Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Olly Olly Oxen Free!

One of many reasons that I love David is "Henrietta Hide and Seek." It's not as weird as it sounds. Or, maybe it is. Occasionally, I'll realize that one of the cats has been mysteriously absent for the evening. Usually it is Henrietta. Gracie is easy to find - she answers to her name. Henrietta will wait silently for you to discover her, even if she has been in a closet all night. I'm unreasonably afraid that one of the cats will escape from the house. If I can't find Henrietta quickly, I begin to panic. All logic is tossed out the window. Even if no door has been opened since the disappearance, I go outside and call her name. Are you wondering yet what this has to do with David? My groom joins in the search. Every time. He remains rational and knows she is in the house somewhere. But he goes around, calling her, opening cabinets, looking under beds. He's never rolled his eyes or suggested that I might look nice in a straight jacket. He joins the search until she is found then goes back to whatever he was doing. I really like that about him.
On a barely related note, the title of this post reminds me of one of my favorite Robert Fulghum stories. You can read it be clicking here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Warm Feet

We have had several calls and requests for information on where we are registered. Erin and I are registered at Target, J.C. Penny Home, and Crate and Barrel.

With less than two weeks until the big day – I’ve made sure to wear multiple pairs of socks – just to keep the feet from getting chilly. :<)

We look forward to seeing everyone.


Friday, November 23, 2007

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The stockings have been hung by the chimney with care,
The tree has been decorated with ornaments and cat hair...

Fortunately, I am better at decorating than I am at poetry. I celebrated the annual "wrestling of the Christmas tree" today while the cats looked on. It's a good thing that I will forget that part of Christmas decorating by this time next year. The other part I'd like to forget about is crawling around in the closet under the stairs dragging out boxes of decorations. The rest of the decorating is lots of fun. Harry Connick, Jimmy Buffett, and I spent the morning hanging the decorations on the tree. It's fun to remember where each ornament came from as they're unwrapped from the tissue paper. I was ready for a nap after finishing the tree, but kept opening boxes of Christmas goodies. Apparently I have quite a weakness for Christmas knick knacks. The candles are all in the windows and Tuley's wreath is on his house. A tree from my Aunt Connie has been decked out in homemade ornaments to make the kitchen festive. A really good bride would have a plate of homemade cookies ready when the groom arrives home from work, but David will have to enjoy leftover pumpkin pie instead. :)

Happy Birthday Todd!

Today is Todd's birthday! Happy Birthday!

Happy Turkey Day!

We celebrated Thanksgiving in Monett with Steak Oscar. Yummy! Steak Oscar is a steak with crab meat and asparagus on top. The whole thing is covered with Bearnaise sauce and is delicious!
We also had picture-perfect pumpkin pie that my mom made using my great-grandmother's recipe. Last weekend at the family shower, my grandmother gave me this recipe accompanied by the story of Grandma Good's pumpkins pies. Grandmother asked her once for her pumpkin pie recipe. She said she didn't have a recipe, but Grandmother could come and make pies with her to learn how. So while Grandma Good pinched and dumped the spices into her hand, Grandmother measured with teaspoons and tablespoons and wrote everything down. Pretty soon they had 2 beautiful pumpkin pies ready to bake.
While the steaks were being grilled, David got to try out my dad's latest toy - his new riding lawnmower. It is FAST! I snapped this picture just in time to dodge out of the way. :)

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

License to Wed

We are one step closer...we picked up our marriage license today. I was sure that she'd made a mistake on the form when I saw that my age was 31. In disbelief, I turned to David. Did I turn 31 this year? Uh, yeah. Pretty much. Time flies when you're having fun! :)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Are We There Yet?

I am not the best car-traveler. David would agree. It's hard to sit for so long. I sigh, whine, and often ask the dreaded "Are we there yet?" question. It's a lot like traveling with a small child I guess. As we get closer and closer to wedding day, I feel a little like being stuck in the car. I want to get out and DO SOMETHING! Put on the dress, eat turkey, dance! As we wait wait wait, here's what we're doing to stay busy:

We received an invitation to David's niece Erin's wedding on Friday, ate dinner, and rushed our reply to the main post office. We hope to be the first response!

We spent Saturday cooking up a storm for the annual viewing of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. It was a good time, and we all ate way too much. David had smoked 20 pounds of pork shoulder. We had 10 people (I think). For those who are math-impaired, that is 2 pounds of meat per person!

