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Friday, March 27, 2009

Slaughter Spring Break in Pictures

On Monday, we left Springdale for Russellville and Paw-paw's house. Jeb was obsessed with being outside and Paw-paw's tractor. Here he is looking the role of farmhand, complete with dirty face and messy hair.

The girls and their brother rode the rhino all over Paw-paw's farm. They even loved playing on the bars on top of it.

On Wednesday, we drove to Memphis and checked in at the Holiday Inn downtown. The first thing we do when we get to a hotel is 10 seconds each of bed jumping.

Estella's turn.

After check in, we took a walk downtown. First stop: Beale Street. Here are the girls next to BB King's music note. (Mommy loves BB King.)

This is my favorite picture of the bunch. The girls on Beale. Love it.

Jeb and Belle next to BB King's Blues Bar. (If you haven't tried their fried dill pickles, you're missing out on one of life's wonders.)

After leaving Beale, we followed the duck prints to the Peabody Hotel.

Jeb LOVED the ducks.

After our downtown walkabout, we took our Gran's advice and went to a local favorite bar-b-que place called The Commissary in Germantown. YUM! How could we pass on a restaurant whose slogan is, "So good yull slap yo mama?"

After dinner, we did a little shopping and rode the trolley back to Beale to hear a little blues and find a good dessert. It didn't take long for everyone to get tired, so we headed back to the hotel for bed. (Side note: Jeb woke up at 4 am, and was ready for his day. He and Matt ended up at Denny's at 5 am.)

The next morning, we woke up and had a quick Martin Luther King, Jr. history lesson then headed off for the Lorraine Hotel where MLK, Jr. was assassinated.

Here are the girls sitting beneath Room 306 and the balcony where MLK was killed.

Once the history lesson was over, we were off to the Memphis Zoo.

Estella with her panda bear in front of the elephant exhibit.

This boy couldn't get enough of the zoo. He was so happy to be there and waved at every animal he saw.

Jeb, Estella, and a scary little donkey animal.

Mommy and kiddos posing at zoo.

Daddy and kids. Isn't my husband a hottie?

Estella begged to take a picture of us. Not bad for a 4 year old.

A VERY tired little boy just before we left the zoo.

Just thought this was too funny not to include.

Headed home. We had lots of fun, but Springdale and our little house was a very welcome sight.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Suggestions, please!

I have been to Memphis several times, but have never found 'that' great bar-b-que joint. And since we will be there sometime this week for spring break, we're looking for some suggestions. If you have one, please leave me a comment. I will be checking my iPhone from there. Suggestions, please!

Friday, March 20, 2009

FNO Night. Cue angel chorus.

Tonight is FNO at church. God is so good. For those of you non-FBCS folks, FNO stands for Friday Night Out, an INCREDIBLE ministry that our church just began geared toward strengthening the marriages of young couples. Did I mention it's INCREDIBLE? The church provides childcare in a fun, safe environment on Friday nights from 6 pm to 9:30 pm for children in the 5th grade and younger. And here's the really awesome part.... it's COMPLETELY FREE!!!! The only catch is that to be 'eligible' to sign up the kids, you must attend a connection group (aka Sunday school) the week prior to the scheduled FNO. Show up for connection group=get rid of your kids (such harsh wording) for THREE AND A HALF HOURS on Friday night to spend with your husband. No sitter fees. No worries. How. Awesome. Is. That? Honestly when I woke up this morning and remembered FNO tonight, the angels in Heaven begin singing the Hallelujah Chorus. Haaaaaaaa le LU jah! Haaaaaaaa le LU jah!

I know many times I must sound like I want to sit my kids on the street corner and speed away, but let's be honest. I have three. Three that I love and adore and treasure, but I'm with those treasured little beings all the time. They need a break from me, and Matt and I need time together... ALONE. Last Friday night, Matt and I went to Ruth's Chris (Thanks, Gigi and G-Pops!!!) then perused the shops at the PH Promenade. It honestly felt like we were on a for-real date. Like a before-the-Slaughter-kids-came-along date. It was AWESOME for Matt and me, and we already have a wonderful relationship. I'm just thinking about those couples who are struggling to stay together and what an impact it can have for them. The church's decision to step up and make a difference with this opportunity is just amazing.

I wrote next month's Real Life article on the new FNO ministry and talked to several couples who participated last week. It's amazing what young couples are saying after last Friday night's FNO event. Just one night alone, together, really made a difference in their week not just between them as husband and wife, but between them and their children as well.

