Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving Part I and II have come and gone and not without many happy memories.
This year my Porter family joined us in Birmingham to celebrate Thanksgiving on the weekend before the actual holiday. Memaw was able to join us which was such a special treat. Thanksgiving would have been Papa Julian and Memaw's anniversary so we all want to make sure Memaw knows we love her and are able to reminisce with her about the many happy memories we all had with Papa Julian before his passing this past June.

And so, I bought a 20 pound turkey, thawed it all week, and promptly handed it over to my mother and Memaw to cook when they arrived Thursday. I prepared the sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, stuffing (homemade, every bit of it) and an almond joy cheesecake. My sister, Ellen, made a Bing cherry salad, delicious Gorgonzola fruity nutty salad, and Mama brought up pumpkin and pecan pie. The meal was enormous and perfect. We had a wonderful time. As my childhood friend Kelli once said, the Porter house is the only place where four people can be in a room and you hear at least eight different conversations going on at the same time. What can I say? I come from a chatty lot. Besides, have you ever seen such a glamorous great grandmother enjoying her mid morning bloody Mary? I love this woman.
After we recovered from Porter thanksgiving we had Little Philip's Thanksgiving party at school. We made Indian shirts and gave each child an Indian chief or princess name. Little Philip was Chief Funny Feet, in honor of his latest favorite Letter People character, Miss F. The children memorized a Thanksgiving Bible verse, Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1.
The next morning we headed up to Tennessee to be with the Moss family and all extended family for the annual Thanksgiving at the farm. The entire Smith family came up from Lafayette, including our newest member of the family Josh, who married Marietta this past summer. His mom, Viv, came as well, which meant everyone finally had a chance to really get to know her since a wedding weekend is no time for quality chit chat with the mother of the groom! Viv was awesome and fell right into the groove of the Moss family activities. While I didn't get her to chop wood with me, I did get her to go on a walk in the woods. Of course, I was also chasing my two children this entire time so I did not have the ability to capture such moments on film. Someone in the family did and I await their pictures (ahem, Hannah?). The Jim Moss family came up from Jackson, MS as well with their two newest grandsons. These poor hapless souls are all products of Ole Miss which made the Egg Bowl great fun on Saturday. See below for our triumphant pose. Nothing like a four year old picking on a ten month old!Now, a confession. On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving the zipper on my new corduroy pants busted open. Yes, yours truly had to shamefully go into Ann Taylor Loft BEFORE the Thanksgiving feasting to hand over busted zipper pants and request an exchange. Those employees are trained well to politely apologize for my inconvenience and suggest I pick out a new size 8 on the pants table behind me. If Loft employees accepted tips, she would have gotten a big one. Nevertheless, 48 hours later, with yet another table laden with 9 x 13 casserole dishes of every food imaginable in front of me, the busted zipper was forgotten.

So with good food, good company and blessings o' plenty all around, another Thanksgiving is in the books with many happy memories made. We pray each of our family and friends had the same experience and much for which to be thankful this year!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Reading and Spelling at Age 4

Little Philip LOVES the letter people. Remember them, children of the seventies? Mr. T with his tall teeth, Miss A who said a-a-choo, Mr. M with his munching mouth? Ringing a bell with anyone? Need a reminder? Go here and it may refresh your memory.

We have been using the Letter People curriculum in our 4K class this year. Little Philip knew his letters but now he is learning phonics. The result? He is spelling and reading now! Something clicked recently and now he sounds out small 3-4 letter words. Tonight he was in the tub and called me in to show me what he spelled all by himself.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Yes, camping. We went camping with a 4 year old boy and a 19 month old girl and survived. The last time we went camping Little Philip was 3 months old, at the most. While I am a city girl, I do like to get a bit of the country in my bones and this weekend's camping trip was just what I needed. Big Philip is laughing behind me, recalling me wrapped up in my sleeping blanket Saturday morning loathing the cold weather while my children were bouncing around the campsite, dodging the campfire. I wouldn't know. I wrapped my head in the sleeping bag too, except for this moment when Little Philip wanted to snuggle.
Still, I had a wonderful time and the children were enthralled with the entire experience. Big Philip took care of packing everything we needed to camp, including our food. I simply packed the clothing, and forgot a coat, sweater, fleece anything for myself. Yep, I'm that kind of self-sacrificing mother.
We had hot dogs and smores over the campfire Friday night but also, Big Philip did some foil packs to throw on the fire that were filled with marinaded sirloin tips, diced potatoes and mushrooms. This was to die for compared to the ALDI hot dogs. Glad the kids didn't ask for my sirloin tips because there would have been a serious fight.
For breakfast we had powdered doughnuts and also foil packs with shredded hash browns and sausage. The smell alone after steaming over the campfire was to die for, especially after waking up as cold as I did. Big Philip even had an iced coffee waiting for me. I think I ruined his romantic gift by asking if he could somehow grill it over the fire. "It's an iced coffee," he said.

We walked around Oak Mountain lake after breakfast, stopping at the camp playground for a spell, starting up random conversations with another family that was there camping. Then we broke down our campsite and headed home for the day, right around lunchtime. Helen slept the entire 25 minute drive back home, and promptly refused any further napping for the day. This was the only glitch of the entire experience.
We highly recommend camping for any family. Being without Internet, cell phone, and TV was just what we needed to reconnect and remember what is important in life - looking for squirrels.