Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving and Shopping

Okay I know I mentioned posting pictures from Thanksgiving but I was too focused on cooking and shopping to take any.
I had a great time with my sister and her family. We stuck to our Thanksgiving schedule and got all our stuff done in record time. Her husband and sister-in-law joke about how we have this thing down to a science. We're pretty proud of our system.
After lunch we looked through the sales papers and made our game plan. I convinced her we needed to be at Kohl's at 4 AM. We usually start at 5. The stores opened earlier and we needed to be there. I wanted a lap top and Office Max opened at 6. If we started at 4 we could be there at 6. It's all in the planning! I was seriously reconsidering that when 3:15 rolled around and I had to get up. My sister was raring to go! So off we went.
We got some great deals. Most of our shopping is done. We had to wrap presents Friday night and Saturday morning instead of Saturday because her husbands boss gave them tickets to the Georgia/Georgia Tech. game. He has a box at the stadium. That was a big deal to her so we adjusted the schedule. We still got it done and had a great time.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Cheesecakes and Traditions

First the cheesecakes: I've made 5 cheesecakes in the past 3 weeks. I made a Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecake for some of the teachers at school to celebrate fall. Plus we love to eat. Then I made Patrice my original recipe Key Lime Cheesecake when she got sick. Last week I decided to try a new recipe and made a Banana Pudding Cheesecake. I wasn't sure what I thought about that combination but I liked it and it got rave reviews at school. This week I have orders for 2 Pumpkin Toffee Cheesecakes. Two of the teachers at school loved it so much they asked if I'd make it for them to take Thanksgiving dinner. I'm a little cheesecaked out right now but 'tis the season. I'm sure there will be many more to come in the next month.

Now the traditions: Several years ago my sister and began creating the perfect Thanksgiving week. This is how it goes:
She's off Monday and Tuesday and cleans her house. I arrive Tuesday night.

Tuesday night we create the menu... some things are standard some new. We always try out one new dessert and make one fail proof dessert. After the menu is created we go to the grocery store (without the kids!)

Wednesday- Breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Then back home to start cooking. We mix all the casseroles, side dishes and make the desserts. Then eat dinner out.

Thursday - Take the food out of the fridge to get it to room temperature. Go to K-mart and shop at 7 Am because they are open. Come home by 10 and begin cooking. Her in-laws arrive and we have a great meal with too much food. Then it's time to scope out the sales papers and make a game plan. Who has what on sale? What time do they open? What do we need? Make a detailed list with all this info.

Friday- Up at 4:30. Out the door by 4:45 0r 5. Shopping ALL day long following the list we made the day before. IHOP for breakfast around 10. Starbuck's anytime we start losing fuel.
Get home around 5 or 6. Maybe go out to dinner. Preferably crash and eat left overs.

Saturday - Send the kids to the basement and have a gift wrapping party. All the gifts bought the day before get wrapped and placed under the tree. Most of the Christmas shopping is done. Occasionly there are a few gifts to still buy. I return home late Staurday for church on Sunday and a much needed rest.

We have this thing down to a science now! We look forward to it all year long. This year neither one of us are feeling great right now but we're determined to get better before the festivities begin. I'll try to take and post pictures of our adventures this year. We are a sight to see!

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Golden Compass

There will be a new Children's movie out in December called THE GOLDEN COMPASS. It is written by Phillip Pullman, a proud athiest who belongs to secular humanist societies. He hates C. S. Lewis's Chronical's of Narnia and has written a trilogy to show the other side. The movie has been dumbed down to fool kids and their parents in the hope that they will buy his trilogy where in the end the children kill God and everyone can do as they please. Nicole Kidman stars in the movie so it will probably be advertised a lot. This is just a friendly warning that you sure won't hear on the regular TV.

The author is an atheist and his objective is to bash Christianity and promote atheism. I heard that he has made remarks that he wants to kill God in the minds of children, and that's what his books are all about. He despises C.S. Lewis and Narnia, etc. An article written about him said "this is the most dangerous author in Britain" and that Pullman would be the writer "the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed." Pullman said he doesn't think it is possible that there is a God and he has great difficulty understanding the words "spiritual" and "spirituality." What I thought was important to communicate is what part of the agenda is for making this picture. This movie is a watered down version of the first book, which is the least offensive of the three books. The second book of the trilogy is THE SUBTLE KNIFE and the third book is THE AMBER SPYGLASS. Each book gets worse and worse regarding Pullman's hatred of God. In the trilogy, a young girl becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle against a nefarious Church known as the Magisterium. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as "a very powerful and convincing mistake." As I understand it, in the last book, a boy and girl are depicted representing Adam and Eve and they kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH (which is definitely not Allah). Since the movie would seem mild if you viewed it, that's been done on purpose.

They are hoping that unsuspecting parents will take their children to See the movie, that they will enjoy the movie and then the children will want the books for Christmas. That's the hook. Pullman says he wants the children to read the books and decide against God and the kingdom of heaven.
I googled a synopsis of THE GOLDEN COMPASS. As I skimmed it, I couldn't believe that in a children's book part of the story is about castration and female circumcision.
Origins: The Golden Compass, a fantasy film starring Nicole Kidman that is scheduled to be released into theaters on 7 December 2007, has been drawing fire from concerned Christians. The film is based on Northern Lights (released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass), the first offering in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy of children's books, a series that follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels
through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears, and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I'm living in the land of stress right now. School is crazy. New mandates from the state and federal governments are causing us to change some things we do mid-year. Teaching is stressful enough without all the changes. My two best friends both have some medical issues going on. One of them is moving soon and needs to find a new job. It's a good thing. Her husband has accepted a new position. It will put them a little closer to their parents and me! I'm also planning/directing a wedding for New Year's. Every week there has been a new challenge. On top of all of that I've been really sick and unable to sleep. I'm finally feeling a little better. I pretty much lost my voice for about two days but it's back now.

I'm looking forward to next weeks Thanksgiving break. No school. Time with my sister and her family. A break from all the craziness. Shopping! Food! Family! What can be better than that?!?