Tonight we're doing dinner and a movie. No Ruth's Chris.... UNLESS Gigi and G-Pops are making an offer. I'm just sayin'....

Oh, and I thought I'd share a recipe. I don't think I've ever done that on the blog before. I have some great ones, but this one just must be shared. When we ate at Ruth's Chris last week, we ordered a dessert called Fresh Seasonal Berries with Sweet Cream Sauce, and oh my.... Talk about the angels singing. It was SO good. So, knowing, I'd probably never get to eat it again... UNLESS Gigi and G-Pops offer... JUST SAYIN'!!!... I began searching for the recipe. I didn't find the exact match, but I DID find one very similar that is really really good and PERFECT for summer. Here it is.

Betsy Ross' Custard Sauce and Berries

Cleaned and cut strawberries, blackberries, raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt and milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil; stir and boil 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir a little cooked custard mixture into beaten eggs; return eggs to saucepan; stir well to blend thoroughly. Stir in sour cream and vanilla; blend well. Remove custard to medium bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving. (This will not thicken up as it sits. Get it the consistency you like and remove from heat. Not too thick and not too thin.)

I serve layered in a clear glass or bowl. Sauce. Berries. Sauce. Berries. Maybe garnish with mint leaf. Your guests will be impressed! (The picture is the Ruth's Chris version.) HAPPY FNO EVERYONE!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So I think I have totally redeemed myself. Monday night, we had Matt's parents over for dinner. This afternoon, I finally got around to the dishes, and there was a PILE of them. I walked up to the sink and looked from the pile to the dishwasher. From the pile to the dishwasher. From the pile to the dishwasher. I almost panicked and walked away. But instead, I made a commitment to myself that, today, the dishwasher would not defeat me. I. Could. Load. It. Strategically. And. Effectively. I was on a mission.

I needed to get all these....

Into this....

After several long minutes of mounting frustration, exhaustion, confusion, and near failure, I once again came close to simply walking away and saving them for Matt whose dishwasher loading skills are unmatched. However, I persisted. Even when this guy...

...who was sitting next to me in his high chair left me a little surprise in his diaper that made it near impossible to breath in the kitchen, I pressed on. (Dang those scrambled eggs.)

And here's the final result. Now, please don't look too close. There are some questionable arrangements, but still... not bad for me.

Husband, I patiently await your apology for that hateful post not so long ago when you bashed my dishwashing abilities. At least in my mind, I have totally redeemed myself.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I am a penguin.

Sigh. Long day over. How I love my three children, but sometimes....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday Morning Blog-Worthy Happenings

Two blog-worthy events have happened this morning, and it's only 11:15 am. The first... Jeb and I got out this morning for our Thursday coffee at Starbucks. He wasn't really in a car seat mood today, and immediately demanded, "Cuee." (That's Jeb speak for 'cookie'.) So, I hand him a Vanilla Wafer, and not a mile later, he demands another. I tried to feel back (you know the one hand on the wheel/one hand searching on, around, everywhere for whatever the baby just dropped move) to find the one I just gave him but couldn't locate it. So, I hand him another cuee.

Then as I go to get him out of his car seat at Starbucks, this is what I find. Bless his baby heart. Oh, Son... seriously? You couldn't feel that?

The next 'funny' thing.... well, not so sure you can call this funny. More sad, maybe. Unbelievable. I received a text message from my husband this morning. The following is the message in it's entirety, unaltered, exactly how I received it.

"Park nder the oning."

Here... I'll add the picture for proof. (Actually, after looking, the one above it is funny, too. He's the messages in white.)

Because I know him so well, I FINALLY figured it out. Anyone want to take any guesses and play the "What Was Matt Trying to Say" game? There are no prizes, by the way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Slaughter Girls Q and A

Today my girls were having a conversation in the kitchen about what "Mommy likes the most." I listened for a while, then decided to ask them some questions about what they 'know' or 'think they know' about Matt and me. The answers were so funny I had to write them down. The following is the list of questions and the girls' answers verbatim. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. (Just for clarification... there was NO PROMPTING involved!)

1. What is Mommy's favorite thing to do?

Belle: "Lovin' on Daddy." (Didn't see that one coming.)
E Dru: "Writing on the computer."

2. Where is Mommy's favorite place to eat?

Belle: "Chili's."
E Dru: "Chili's." (Both right.)