On Sunday, we got a paper so we could see our engagement announcement. You can see it by clicking here. We also picked up my wedding band. Wahoo! We already had David's, so we are that much closer to being official! Sunday afternoon I went to Monett for a family shower at my parents' house hosted by my Aunt Connie. It was lots of fun! She'd sent recipe cards in the invitations and asked the guests to bring a recipe and an ingredient or utensil used in the recipe. I really like to cook (DON"T tell David!) so it was great to get all the family recipes to try. I managed to get there with no camera, so I am hoping that maybe someone will e-mail me some pictures (pretty pretty please?).

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Project for the Groom and His Faithful Assistant

Today David built boxes for dancing on at the reception. Okay...not really for dancing. They're for elevating Christmas trees to different heights. Charlotte at the Discovery Center is letting us use some of their trees, but we wanted them a little taller. Our initial discussion was about using milk crates, but like most projects at the Downing Ranch, it turned into something a little larger.
Tuley was of course tons of help - emphasis on tons. He specializes in sleeping, stepping on the project, and kicking things just out of reach.

Mean while, I was busy putting on my bridezilla routine at Wal-Mart, where they are holding our engagement pictures hostage. I should have seen this coming, but did not. I need a release of copyright from our photographer, which won't be a problem. Except, that they are HOLDING THEM HOSTAGE in the meantime. Grrrrr.....

All in all, a good and productive weekend. One weekend closer to the big day!

Must go...the faithful assistant must've worked up quite a hunger this afternoon. He's demanding to be fed NOW! :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Chewy Pumpkin Caramel Bars

Here's another wonderful pumpkin recipe. A small bar goes a long way - they are VERY sweet!

Chewy Pumpkin Caramel Bars
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup solid pack canned pumpkin
3/4 cup vegetable oil
27 caramels, unwrapped (about 9 ounces)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup chopped nuts, divided

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large mixer bowl. Add pumpkin and oil; beat until blended (batter will be thick). Spread two-thirds batter into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.

Combine caramels and evaporated milk in small saucepan; stir over low heat until caramels are melted. Pour caramel mixture over baked layer; sprinkle with 1/4 cup nuts. Drop remaining batter by heaping teaspoons over caramel mixture; sprinkle with remaining nuts. Return to oven for 20 to 25 minutes (top layer will be slightly soft). Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

It will seem like there isn't enough liquid in the batter, but it works. The easiest way to spread the first layer in the pan is to spray your clean hands with Pam and press it down with your fingers. Recipe is from http://www.razzledazzlerecipes.com/.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

It's Beginning to Taste A Lot Like Christmas

I just received menu options from the reception caterer. Yum! Reading them just makes me hungry! In recent years, my family has often forgone the traditional holiday meal in favor of Mexican food, ribs, tri-tip, or lasagna. I like that we don't do the same thing every year. Keeps it interesting. But...for the wedding reception, David and I have picked a traditional holiday meal. Something between Thanksgiving and Christmas - Thanksmas, I guess. Get your tastebuds primed - Thanksmas is one month from tomorrow!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Suit Blues

Who would guess that Men's Wearhouse does not let you order pants and jackets in different sizes when ordering a suit? David's suit was ordered based on shoulder size, so when he tried on the pants, I think I could have hopped in there with him! They were very much too big. The solution? The tailor will take the pants apart, cut a lot of fabric out, and then stitch them back together. Seems like it would be easier just to order pants in a smaller size, doesn't it? Why doesn't everyone see things my way? :)

It was another great weekend. Thursday night, we celebrated 29 years of Monett Glass with my parents at Hickok's. We were surprised to see a For Sale sign in the window of the original reception location. Glad that we decided to change the location several months ago. On Saturday, I went to a Drury basketball game with Christina (thank you Christina!). It was an exhibition game, but I was still impressed when the Lady Panthers scored over 100 points! David and I went to Branson Saturday evening to enjoy our favorite Chinese buffet. Springfield has no shortage of Chinese restaurants, but that doesn't stop us from driving a few extra miles.

Today we took Tuley to see the new boathouse at Springfield Lake and walk him on the paved trail. He walked a lot of it without a leash (shh!) just trotting along behind us. The new boathouse is very cool! Since we got back, our lazy dog has been awake just long enough for dinner. He's spent the rest of the evening snoring and farting. What a life! :)

Even with the extra hour, time flies! Hope everyone has a good week!