Saturday, January 31, 2009

Bacon (coronary) Explosion

Okay, this is my first time to post on our blog, but Kristina told me it was my turn. Actually she has been telling me that for quite some time, but I guess I finally have something that I feel is best described by me.

If you have have been looking at any media this week you have seen the over the top barbecue concoction dubbed the "Bacon Explosion". Even Leno mentioned it last night. As I consider myself to be a barbecue connoisseur, the fact that I got a clean bill of health from my cardiologist, and the fact that a recipe consisting of four pounds of pork is right up my alley, I decided to give it a try.

It is basically a mat woven of thick sliced bacon with bbq rub put on it. Then you take four pounds of ground Italian sausage and form it in a square the same size. Next fry up another pound of bacon and crumble it on the sausage. Drizzle your favorite bbq sauce lightly on the bacon (Sweet Baby Ray's is the best in my book) and roll the sausage into a roll around the cooked bacon.
Next you take the roll and roll it up in the bacon mat and place it in the smoker for 2 1/2 hours. Glaze it with your sauce about 20 minutes before you pull it off to serve it. We had it sliced in Grands biscuits, and the boys and I loved it. Kristina tolerated it, but she is not a big Italian sausage person. Luckily she does well putting up with my fondness for outdoor cooking.

Well, that is the story of our Bacon Explosion adventure. I am leaving the smoker burning and will get up around 4:00am to put on eighty pounds of Boston butts for pulled pork for my work party tomorrow afternoon. I am not staying to watch the game there but somehow got volunteered to cook. We are hosting the youth group from church tomorrow so we have both big screens ready and added HD service with a DVR to be sure we don't miss anything.

This is the end of my rambling. Maybe next time I can post something without waiting to be inspired by what comes off of my smoker.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wow, where did the week go?

I can't believe I haven't blogged since Sunday. It has been a busy week. John had an EKG on Tuesday with good results. On Wednesday, he had a Coronary Calcium Scan and a stress test. All good reports there as well. They are still trying to find the cause of his chest pains, but at least we know his heart is healthy.
Tonight we are dropping the kids off with June and Larry. They get to have fun being spoiled, and John and I get a night without kids. We are pretty excited. We are going to go wonder aimlessly around Home Depot and Lowe's. They were making fun of me at work because of our date night plans. It works for us, so I guess that is all that matters.
Tomorrow someone is coming to give us a quote for new windows. That should be fun. Okay, maybe fun isn't the word I'm looking for. We need new windows, but that isn't exactly what I always wanted.
On Sunday, our youth group from church will be here for a Super Bowl party. My kids are really looking forward to having the teenagers here. They will get to hang with the big kids for a day. It should be another fun filled busy weekend. Life is good.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Kids Wardrobe Choices

Jacob's wardrobe choices are interesting. I don't really understand the hard hat liner with no hard hat. John just refers to him as our special child. Anyway, he and John had the following conversation last night.
John: Are you wearing two robes, Jacob?
Jacob: Yes, what? I'm cold.
Apparently, only his top half was cold. It's a good thing he's so cute.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fire, fire

Yes, it's Saturday. I started my day at the Florence Library with Jacob's Cub Scout group. It was fun. I forgot my camera, so we don't have any pictures. We returned home to find John burning piles of brush in the front yard. He also raked the leaves out of the front flower beds. Under the leaves there were buds peaking through the ground. It looks like it may be tulips. I'm hoping. Since we haven't spent a Spring here yet, I have no clue what is lurking in the flower beds. John also textured the walls in the hall today. We will spend tomorrow cleaning. There is a lot of dust in the house from where he sanded the first two coats of joint compound. Before we go any further with projects we have to contain the chaos.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Way to Go Joshua!

Each semester, teachers select two students from their homeroom class to receive the Eagle Elite Award. Students are chosen for the following qualities: leadership, citizenship, respectful, caring, trustworthy, honesty, and responsibility. Students chosen received a special breakfast in the cafeteria, a goody bag, and certificate.

