Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Scariest Part of Halloween

The scariest thing on Halloween for me is Candy—peanut candy to be more precise. I spend the whole month scouring the candy isles looking for peanut free candy. It isn’t as easy as skipping the snickers and Reese’s either. It is quite a task. For example, I have only been able to find peanut free (void of the “may contain peanuts” or “made in a factory that processes peanuts” warning) candy corn can at the Dollar Store. This was after searching and searching for candy corn and then reading on a peanut allergy website forum that the Dollar Store has safe candy corn. Just last night I saw some Spiderman lollipops that the boys would have loved. They weren’t safe. It is frightful night when you realize that even regular lollipops have a peanut warning!

I have always loved Halloween. I have many fond memories from when I was a kid of dressing up, carving the pumpkin and trick or treating. It was a fun family night. I love the world of pretend and I love seeing my kids have fun getting dressed up. But, now Halloween makes me nervous—very nervous, in fact.

David handles Halloween really well. He knows that there will be candy that is “not safe” and that we will have to trade his unsafe candy out for safe candy. Of course, when normal lollipops are not always safe, we have to do a lot of candy swapping. We have to stick to the candies we feel confident about. David is used to being in situations (like when they had cake at cub scouts last night) where he cannot eat a treat simply because of the uncertainty. It isn’t easy for him sometimes but most of the time he takes it all in stride.

I am growing dealing with his allergy. Just last week he must have touched something that was contaminated because his eye started swelling, getting all red, and getting a white film on it. He kept saying, "My eye hurts!" My immediate reaction (which I did not display) was to freak out. I didn't. We put allergy visine in his eye, washed his hands and waited. This was extremely alarming because we were at home in our safe environment. We did know that he hadn't eaten anything bad. I had just come back to the house from a neighborhood shower where they were serving small cups of peanuts. Then several people walked from that house to my house (presumably with peanut dust on their hands). Isn't that astounding? We couldn't imagine what else would have caused him a reaction. So, back to Halloween... I wonder about cross contamination issues (someone handing out candy after eating a Reeses). I struggle with being obsessive, over protective, and simply afraid.

I cling to this -- my fear fighting verse: 2 Timothy 1:7 and I pray. If you think of it, pray for me and David's safety this Halloween.

2 Timothy 1:7
"For Got did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Friday, October 26, 2007


Tonight we had an amazing dinner. First of all, BOTH Jonathan AND David LOVED the dinner. This is extremely rare. My boys have opposite taste in food. We usually have meals where Jonathan and David could share one plate because they like the opposite parts of the meal. Both boys exclaimed "I love it!" after eating the first bite. I honestly thought that David was copying Jonathan until I saw that he ate all his meat with out us having to coach him at all. On top of that, Seth complimented and complimented the meal. I cannot remember all the things he said but the comments were along these lines: "man, you must love me" and "Thank you" and "This is the best meal I have had all week (not that your other meals weren't good)." and "Wow." He also wanted to write a thank you email to the person who gave me the recipe.

Interested in the recipe?

You really should try this one. (It is out of the Bethany MOPS Cookbook.)

Cranberry Chicken
1 small onion, thinly sliced (I didn't have an onion handly so I used minced onion. It worked well but I bet a real onion would give it even more flavor)
1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (unthawed)
12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 2 1/4 lbs)
1/2 cup ketchup
4 Tbsp firmly packed brown sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
4 tsp cider vinegar

In a 3-quart or larger crockpot, combine onion and cranberries. Rinse chicken, pat dry and arrange on top of cranberry mixture. In a small bowl, mix ketchup, sugar, mustard and vinegar; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low until chicken is very tender when pierced (6 1/2 to 7 1/2 hours). Serve with fluffy white rice.

(Thank you, Heather, for this wonderful recipe!!!)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

100 Plus Things About Me

This post is my 102nd post on my blog. To honor writing over 100 posts, I decided to write down a little bit about myself. It sure was much, much harder than I expected to come up with so many things about myself.

