Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolutions for 2011

1. Drink water
2. Exercise, not just in my mind or in my day planner
3. Complete my second Master's degree in Educational Administration
4. Meet new, fascinating people
5. Read 12 books for personal enrichment 
Christina Shepard at Barnes and Nobles, my students spent $4,000 this year.

6. I am already a wonderful wife and mother, now I need to be wonderful to myself more often.

Cubbie, hubbie and friends at pre-New Year's Fondue party.

7. Increase my charitable donations
8. Improve my golf, tennis and bridge game
9. Ride my horses every week
10. Go to poet's night more often


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Family Top Ten for 2010

1. Our soldiers, myself included, returned home safely from a year long deployment to Iraq.

Fort Rucker, Alabama

2. Cubbie started high school at Cascade and is doing well. He loves his school, especially Introduction to Engineering.

3. Hubbie did what hubbies do best, farmed and built huge projects.

Our yard
4. Chippy’s Ice Cream Parlor survived another year.  We added sandwiches, to go drinks, and energy efficient windows. We now have 152 “likes” on our Facebook fanpage, with a pledge to donate $100 to Sheltering Wings when it gets to 500 “likes.”

5. We went on a one week family vacation to Pennsylvania and visited: Hershey, Philadelphia, Gettysburg, Lancaster, and so forth. While Gettysburg was highlight of the trip, I could live off of Hershey chocolate. The town of Hershey is all brick, clean and beautiful. Pat’s King of Steak, the Liberty Bell and plodding through torrential rain in Philly were unforgettable events. As was the fact, you can travel faster on a bicycle than with a vehicle due to the congested traffic. Lancaster was much like Shipshewana, Indiana, but less familiar and perhaps why I spent less time there. However, on the way home, we spent a lot of time at Cabella’s, the one store I can shop at where Cubbie and hubbie actually like the outdoorsmen style clothing.

6. We also got to go on an unexpected one week family trip to Mobile, Alabama, original home of the blues, and explored the entire area. We were able to visit Bellingrath Gardens and home tour, the zoo, the art museum, the naval vessels, fresh squeezed lemonade, the downtown, the trolley system which takes you on a tour of the entire historic area, and the seafood restaurants.

7. My dad was able to visit us for Thanksgiving dinner.

Cub and Grandpa Shepard

8. Cubbie started guitar and Boy Scouts, just like his grandfather.
Grandpa Shepard in the Boy Scouts, circa 1960.

9. We got 25 assorted heavy brown egg layer chickens from McMurray Hatchery, which have been the joy of my day. I call them “my girls.” Hubbie says he thinks one is a rooster, but is possibly gay as it is such a good looking and affectionate bird.

The girls

10. Having Christmas and New Year’s at home this year, as cheesy as it sounds to some will be a luxury for us.

Favorite New Year's in Gatlinburg with my mom.

Warmest Wishes this Holiday Season

Friday, December 10, 2010

Elite Parent

Last night a parent from Elite Dance and Cheer visited us at Chippy’s Ice Cream Parlor and said she did not know there was so much going on in Clayton. I filled her in on the visit from Santa at the courthouse from 10-2 this Saturday and on the Friday night fish fry at the Clayton CafĂ©.

Her daughters enjoyed the superman ice cream, and the orange sherbet with rainbow sprinkles in a pink cup along with watching some Christmas movies and coloring a sheet, which we usually hang up. While mom got to relax, check out the shop, and have some butter pecan ice cream.

Elite Dance and Cheer is exactly what kids need during the winter months, wish they had a mommie yoga class, for second generation hippie girls like me.

Reuniting with dearest friends

During this season, hubbie and I attend together, or separately: both office parties, both military parties, dinner with his army buddies and possibly this year dinner with a few of my army buds, do the rounds visiting family member, churches and schools. Also, we attend a few events at organization in non-profit organizations which we are involved that benefit us emotionally as much as they think we benefit them. While I do have to dress professionally at most of these events, I can pull off a little teacher appropriate Christmas bling.

The Angela Moore bracelet I want for Christmas is actually the mansion gardens:

Hoping my Santa can find this one for me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 2010 Menu Planner

I am always self-conscious about the way I cook because my family is from “The Grapes of Wrath” variety of southern Californians who left their Oklahoma farms during the dust bowl, I live in Indiana and am a reformed vegan due to the male carnivores to female vegan ratio in my household. If you see a big hunk of meat on here, it’s for the guys.

Week of December 7 (late start)
Wednesday- White chili with corn bread and deli sandwiches
Thursday- Homemade chicken nuggets, biscuits and pickled okra
Friday- Salmon, fresh bread, spinach and strawberry salad
Saturday- Shepard’s pie
Sunday- Chicken and noodles

Week of December 13
Monday- chicken and dumplings
Tuesday- black bean turkey chili with corn bread
Wednesday- Quiche Lorraine
Thursday- Potato and egg skillet
Friday- shrimp gumbo
Saturday- Chicken tacos- California style
Sunday- Curry chicken with paratha- Indian

Week of December 20
Monday- stuffed chicken breast
*Make Christmas cookies, with extra batches for Boy Scout’s Court of Honor
Tuesday- Jack Daniels steak, garlic mashed potatoes with asparagus
Wednesday- Spaghetti stoup- Rachel RayThursday- Alfredo chicken, angel hair pasta
Friday- Southern fried catfish, kidney beans and rice- Grandma’s recipe
Saturday- Special Christmas menuSunday- Kielbasa soup- Germany

Week of December 27
Monday- Homemade pietza- Venice
Tuesday-Beef and Noodles
Wednesday- Chicken enchiladas
Thursday- Beef and broccoli, Guam
Friday-Special New Year’s MenuSaturday- Corned beef and cabbage

* Reserving the right to play the restaurant card at any time.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Top 10 Christmas Movies List

(Biased, of course)

Because I live in a region that experiences snow, and I am a skinni mini who has no business in such an area, I practice the beary old art of hibernation supplied with gads of hot chocolate, popcorn and movies such as:

1. All three of the Santa Claus movies

2. All three of the Home Alone movies
3. It’s a Wonderful Life. (I once played Mary, google it. We did “It’s a Wonderful Deployment,” a once in a lifetime experience.) We can all relate to this masterpiece, and it’s less expensive than visiting a therapist to illustrate how each person is valuable and impacts others.
4. The Family Man, a modern day version of “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

5. Miracle on 34th Street- the black and white version
6. National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation- classic
7. George C. Scott version of “A Christmas Carol.” If you buy the new on with Jim Carrey, get it in blu-ray. The Mickey Mouse version is precious.
8. The Grinch- cartoon and Jim Carrey version
9. A Christmas Story- I never watch this, it’s so dry, but the guys enjoy it.
10. The Original Christmas classics including: Rudolph the Red-nosed reindeer, Santa Claus is coming to town, Frosty, etc…love the cartoons
11. The Family Stone
12. Meet me in St. Louis- inspired by watching “The Family Stone”
13. Deck the Halls- cannot get over the lights used on the house
14. Bing Crosby in “White Christmas”- also a music CD, excellent music.
15. A Charlie Brown Christmas
16. Fred Claus- the guys laugh out loud over this one.
17. Mixed Nuts with Steve Martin- have not seen, just bought per recommendation of cubbie.
18. Four Christmases- have not seen, as I was out of country when it came out. I love Reese Witherspoon, especially in Sweet Home Alabama when her character decorated that lakeside cottage.
19. Emmet Otter’s jug-band Christmas- a childhood memory.

*I realize this is more than ten, what can I say, it’s my excitement for the season.