We are so proud of our Joshua. Way to go!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Don't you hate it when you get your paw caught

I have a ham in the oven right now and it is filling the house with a pleasant aroma. I am guessing that Socks was trying to get to it. I don't know if she was trying to open the oven or what, but she got her paw stuck. Does this mean she is really clever, or really dumb? And yes, as soon as I snapped the picture I helped her get free.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cub Scouts Fun

Joshua made a bird house at Cub Scout's last night. He has to take it back next week to paint and then we will be able to find a home for it in our backyard. He did a great job.
Jacob and I stayed home last night since his Cub Scout group didn't meet. They are having an outing to the library on Saturday instead. I am sure it will be tons of fun. John said he and Joshua are going to stay home and play with fire while Jacob and I go. I can't believe he doesn't want to spend a Saturday morning with 9 first graders.
Tonight is church night. I have a quiche in the oven. As soon as John gets home we will have a very quick dinner and then head out. Wednesdays are always rushed, but on Thursdays we get to just stay home. I love Thursdays.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Jacob

Since today is Jacob's actual birthday, I wanted to make sure it was memorialized on the blog. I can't believe it has been seven years since that Saturday he made his debut. He was a little slow in making his appearance, and he scared my Aunt Nikki and John since he was blue and not crying, but all was good. Once the umbilical cord was removed from his neck he made noise. He has been a blessing since the beginning. He is such a happy little boy and great at cuddling. I am so thankful the Lord chose us to be his parents. Happy Birthday Jacob Wilson!

Not again

I am just sitting here preparing for my day at home. I would say my day off, but I have way too many tasks on my to do list today.
Anyway, I sat down to check email before getting started on my projects. As I was sitting here sipping my coffee and enjoying the quiet of the morning, I heard some disturbing noises. The squirrels are quite restless this morning. I went outside hoping to see at least one on top the roof. No luck. That means there is at least one squirrel in the attic. This begs the question, did he/she get trapped in there when John patched the hole, or do they have another way in? I really don't like either answer, but I guess we will have to arrive at one. The joys of country life. Sometimes I have to remind myself that we wanted this.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Little things, big problems

Who would have thought that a single switch could cause such big problems. John spent many hours in the attic yesterday trying to isolate our electrical problem. He found two places where the squirrels had been chewing on the wires and repaired them. He replaced the lights in both the kids closets since the wiring on the old lights crumbled in his hands when he took the lights down. He also had to replace some of the wiring going from Jacob's closet light into the attic. After all was said and done there was still no power to the hall bath and Jacob's room. John was getting very frustrated so he decided to take a break and sleep on it. This morning before church he was up looking at things anew and drawing diagrams of our wiring. He concluded that the switch at the end of the hall could be the culprit. He hadn't looked at it sooner because the hall light still had power. Luckily, we had a three way switch in the garage so he changed out the switch just to see if it was the problem. I would like to go on record as saying that my husband is a genius. Once the switch was replaced all the power was restored.
On to more fun topics. After church we came home and had lunch. After lunch we celebrated Jacob's birthday. It is amazing to me that my baby will be seven years old tomorrow. Where does the time go? He got a Cranium Cadoo game from Memaw and Pepaw. John told him he can't play it until tomorrow since it is for ages 7 plus. Thanks Memaw and Pepaw.
He also got some Bakugans, fake teeth, Jenga, and a whoopie cushion. So far the whoopie cushion seems to be his favorite. It is amazing how much fun a $1 toy can be.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fun with Electricity

OK, so John is diligently working on sanding the hall. All the sudden the light goes out in Jacob's room. John starts messing with the breakers to no avail. There is no power in Jacob's room or the hall bath. He gets out his voltage meter and starts trying to isolate the problem. He wasn't having much luck so he had to go into the attic. Not fun. Anyway, he finds some wires that the squirrels have been feasting on. Apparently, the squirrels are gaining access to our attic through a hole where the gas line used to run to the fire place. That hole will be getting patched today. Just another day in this exciting journey we call life.
We are taking a break right now to go have lunch and play at The Park on the River. On our way home we will be stopping by Lowes or Home Depot to pick up supplies. Hopefully by this evening power will be restored. I only get a little nervous when John plays with electricity. The Lord will be hearing from me a little more frequently today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Student of the Month

Jacob has the honor of being student of the month for January. He is one of six students to receive the honor. Each month two students are selected from each grade. He is so proud of his coupon for a free pizza at Mazzio's. In addition, he got his picture in the school newsletter. Way to go Jacob!