1. I have 3 boys and one girl.
2. I was born in Florida.
3. I’ve lived in Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Colorado, Virginia, Washington, and Oregon.
4. I’ve spent the last 10 years outside of the South East but I still consider myself a Southern girl.
5. My first job was at Arby’s.
6. My last job was working as a Software Tester.
7. I have a degree in communication. If nothing else, I plan on using my journalistic skills on interrogating my kids as they age.
8. When I was little I dreamed about being a National Geographic Reporter.
9. My favorite colors are yellow and green.
10. I do not like country music.
11. I have to admit (for my husband’s sake) I did listen to country music some in college due to being in love with my husband and having an amazing college roommate (who was quite in love with George Strait).
12. My favorite movie of all time is It’s a Wonderful Life.
13. I have a dog named Bailey.
14. I love the movie You’ve Got Mail.
15. I don’t watch TV regularly.
16. The most regular TV watching at our house is PBS Kids and college football in the fall.
17. We occasionally consider getting rid of cable but college football has been worth the Comcast bill!
18. I check the news regularly online.
19. I have rediscovered my love of reading fiction this last year.
20. The most amazing taste in the world is chocolate covered strawberries.
21. My favorite drink indulgence is a Latte from Starbucks
22. My favorite dessert indulgence is Ice Cream.
23. One of my pet peeves is shopping carts left out in a parking lot.
24. Another pet peeve of mine is bending your book open and propping it that way instead of using a bookmark.
25. I have two sisters.
26. I am the middle child.
27. I am not a morning person.
28. My favorite meal of the day is breakfast.
29. I love silence.
30. I enjoy scrapbooking.
31. I enjoy making cards and rubber stamping.
32. I like to sew but I am a novice.
33. I pieced a quilt but I did not quilt it. My grandmother quilted it for me.
34. I want to learn more about gardening and plants.
35. My ideal vacation or retirement home would be next to water.
36. I enjoy swimming.
37. I enjoy soccer. I played as a child and have also played as an adult.
38. I am out of shape now.
39. I have always wanted to travel to Spain (maybe due to one of my favorite childhood books, Ferdinand).
40. I have also wanted to go see the Macy’s Day parade since I was a kid.
41. I love taking trips.
42. I love flying (turbulence does not bother me).
43. I do not like roller coasters. They don’t scare me or make me sick. They just make my neck muscles extremely sore.
44. My passion is prayer.
45. I believe in the idea that each person’s perception of a situation is their reality. (The motto a mentor taught me years ago: Perception is Reality.)
46. I believe Listening is one of the best gifts you can give a child.
47. I took an ROTC class in college and went repelling.
48. I have taken a ride in a Glider airplane. It was awesome—much more peaceful than exhilarating.
49. I have also gone parasailing. It was much the same- more peaceful than exhilarating (except when my honeymooning husband told the boat driver to dip me in the water!).
50. My favorite candy bar is a Snickers. (Update: I have given up Snickers. My new favorite is Heath bars.)
51. I rarely eat Snickers since my son is extremely allergic to peanuts.
52. The first car that I loved was a Pontiac Fiero.
53. The last car that I loved was my Mazda Miata.
54. I look forward to giving up my mini-van one day – though I am confident it is years and years away.
55. The first concert I ever went to was a Van Halen concert. I did’t even like Van Halen (but I thought I liked the guy I was with).
56. The best concert I have been to was a U2 concert.
57. I haven’t been to a concert in a long, long time.
58. I married my high school sweetheart.
59. I hated high school.
60. I love learning.
61. I loved college.
62. I went to the University of Alabama and I am a proud BAMA fan.
63. I’d like to go back to school. I don’t know what I want to study.
64. My favorite flower is a daisy.
65. I really don’t like cutting the grass. I don’t like long grass more than I detest having to cut it.
66. For jewelry, I’d take silver (or platinum!) over gold.
67. I love clowns. My favorite part of the circus is the clowns.
68. It makes me sad to hear people say they are scared of clowns.
69. I dressed up as a clown with my sister and went to cheer up my mom at work. (It worked- it was funny and she was QUITE surprised!)
70. I picked up a hitch hiker once. I was with a group of friends (we had rented a van) on a sight-seeing trip in Colorado.
71. I wish I had a better memory.
72. Shoe shopping drives me crazy.
73. I wish every shoe was as comfortable as Birkenstocks.
74. I used to pretend my Barbies were Princess Leia.
75. My 3 boys love Star Wars and have Star Wars costumes this year for Halloween.
76. Mold grosses me out. I mean it I find something in the fridge with mold on it, I want to scream and then disinfect the whole fridge.
77. I hate cock roaches. I cannot imagine why they were created.
78. My boys have given me a new appreciation for bugs (but not cock roaches!). [Side note: Child 1) Inspects bugs; Child 2) Extremely afraid of Bugs; Child 3) Stomps on Bugs]
79. I took piano lessons as a child and into my early teen years.
80. I didn’t enjoy piano lessons and I won’t play for anyone.
81. The only reason I am thankful that I had lessons is because I can read music.
82. I wish I could carry a tune.
83. I look forward to being able to sing and make beautiful music in heaven.
84. I love the sound of a violin.
85. I don’t have a good sense of direction.
86. I’d rather not give out directions even if I am totally familiar with a route.
87. When caravanning, I would rather follow than lead.
88. I do not like walking through large groups of people.
89. I love taking my kids to the park.
90. Being outside is refreshing to me (even if it is at a community park with kids running around acting crazy).
91. I think it should be a law that parks with playgrounds must have bathrooms.
92. I have never colored or highlighted my hair.
93. I wonder if having a head full of gray hair will bother me or my husband more.
94. I don’t make decisions quickly and I like the freedom to change my mind.
95. That is precisely why I would never get a tattoo.
96. I do not like monopoly or any kind of trivial pursuit.
97. The most recent games I enjoyed were Pitt and Sequence.
98. Crosswords puzzles don’t interest me but I find word searches relaxing.
99. I do not enjoy Math or working with numbers.
100. I am not a good price shopper.
101. Seeing a rainbow in the sky gives me childlike joy.
102. I never want to stop learning, making new friends, improving myself and growing closer to God.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some Sad News