3. What does Mommy do best?

Belle: "Fix my hair."
E Dru: "Put bows in our hair." (I've clearly missed my calling.)

4. What does Mommy do worst?

Belle: "Cartwheels."
E Dru: "Cartwheels." (As you can imagine this answer is very strange to me. I can't even recall attempting a cartwheel since maybe jr. high.)

5. What drives Mommy crazy?

Belle: "Daddy's silliness." (So true.)
E Dru: "When we scream." (So true again.)

6. How old is Mommy?

Belle: 23 (Love it.)
E Dru: 16 (Awesome.)

7. What does Mommy not like?

Belle: "Riding bikes."
E Dru: "Me and Belle being mean to each other."

8. What is Mommy's favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Belle: "Mommy cereal." (AKA Cinnamon Pecan Special K)
E Dru: "Grapefruit with Splenda." (Love this, too.)

9. How long did Mommy go to school?

Belle: "10 years." (That would put me completing 9th grade only. Awesome.)
E Dru: "100 days." (Sweet Drusy.)

10. What did they teach Mommy in school?

Belle: "Math. Sewing. Plus and equals. A little science." (Oh, how I have failed you.)
E Dru: "Coloring. Mathing." (Ah, to be good at mathing...)

11. Is Mommy very smart?

Belle: "Yeah. You know how to do all that famous stuff."
E Dru: "Yes because you don't yell that much." (Great.)

12. Is Mommy a good mommy?

Belle: "Yes. All the time. Well, sometimes. No, all the time. Ummm. Can I just say sometimes?" (I did not ask for elaboration.)
E Dru: "Yes, and you love it when we listen to you." (Yes, I do.)

1. What is Daddy's favorite thing to do?

Belle: "Just sit around on the couch." (Again, no prompting involved.)
E Dru: "Drive." (Laughed out loud.)

2. Where is Daddy's favorite place to eat?

Belle: "Chili's like you."
E Dru: "Fun City." (A girl can dream.)

3. What does Daddy do best?

Belle: "Sit around on the couch."
E Dru: "Eat oranges." (I PROMISE these are not rigged.)

4. What does Daddy do worst?

Belle: "Cartwheels." (Again, with the cartwheels...)
E Dru: "Sing." (BINGO!!!)

5. What drives Daddy crazy?

Belle: "When he can't sit on the couch."
E Dru: "When we scream."

6. How old is Daddy?

Belle: "20."
E Dru. "17."

7. What does Daddy not like?

Belle: "Cleaning up." (I love this child.)
E Dru: "Honey Nut Cheerios."

8. What is Daddy's favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

Belle: "Any cereal."
E Dru: "Cinnamon toast."

9. How long did Daddy go to school?

Belle: "5 years." (At least I got 10.)
E Dru: "Ummmm... 100 days like you did."

10. What did they teach Daddy in school?

Belle: "Just math."
E Dru: "How to scribble." (Again, laughed out loud.)

11. Is Daddy very smart?

Belle: "Yes because he married you." (Brilliant child.)
E Dru: "Yeah. He lett-ed me get a toy." (I'm really going to have to work on past tense verbs.)

12. Is Daddy a good daddy?

Belle: "Yes. He only sometimes gives us spankins, but he's still perfect." (Awww.)
E Dru: "Yes, he always is good." (I agree, Sweetie.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Babies in Blue

The task of getting them all together in one picture was much bigger than me.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

"Strategy" at Its Finest by a special guest blogger

My wife thinks that I never read her blog, but I do. And I always love what she writes. After reading her last post I couldn't help myself. (Babe you really should think about changing your password.)

So tonight while she is gone to the gym I thought I would have a little fun and show all her blogging friends "strategy" at its finest. Please pray for her and her dishwasher loading skills. (She really has none, and I not really sure praying will help. But with God all things are possible, right?)

Maybe if you could just help me explain that cups go on the top rack and bowls/plates/pots go on the bottom rack. Or that if you put a bowl and/or cup facing up it will not get cleaned. I have attempted to explain this for 8 years, but I am not having any luck.

Despite your lack of dishwasher loading skills, I love you more than words can describe! Thanks for all the great things you do! You are the best wife ever! I mean it!


I had two epiphanies over the past couple of days. The latter much more profound that the former.