Pictures from Last Years Birthday

I found a couple of pictures from Jacob's birthday last year when we went to Gatti Town. It has only been a year, but he looks so much older now.

Crossing Things Off

We are officially homesteaded. Today, I left work just after eleven. I love it when things are going well and I can escape early on Friday. I called John and he met me at the Tax Assessor's office. We have until the end of April to file our exemption, but I really like to cross things off my to do list. It is one of my simple pleasures.
Now on to the weekend. The kids are out of school Monday and I don't have to work. I am really looking forward to the long weekend. Jacob's birthday is Monday so we are going to The Park on the River tomorrow. It has miniature golf, go carts, arcade games, and laser tag. He got to choose between there and Gatti Town, which is like Chuck E Cheese only nicer. He also gets to pick what kind of cake he wants and our dinner menu for Monday. He has chosen a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and vanilla ice cream. For dinner he opted for Shells and Cheese and Salad because those are his favorite foods. I will probably throw in some smoked sausage just to make it interesting.
Somewhere in the midst of all the birthday fun, we are hoping to get a little work done on the hall. I had some down time today so I went by Home Depot to look at door knobs. This project is getting more expensive. We are planning to paint all seven of the doors in the hall. We decided that would be more frugal than replacing all the doors. However, we are going to splurge a little and replace all the hardware. That means we need fourteen hinges and seven door knobs. I had forgotten how expensive door knobs can be. Hopefully, we can work them into next months budget. We have already spent our January home improvement allotment. The joys of owning a fixer upper.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Making Progress

John put our new thermostat on the wall Saturday. Yes, I know we still have to texture and paint, but we had to have the thermostat up since it is below freezing this week. The new thermostat looks much better than the old one. I am hoping it works better as well.
The second Sunday of the month is when my ladies prayer group meets. That means that I got to spend several hours away from home yesterday enjoying time with friends. On my way home I had to run by Lowe's and pick up a new light fixture for the bathroom. When John got ready to wire the new vent he realized that the wires on the light were not so good. As you can see they look a little scary.

Yeah, we now have a new light in our bathroom and a vent over the shower. Disregard the cool wallpaper. It will be gone soon.

I had to go outside and watch the cool vent open up on the side of the house. John did a great job. I am really glad he knows how to do all these fun projects. I am even happier that I don't have to do them. I am a little nervous about getting in the attic. It is small and dark, and I don't do tight spaces well. That and I wouldn't have a clue what to do.
It will be at least next weekend before we work on the hall again. It is just too hard to do projects in the evenings. We have too many regular jobs to do. Today I am doing laundry. Tomorrow is Cub Scouts, and Wednesday is church. Thursday is our day to recover. Hopefully we can at least get a layer of joint compound on the wall next weekend. We will see. It's good to not have a deadline.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Return to real life

Now that the holidays are over we are returning to our regularly scheduled life. Since we have a very old and very dated house there are always projects. The plan for this weekend was pretty simple. We were going to put a vent in our bath and change out the thermostat in the hall. The vent plan is on hold for the moment due to weather. That particular project requires standing on a ladder outside and cutting a hole into the attic at the end of the house. That just seems like a bad plan while it is raining. On to installing the thermostat. Like most simple tasks around our house it turned into a much bigger project. We decided that it didn't make sense to install the new thermostat if it will just have to come down later so we can remove the wallpaper and texture the walls. Therefore, we decided to rip out the wallpaper and panelling today. I have to say that lovely wallpaper from 1978 has put up a valiant fight. Most of it is down, but there are still little strips that are refusing to vacate the wall. I think we are done messing with it for tonight. Tomorrow, John will patch a few places on the walls and hopefully get the first coat of joint compound on the walls. We are planning to paint all the trim and doors white before finishing the walls. In addition we will replace all the door hardware. This project will probably consume the next couple of weeks. On the bright side, it is a fairly inexpensive job. At least it is so far.