We are quite sad here at the Owen house not to be able to watch and cheer (and scare our kids) during this Saturday's game. CBS was originally going to carry the game and they dropped it. It is discouraging and disappointing. No doubt, we will still be cheering hard for our teams (ROLL TIDE!!). And, I am sure my hubby will find a way to be in his truck listening to his XM radio SEC station during the game.

This was taken (without permission) from the Tennessean.

UT-Bama gets the cold shoulder
by David Climer

A sign of the college football times:
The Tennessee-Alabama game is not on national TV.
This classic Southern football rivalry, once worthy of national attention, is going regional this year. The game will be carried on the Lincoln Financial telecast, with the decidedly non-prime time kickoff time of 11:30 a.m.
That speaks volumes about the current state of the two programs. Tennessee has righted itself after a slow start and is back in the Top 25 rankings. But Alabama, under first-year coach Nick Saban, is trying to get back up and running.
TV executives looked at the SEC buffet and decided that Florida-Kentucky and Auburn-LSU are worthy of more attention than the Vols and Crimson Tide.
Local bias aside, I can’t disagree with them.

Thankful Thursday #17

I went to bed last night with a headache and when I woke up this morning it was not only still there but it was worse. One of my first thoughts was “I am definitely not feeling thankful today.” I am still not in the best of spirits but I figure just trying to jot down some what I am thankful from the week might help my attitude today.

1. New Furniture: We had new furniture (dresser and chest of drawers) for the boys delivered on Tuesday. This means that the baby changing table and chest of drawers have been moved into the baby’s room.
2. Baby: Baby Elisabeth seems to be doing everything on track so far. I had an appt yesterday and the doctor just kept saying over and over that everything is great. She is head down—and I am especially thankful for that!
3. Reminders that God’s grace is a gift. I have been concentrating on some verses in Ephesians this week (Ephesians 2). I am overwhelmed by the “incomparable riches of his grace” and the fact that God seats us in the “heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” (You might just should look these verses up yourself! It is so wonderful to remember what we are blessed with.)
4. Joy of Children: The boys got their Halloween costumes last night and the sheer joy on their faces as they put on their costumes gave me such delight. I love the excitement of pretending!
5. Words of Wisdom from the Kids: I am thankful to hear my children sharing words of wisdom (that they were taught from both momma and daddy). It is encouraging to see that everything doesn’t go in one ear and out the other. What were the words of wisdom? “No one can MAKE you do anything. You cannot MAKE me feel mad.” He didn’t go on to explain that we take responsibility for our own feelings but I think he is getting it!
6. Laughter at very unexpected times: Our kids make us laugh sometimes and sometimes it is when we most need it. This week this kid exchange helped us cope. (Just select to "Show Original Post." I am too tired to figure out how to link this correctly.)

Alright I found more than I expected to feel thankful about! I hope and pray that you are having a good week. Take some time and let me know what makes you happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

2 Special People Celebrating Birthdays!

Happy Birthday to my dear sister Carrie and my sweetest friend, Kim. I woke up this morning thinking about both of you. During my prayer time, I thanked God for you. I hope your day has been wonderful!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Comment Moderation

I don't know if any of you bloggers have had any problems with comments. Tonight when I checked out my blog, I had this rambling, extremely long anti-christian, profanity laced comment on my Thursday Thanks Tank. What was interesting to me is that although I have my comments set up in such a way that I get emails when I get comments, I didn't get an email that I had a new comment. I don't know if it was some kind of internet spam or what. At any case, I couldn't figure out how to delete just that one comment. All I could figure was that I had to delete the post or hide all the comments for the post. If any of you know a way to delete one comment, let me know.