First, I now realize why I can't load a dishwasher. (And I SERIOUSLY cannot load a dishwasher. It's actually puzzling how absolutely horrible I am at it.) But now I know why... I am HORRIBLE at strategy, and loading a dishwasher is completely strategic. 'If I put this bowl, here, that plate won't fit. If I put these glasses here, there won't be room for that pot.' It's all strategic! I can't think five steps ahead. My brain just does not work that way. It's why I sucked at geometry... dang those proofs! It's why I suck at checkers and Connect Four! I stink at strategy. See, Matt? I knew there had to be a reason. Now you know.

And my second epiphany was this.... I discovered that many times when I stress and freak out over deciding what to do about a dilemma or situation, the answer is usually staring me right in the face. And the following memory is what brought on this discovery. Before Matt and I got married, I was living alone in my apartment, and my cat woke me up 'meowing' at 5 am. I got up to see what was his problem and stepped on something cold and wet in the middle of my carpet. Immediately I thought, 'hairball puke.' (If you have a cat, you totally know what I mean. And if that just grossed you out STOP READING HERE.) I was pretty repulsed and totally unprepared for what I saw when I turned on the light. Upon closer inspection, I realized it was not hairball puke at all, but a bloody, headless, cat-spit covered mouse.

I. Freaked. Out.

I dove into the bathroom and began scalding my foot with hot water and soap. After I was sure I was de-moused, I looked back into my bedroom, and there it was. Still laying there--my cat still proudly prancing around it. It's irrational, I know, but I could not think of what to do next and was on the verge of panic. I reached for my phone and called my Grandma, knowing she'd be awake at 5 am. In my horror-stricken, way too fast voice, I told her, "Grandma, Tuffy just killed a mouse, and there's blood everywhere, and I stepped on it, and I washed my foot, but it's still in the floor, and it's so gross, and I don't know what to do!" And I so clearly remember her calm words, "Well, Honey....Get rid of it." What wisdom. What insight. Get rid of it. Of course. Bloody, headless mouse in my floor. Must go away. Brilliance. But in my crazy panic, I didn't even see the answer, though it was staring me in the face.... (Well, not really, the little thing had no head, so it couldn't actually 'stare' at anything.) You get the point. Recently, I feel the same way. A dilemma has been plaguing me, and instead of just doing the right thing, my emotions have been blocking me from a clear answer. And it took a dead mouse to make me see. Thanks, Tuffy. R.I.P.

(I almost can't bring myself to look at this picture, much less post it. But it's just too relevant considering my frog/mouse phobia. Have. You. Ever. Seen. Anything. More. Terrifying?????!!!)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thanks, Mr. Geisel--UPDATED

(***THIS JUST IN... Belle came home yesterday with the news that she won the 'craziest hat prize' for her k-5 class. She was ecstatic. Her actual prize was a free ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. (She is holding up the coupon in the picture below.) And yes, next to her is the Cat. I must say I am so proud of her for remaining calm and collected... much more than her Mommy would have been able to do in the same circumstance. I. Do. Not. Like. Costumed. People.)

I also threw in a picture of her class's 'crazy' pose. Please note my child's face.


In celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday, Shiloh made today 'crazy hat day' for the kids. Belle was so excited this morning to go to school with our handmade creation. (ie Ribbons and a plastic Tinkerbell doll tied onto one of E Dru's hats. Absolute creative brilliance.) She also took a Dr. Seuss book with her to school--her favorite, There's a Wocket in my Pocket. We have a few others in our book collection, but my poor kids are suffering from my Dr. Seuss illustrations phobia. I love the words, but those darn characters are just spooky. I distinctly remember being in kindergarten and not wanting to look at the pages of the book while our librarian read Cat in the Hat. That cat and those kids and that fish that never stayed in the bowl and the thing people... little too much for a kindergartner. To this day when my girls pull out those books to read, I still cringe a little. I mean, come on.... If this big scary cat came walking in the front door while your parents were gone, you'd never recover from the trauma. I mean, are those toes or hair or what? Oooo. Shiver.

Anyway, here is a picture of Belle before she left for school this morning. (And yes, I made SURE today was crazy hat day. Can't afford to repeat this.)

And this is my shout out to Mr. Ted Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. His illustrations may still freak me out a bit, but he is such an interesting, insightful man to read about. He had lots of very wise things to say, but I love this one.... His final line in Oh, the Places You'll Go, his final book, reads, "You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!" What an awesome challenge to leave for generations of kids who still adore his work... my kids included.