Saturday with Dad

John and the boys are off doing boy things. Our church has a men's breakfast every other month. Our kids love getting to go and be men. Anyway, John just sent me a text that said check the email. I wasn't sure what to expect. The above picture is what he sent. On the way home they went by Walmart to get cat food, got the truck inspected, and stopped at the local barber shop for haircuts. It looks like they are really enjoying their boy time. I have spent the morning changing sheets, doing laundry, and cleaning bathrooms. Hey, I know how to enjoy my time alone as well. John has big plans for when he gets home. He is planning to install a vent over the shower in our bathroom, rip out the wallpaper in the hall, and install a new programmable thermostat in the older part of the house. It is shaping up to be a fun filled, rainy Saturday. We are quite blessed.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The water has receded and we are drying out. It was actually a very pretty day today. The boys went out and played basketball for a while this afternoon. They needed to get out and use some energy. We went to church tonight and now we are home. The kids are in bed and John is in our room watching TV. This week just seems to be flying by. I have been so busy at work that the days just go by in a blur. When I left today I still had several things on my to do list that weren't done. That just means tomorrow will be another busy day. I guess that is a good thing. I hate to be bored.
I don't know that we have much exciting to report. The year is off to a good start. We have fallen back into our routine pretty easily. John and I are doing the low carb thing this month. So far, so good. The kids report cards will come home tomorrow. I am expecting good reports. John has a doctor's appointment tomorrow. He decided that since our insurance pays for an annual checkup, he should take advantage. I am expecting a good report there as well. That is all. See I warned you it wasn't very exciting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rain, again

Apparently, Winter is the wet season in Mississippi. I hope the rain stops soon. If the water gets much deeper on our drive, we may not be able to leave. At work today, they made an announcement over the intercom that the parking lot was beginning to flood. I had to wade through about 5 inches of water to get to my car. Lots of fun. I am sort of hoping they will cancel cub scouts tonight because of the weather. I don't want to get out in it if I can help it.
The pictures above show how much fun we are having. Luckily, our house sits up from the road so it isn't likely to flood, but the water going over the drive could get deeper. The water on the pool tarp is almost level with the deck. I have given up trying to pump it off for now. It is supposed to continue raining this evening, but we should get a break tomorrow. I am ready to see some blue skies.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Resolutions and such

I feel like I lost a couple of days. I don't like being away from home. It feels like everything just gets put on hold waiting for your return. I spent most of yesterday doing laundry, but I still had a lot of ironing to get done today. I also needed to go grocery shopping. It all got done, but I feel like I have been running all day. Work was a bit chaotic today. I am hoping that things calm down soon. I miss the days of leaving work by noon, and having a few hours to myself before the kids get home from school.

Now that the new year is in full swing, we should make some resolutions. John just told me he resolves to come up with some resolutions. He'll get back to us. Anyway, I am not much for making resolutions. I diet most January's just because it's the thing to do. I would like to get a little more routine in my exercise regimen. I was thinking this weekend that I should resolve to work less, but I don't see that happening. Worrying less, and enjoying the present sounds good. Yeah, that's it. I resolve to worry less and just enjoy the moment. Here's to a happy and healthy 2009.

I wanted to share one of the gifts we received while in Texas. John's mom had a charcoal picture done of our boys. It is really nice. I am trying to find the perfect place to hang it. John was making fun of me for taking a picture of a drawing of a picture. That's how I roll.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

It's Good to be Home

I was really glad to see that sign yesterday.
"Welcome to Mississippi It's Like Coming Home"
We had a good trip to Texas, but I was ready to be home.