For now, I have turned on the comment moderation. This means I will approve the comments that are displayed. Nothing should change for you when you comment. Your comment just won't display immediately.

I have to wonder if the comment moderation would have helped in this situation since I never even got notified of the comment. Would I have been notified to accept the comment if the moderation was on? I am guessing not.

Let me know if you have some insight on this.

Bloggy Giveaways

You have to check out the Bloggy Giveaways blog. I am SO excited to have just won a wireless keyboard from the site!!

All you have to do to participate in the giveaways is check out the Current Giveaways and leave a comment. Shannon (from Rocks in My Dryer) draws a random winner from the comments and runs a random number generator. There are no strings attached. So, if you leave a comment and you don't win, no one is contacting you or using your information. You never know you might just win something like I did!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thursday Thanks Tank #16

I love Thankful Thursday. As always, I encourage you to take a few minutes today and think about the great things in your day. I am thankful for these things this morning:

1. Birthdays: Yesterday was my niece’s 1 year old birthday, today is my dad’s birthday, the day after tomorrow is my mother-in-law’s birthday. I like birthdays because they remind me how thankful I am for the birthday person.
2. My morning walk to the bus stop: Each morning David and I walk Jonathan to the bus stop. Thomas sleeps in. I love these walks. I love David holding my hand and just getting out into the fresh air each morning.
3. Husband is coming home: My husband has been out of town all week. The kids have been sick with high fevers and sleepless nights. I am exhausted. I am looking forward to dual parenting again and getting a big hug.
4. Inspiration: Okay, I found this Internet café yesterday. Checking it out again this morning, I can tell it will benefit me.
5. Books: Last night, I finished reading, Brothers , by Angela Elwell Hunt. I love when a book refreshes my spirit and gives me a pleasant escape. I picked up this book on a whim at a used bookstore. I really enjoyed it.
6. Sleep: I slept great last night!
7. Kid Moments: I treasure the kid moments of the week. Here are a few of them: getting big hugs, rocking a sick child to sleep, hearing “I love you around the world a million times,” seeing 3 boys being entertained by play-dough for hours, hearing one child encourage another child on his own, and kissing my kids as they sleep.

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Year Ago Today

One year ago today Seth came home from Iraq. I can hardly believe that it has been a year! This year went by so, sooo much faster than the year he was in Iraq. I took some time this morning and looked through our reunion pictures. I can still look at the pictures and feel the emotion. This date reminds me how thankful I am to have my family.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday Thanks Tank #15

Today Peach’s Thursday Thanks Tank post reminded me not to ‘miss the view.’ So much of the time we miss or forget to focus on life’s blessings. I love this reminder from Ron Hutchcraft: “But taking a timeout to catch your breath, regain your perspective, and appreciate all the good things around you will renew your joy, it will renew your energy, your faith, and your attitude.” I need that daily in my life!
Pressing on, here are my thankful thoughts for today.

1. Silence. After a morning full of my expressive 2 year old, I am so glad it is naptime. I am thankful this guy is sleeping!

2. Smooth Transitions: My family is in a season of transitions. The latest is Thomas moving out of the crib into a bed. Hop over to my Owen Home blog to see pictures (where he is much cuter than in his temper tantrum moments of today).
3. Coffee/Bible Study Group: I am so thankful to have been invited to meet weekly with a small group of women. My new friend that is organizing the group is also organizing childcare. It is amazing!
4. Parents that will Travel: I am so thankful that my parents are planning to come out to help us when Elisabeth is born. They are so flexible and willing to do whatever we need.
5. Being a Parent: Sometimes it is such a tough job. Still, I am so glad that I get to be a parent. This week my oldest went to a cub scout meeting, my youngest moved into a bed, and my middle child keeps telling me I am “the best.” Each day is special (sometimes I forget to remember that).
6. Fall: I love the fall colors in the trees, the cooler breeze, seeing pumpkins, and getting to enjoy my husband’s obsession with college football.
7.Grace: I find that I am not always saying and thinking what I need to be. My attitude isn’t always positive. I am thankful that God gives me grace each day. I am thankful that he is faithful to me when I am not faithful.

I am going to stop my list because that’s really all the time I have right now. I hope you have a wonderful day. Be sure to say thank you to someone today!