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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Snow Shower

This last weekend I got to go back to Des Moines for my future daughter in law's bridal shower. I wanted to do a winter wonderland theme for the shower. The wedding is December 10th, and they are going with a very winter theme for the wedding, so I carried that theme into the shower.

With the help of my daughter Alyssa and one of my best ever friends, Kelley, we put up snowflakes everywhere.
 I wanted it to look wintry, not Christmasy. We used snow flakes of all sizes and sparkles and pearl strings. It was a lot of fun.  We also had pine cones and buffalo snow, made the presents look like they were sitting in a snow drift. Kahlen even got in on the decorating action and went home covered in sparkles and glitter.

To go along with the winter theme, I made white chicken chili, and cornbread. For those less than enthusiastic about chili, I made mac and cheese. I also made a buffalo chicken dip, and glazed carrots. I almost burned the place down when I was preheating the oven, there was grease in the bottom that caught fire. We got the fire out and most of the smoke out before people got there though.
 For deserts, I made a chocolate coconut cake, yellow cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, rice crispy treats, oreo and nutterbutter balls. I think all of the food went over well. Something for everyone was my goal. Even the plates and napkins had snowflakes on them.
After lunch it was game time, or as I like to put it, torture Caitlin time. The first game involved questions that I had asked my son, Josh, and she had to guess how he answered, you know, newly wed game style. Alyssa looked forward to this game most of all. This game was played at her shower, and she wanted revenge. Revenge you ask, why did she want revenge? For every question she got right she received a chocolate. For every question she got wrong........ she had to put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. Apparently Caitlin laughed a lot at Alyssa when her mouth was full of bubble gum, thus, the revenge.

And revenge Alyssa did get. Something you need to understand, my son, has a unique sense of humor, something I was counting on. For instance, when asked what he and Caitlin would do if there was an ice storm and the electricity went out, (and he was told to keep it clean, her grandma was there after all) what did he answer? Play a board game? No, read a book using a flashlight? Well, no, he answered shadow puppets. When asked if he could have anyone, anywhere, alive or dead, sing at his wedding, his answer........ Infant Sorrow. Yeah, Caitlin ended up with six pieces of bubble gum in her mouth. Alyssa was fiendishly satisfied.

Next torture game involved dark chocolate. I made snowflake shaped chocolates. But not just any chocolates, each chocolate contained an ingredient that Caitlin had to identify. You know, things like cinnamon, almonds, cranberries, hot peppers, bacon, cilantro, and garlic. She did real well, the only one she missed was cilantro, which I think was because I didn't put enough in. Her least favorite one was the garlic. Yeah, I put a lot in that one. That one got spit out.

We also played name that tune and wrote marital advise on snowflakes. Her favorite, "make hamburger and beans often, and buy an electric air freshener." Mine. I know my son pretty well.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Alyssa's Bridal Shower

I have been getting ready for Caitlin's shower this weekend and I realized I have never written a post about Alyssa's shower. It has taken me a while because the day started kind of rough and I think I needed time to digest.

Many of you now may think it started out rough because I couldn't bare to see my little girl get married. Nah, it isn't that. I know she married the man that she loves. I did get nostalgic, and think about the fact that my baby was getting married, but in a good way. In a happy way.

No, no, the roughness of the morning was my own doing. First I slept in a little too long. I felt hurried. I felt frazzled. I was running behind and that was the trigger for the rest of the morning.


I was putting the finishing touches on things, and all was going well, despite being behind. I made a beautiful tomato salad with basil and fresh mozzarella, it has a name but I can't spell it. I had brought the tomatoes all the way from Rossville from my own garden. They were delicious. I had forgotten the cooler I had with the basil from my garden at home so had to buy basil at the store. It looked awesome just the same.

Valerie and I finished decorating cupcakes. We got ourselves ready. I was wearing a new dress that I had only worn once before. We got everything all finished up and started packing up the car.

This is where being behind in my time caught up with me and bit me in the butt. And it left a mark.
In my hurry to get packed up, I decided to carry a big cooler, with a container with the cupcakes on top of it, and the tomato salad on top of that. This is where I should add that the tomato salad was on a plate with only saran wrap on top.

And this is where you can start using your imagination. New dress, tomato salad. Yeah, exactly what you think. I was carrying the cooler, and everything on top down the stairs. I lost my balance. I fell. Now, don't worry, it was more like sitting down hard than falling. And I almost saved everything. A.L.M.O.S.T!
The salad ended up all over my dress. I was covered by tomatoes, basil, pepper and cheese. It was on my dress, on my legs, on my arms. Now we were going to be really late. I sat there for a minute. I considered bawling my eyes out. However, I had actually put on make up. This is not normal for me, I hate make up, it makes my face feel yucky. I wanted to look nice for the shower though, so I had put it on. So, I stopped my urge to cry. If I did it would mess up my make up and put us even farther behind.

I went upstairs changed my clothes. I put on jeans and a shirt. I was disappointed. I still wanted to cry.

Valerie and I finally got to the shower. We were late and we had the food. I felt embarrassed and anxious and like I had let everyone down. Everyone was very nice about it. They all understood, but I couldn't shake the feeling.
The rest of the day went very well though. Carmen and Anita had done the decorations. Carmen had some fun games and everyone seemed to enjoy the food.

Kahlen had other kids to play with and got to have time to kiss on her new little cousin, Ethan.

Alyssa seemed to to enjoy her day. Carmen had a game where she had asked her brother questions and then Alyssa had to try to answer the same questions the way she thought Shane had answered. With each wrong answer she had to put a piece of bubble gum in her mouth. She had a bit of a hard time talking by the end. It was fun.

All in all, my disasters aside, it was a wonderful day. Alyssa received beautiful presents, and I am so thankful to everyone that attended and made that day so special for her.

A special thank you to Valerie for helping so much with the food and to Anita and Carmen for the great decorations and games.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lost in Attica

So, I have lost, what fellow blogger, Pia, would term, my writing MoJo. I just can't seem to think of much to write about. My mind has turned to mush, much like the weather outside. It isn't that I don't have anything to write about, well yeah it is kind of that, I lead a rather boring little life.

The most exciting thing that has happened around here lately is when Willie and I decided to go find a park called Potholes in Indiana. We had heard, from one of Willie's friends, that it was really pretty. I looked it up on line and saw that it was northwest of Attica, Indiana. I knew where Attica was. I couldn't find an actual address or a site for the park itself. I found a few sites from people who had visited the park and posted pictures. The pictures were awesome and I was excited to see the park for my self.

On Tuesday, we got into the car, put Bazinga in the back and pointed it at Attica, Indiana. It took us about 30 minutes to get to Attica. We looked for signs along the way, we saw none. We were in no big hurry, and had no plans, and as such decided to just keep driving around Attica to look for signs.

We drove thru town, no signs. We drove south of town, no signs, we drove north of town, no signs. We drove west of town, still no signs. We never found it. It was nice to go for a nice long drive though.

On our way west we did find ourselves in a rather spooky looking area of Williamsburg. I was really glad that it was the middle of the day instead of the dark of night. We took a turn north and found ourselves in a better area. We decided to take one last journey north to try to find the park, but to no avail.


Finally, we decided to give up and head home. Bazinga was very confused after a long drive to end up at home again. He burst from the car expecting an adventure and found himself in oh so familiar surroundings. He sniffed around and looked at me in disappointment. Ah, well, he enjoyed the ride.

Note to self, get specific directions for the next time we look for this park.