this was a special night!  Of course, it was chocolate!

Wicked was terrific!  It was really special to see and hear my daughter laugh with her eyes all lit up!  She is finally old enough to sit through the entire performance and understand the dialogue and songs.  I'm hoping that I'm growing up a child that loves live theatre as much as I do! 

She's already made a play for the next performance because it's ballroom dancing.  I'm sure my husband doesn't care!  I think I'll let her chose who takes her, it may be time for a daddy-daughter date.  She loves those too! It is important to take your child by themselves out occasionally.  You can talk without distractions and without their siblings you sometimes see a different child.

I'm planning to take my son to the Aluminum show later in the season.  They beat on aluminum, maybe not my favorite, but I'll bet he likes it and I'll enjoy spending time just with him.  Yep, these may be the best tickets I've purchased in a long, long time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving traditions

By now you know that I'm all about traditions.  Each and every holiday has a tradition and sometimes I make up special things for those poor months that kind of got jipped in the holiday department.  When I was growing up, we did the same thing.  My mom made a cherry pie on Washington's birthday!  I always think that traditions are what keep a family together even if they are physically far apart.

Years ago, when I first got married and moved 750 miles away from my parents, brother, sister and all other family members, that first Thanksgiving was hard.  My parents and siblings even came to visit, but it wasn't the same.  The only thing that was the same were the dishes that we made for Thanksgiving.  We all went to my new in-laws house and although it was a wonderful dinner, it wasn't the dinner I wanted.  I wanted my momma's dressing, my momma's turkey and all the stuff that went with it. 

The day after Thanksgiving, we traveled back to our little apartment and as we went in the place, my mom stayed back and told the guys that we were going to go grocery shopping and would be back soon.  We shopped that night for all the 'stuff' that I craved.  The cornbread dressing with lots of onion and celery and sage, the jalapeno-corn casserole that was so tasty as a leftover....all of it! The next day, we ate leftover turkey with my families traditional dishes.  It didn't make them leaving in a few days any easier but it sure filled a empty spot in the old heart!

I dug out my mom's jalapeno corn casserole yesterday so I could make sure that I had all the ingredients for next week.  I ususally bring that now over to the family gathering.  The card is looking kind of bad, it's covered with over 20 years of making it splashes and smears but it's written in my moms handwriting.  Along with making the recipe that first Thanksgiving, she also left me the recipe!

Jalapeno-corn casserole

1 C uncooked long grain rice, this can be brown rice
1 green pepper chopped, optional
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup melted margarine or butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1-2 jalepano peppers, chopped
2 (17 oz.) cans cream-style corn
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
pepper rings, cherry tomato slices for garnish, if desired.

Cook rice according to directions and set aside.
Saute onion, celery and green pepper in margarine until veggies are tender.
Combine rice, sauteed veggies and next four ingredients, stirring well.
Spoon mixture into a lightly greased, 13x9 inch baking dish.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.
Garnish with pepper rings and cherry tomato slices.

I hope you have your own Thanksgiving recipes to share in your family this year!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm a Christian, I'm not Jesus Christ!

My post today may offend some, don't read it if it does.  I'm sorry but I'm just more than a bit miffed at people who try to put me up on a pedistal because I'm a practicing Christian.  It seems that they just stand around looking for the one time when I step out of line, never looking at most of the time when I'm out there doing good, so they can publically humiliate me by saying stupid sayings like 'Judge not, least you be judged' or 'way to turn the other cheek' or you fill in the blank if you've been there with me!

I do know that I'm not Jesus, I don't even pretend to be.  Follow me around for about five minutes and you'll quickly see that I'm not.  I know it, I know I'm not even close to being perfect.  I try to do what is right, to treat others the way I want to be treated, help out in the community through service and try to live my life like someone who has a wonderful gift of grace would love to share it with anyone willing to listen.

But I do get angry, upset, hurt, say bad words sometimes, lie and do all those other things that every human on the face of the planet is also guilty of.  It doesn't make me less christian, it certainly hurts my witness sometimes, but I'm still a child of God because He doesn't expect me to be perfect.  If He did, He would not have given His son's life to pay for my crummy sins. 

I have to take a deep breath sometimes when that tiny, little person starts in on me when I've messed up.  Usually, they need more prayer than anyone and it seems they enjoy pointing out that I've messed up so now they can say Christians are just as sinful as they are.  Yes, yes, we are.  Some of us are more sinful than most.  But that doesn't make us less Christians. 

There, I've posted my rant for the week. I know it won't help those certain people who like to find fault in everyone so they can feel better about themselves. But it made me feel better!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My pear tree

When we moved here almost twelve years ago this month, I was really excited because the property had pecan and pear trees and blackberry bushes. I found out that one pear tree has the little tiny pears that are for grinding, which I won't do; one pear has larger pears but they never get soft and one pear that has perfect eating pears!  I use the large hard pears to cook with and today, I made two pear cakes using a recipe from a friend years ago gave me. 

It is soooooo good and certainly makes me feel that fall has arrived!

Pear Cake

4 cups, peeled and diced small pears; the hard ones work best
2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
Mix these together and set aside

1 cup oil or 1/2 cup oil with 1/2 cup mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin puree, etc
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 beaten eggs

3 cup flour; I use 1/2 white, 1/2 whole wheat
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 t salt

1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix dry ingredients with pear mixture.  Bake in a well greased and floured bundt cake pan 1 hour 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
Or:  bake in a greased 9x13 pan for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees

Let cool, then drizzle with 1-2 cups powdered sugar and 2-4 tablespoons water.   

My house smells so good and I'm making tea to have with my pear cake.  I also made an extra for my husbands work.  The ladies are always bringing treats and he always eats them so I try to send goodies every so often to treat them!