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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tales From Thanksgiving Eve

Last night I did the unthinkable.  I willing ventured into Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving Eve.  I don't know what I was thinking.  Next year I will make sure I have all of the necessary grocery items for Thanksgiving cooking well in advance of Thanksgiving Eve.  I distinctly remember making a similar comment last year, but I digress.  I realized it was not going to be the average shopping trip before we even got into the store.  Some random guy headed into the store starts screaming at a woman for holding up traffic.  Not even sure why he felt compelled to do so, since she was in a vehicle and he was walking into the store, so she obviously wasn't holding him up.  But he told her off, big time.  Way to spread the holiday cheer, yo.  Then of course the store was packed.  I guess I should feel better that I'm not the only procrastinator in the world, but it was a madhouse.  We finally made it to the check-out line.  We didn't even have to wait long, which was a blessing, and we had entertainment while we waited.  The kid in front of us was slurping whipped topping out of an aerosol can the entire time his mom was paying for their purchases.  Seriously.  I only hope that she was aware of this and had purchased it for that reason, and not to top some pie she was planning on baking.  I would hate for anybody to have to make another trip back to that crazy place.  But we made it and laughed about it, so all is well.

That's only part of the story, though.  When we got home, I still had to cook!  I had planned on keeping it simple--apple dip and a cake, and then making a casserole right before we head to my aunt's for Thanksgiving.  I really do like to cook.  And it's so cool because Korban has gotten really into helping in the kitchen.  It's sweet and I always like to see him get involved in stuff.  So he helped me add ingredients to the apple dip and we knocked that one out quickly and easily.  Then we started on the cake.  Now let me tell you, I was extremely excited about fixing this particular cake.  It's called Ding-Dong Cake and one of my friend's mom makes it and it is SO good.  I didn't have the recipe and had been lamenting that fact.  I was flipping through some cookbooks earlier in the day and when I opened the Habitat for Humanity cookbook my in-laws bought me for Christmas last year, it fell right open to the recipe for Ding-Dong Cake.  It seemed like a sign, and I was really excited about giving it a go.  Now I may not be the best cook in the world, but I've come a looooong way, baby.  Even so, this was my first ever layer cake.  This made me a little nervous, but I forged right ahead with it.  Korban and I mixed up the cake batter and baked it in two round pans.  I was able to flip the cakes out of the pan without tearing them up or dropping them, which is always good.  Now to make the filling.  The ingredients were simple: blend a block of cream cheese with a box of powdered sugar and then stir in a carton of Cool Whip.  As a side note, I consider myself a frugal person.  Which is why I purchased the large bag of confectioner's sugar as supposed to a small box.  I figured I could just measure out what I needed, save the rest for future use, and save money in the process.  Turns out my measuring skills are not so great.  So there I am armed only with a hand mixer in the face of a mountain of confectioner's sugar and a molehill of cream cheese.  Powdered  sugar began to swirl through the air and coat everything it came into contact with, including me.  Korban, who was standing in chair next to me, began to look very worried.  "It's okay, Mommy, it's okay," he said nervously.  I assured him that it was, in fact, okay, but I was beginning to have my doubts.  I knew I had put in too much sugar, but I thought it could be fixed.  It wouldn't be like to me to head into the holiday season without an appropriate stockpile of cream cheese.  So I tossed in another block.  (There's no such thing as too much cream cheese, right?)  This remedied the sugar dust problem right away, but it created a new problem.  All the cream cheese began to wad up around my pitiful little mixers.  The wad grew in volume until it began to resembled a swamp creature.  Korban's look went from "worried" to "abject horror."  He abandoned his post in the chair and ran for cover behind the counter.  He may have hid, but he was still offering encouragement, God bless him.  From his safe position behind the counter he would periodically shout "Don't be scared, Mommy!"  I tried to reassure him, calling back "I'm not scared!"  Due to the fact that I was still wrestling the swamp thing it came out "I'm not sc-a-a-a-a-red!"  Sounded like I was wielding a jackhammer.  (Felt like it too.) Not sure if I made him feel any better or not.  But eventually the cream cheese and sugar became a workable mixture, and it tasted good too.  Korban came out of hiding, and we filled and iced the cake.  I was shifting items around in the fridge to make room for it when I came across a carton of Cool Whip.  Upon this discovery, I remembered that the Cool Whip was supposed to be IN the cake.  Not a whole lot I could do about that fact then, now was there?

So we went to bed after that to rest up for the big day today.  I woke up early, excited about seeing our family today.  We slept good, and Korban didn't have any cooking related nightmares, so that is good.  The cake is sitting in the fridge in all of its Cool-Whipless glory.  And in all seriousness, I have SO many things to be thankful for.  I'm blessed beyond what I deserve.  I have a God who loves me and whose mercies are new each morning.  I have a supportive husband that I love and enjoy sharing my life with.  We have two beautiful kiddos who continue to grow and amaze us.  And we have this crazy full life that may not allow for much rest, but it sure doesn't allow for any boredom either.  Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hello! Anybody Out There?

Hi!  My name is Melissa and I recently became a stay at home mom.  I'm starting this blog as an outlet basically, to vent the thoughts that cycle through my head at random intervals.  I have a degree in social work and was working full time until recently.  I have been married for almost eight years to my amazingly cool best friend Brad.  We have two children, Korban, who is four, and Selah, who is eleven months.  Korban has autism, asthma, and immune deficiency.  So a lot of what I write will revolve around those challenges and how we attempt to deal with them.  I firmly believe it's better to laugh than cry.  It feels better, plus my face looks really ugly when I cry.  We've had some pretty big changes in our life within the past year.  Selah joined us to complete our family of four in December of 2009.  Two weeks after her birth, my dad passed away.  A bittersweet time, to say the least.  After spending much of this year spinning my wheels, my husband and I came to the realization that we simply had too much on our plates.  So after a lot of talking and praying we decided I would  leave my job and be a stay at home mom.  Basically, just getting Korban to all of his doctor and therapy appointments is a full-time job, and we were spread way too thin.  So we made the best decision we could make and we have peace about it.  I loved my job, but my family is my priority. I feel very blessed to be able to be home with my children and excited about what God has in store for us.  I started this blog after much encouragement from my family, so this is for them.  If you are an innocent bystander who happens to wander across my drivel, read on if you like it and navigate away from this page if you don't.  God bless!