The remains of the day

I’m curious. What do you find in your cup holders at the end of the day?

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A little nutty

Gosh, it must have been around 1987 when my mother was in her Pecans de Resistance phase. She is a very creative woman and a fantabulous cook. While I cannot imagine what gave her the idea to flavor and toast pecans and sell them to her friends, she did and they bought them, and they were wonderful.

So I had this bag of pecans in my freezer, just sitting there, minding their own business, oblivious to the notion that they were about to be mixed with luxurious butter, brown sugar and cinnamon and take a ride under the broiler until their toasty goodness reached its peak.

Cooking is kind of like writing; I never really know when a memory is going to come up, or something jump to the forefront of my mind and make me decide to go to the kitchen and create. I don’t know why I decided to make this decadent snack on this particular afternoon. Perhaps it was because my grown-up Christmas tree had dredged up more nostalgia than I would like to admit. Perhaps I was just bored and when I’m bored, I cook.

This is not great for the waistline, mind you.

Whatever the reason, the pecans were delicious and they were fun to make. I would share the recipe with you, but I have no idea what I did, and in what proportions. It’s a problem of mine. One that Lynn has chided me over more times than I can count. When I’m in a creative mode, sometimes I just throw and taste, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. This time it did.

I realize there are many, many versions of this recipe floating out there, and most of them better than mine. But sometimes, the one you come up with yourself is just the perfect one, especially when it brings up sweet memories.

I wish you all sweet memories tonight.

My grown-up tree

The Saturday after Thanksgiving. I braved Garden Ridge again, this time, alone. Since hubby bought us a new tree yesterday, I needed 2 more strands of red bead garland and some more ornaments. Yay, me!

What a lovely day it has been. Got the tree finished, the stockings hung. And now chicken is thawing because there are no more leftovers.

Jax has a cousin over and they are intermittently playing Xbox and dreaming up things they want for Christmas. I have been jotting them all down because invariably, when I get ready to shop for Jaxon, I’ve forgotten everything he told me.

Here is my tree this year.

It is a foreign tree to me as it is the first time ever I have had white lights. I just love colored lights, they feel like Christmas to me. As do the funky ornaments and silliness like jalapeno lights. I think it is something leftover from my childhood. I got stuck somehow in the Christmas of an 8-year-old and never grew up. Lynn graciously just rolled with me for all these years, never pressuring me to grow up and put up an adult tree. He let me take my own sweet time until I was ready to enter the adult Christmas world.

So Christmas of 2010, I am officially a grown-up. Maybe the fact that I spend more money covering my gray hair than on the electric bill should have clued me into this fact. But at least now maybe I will stop shopping in the juniors department and wearing Bonne Bell Lip Smacker.

The man with the turkey sandwich

I absolutely love the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. It’s such a great time to relax with family, to gorge on leftovers, to brave the mall and the movie theater, and just escape the grind for a few days. As I sit here in the family room, my Christmas tree is up and lit and beautiful. It’s still naked, but I will get it decorated tomorrow. Today’s task was just to drag it out of the spider webs and get it set up. I wouldn’t want to work too hard on my day off, now would I? (I did manage to move between the fridge and the microwave a few times.)

With all this free time on my hands, I’ve had a chance to take a breath and really be thankful for my life. I have a big, loud, goofy, wonderful family, I  have a precious little boy who is an absolute joy, and I have the husband to beat all husbands. A husband who braved Garden Ridge with me today, a husband who loves God and me and Jax, and a husband who makes me turkey sandwiches.

What?

It was the day after Thanksgiving of 1994. I was babysitting my niece Caitlin at my sister’s house. This guy I was extremely interested in called me and asked me what I was doing. We chatted for a while, and then I made a request of him, the first of many . . . would you bring me a turkey sandwich? And the amazing thing is, he did. Sixteen years and lots of hurdles later, he’s still bringing me turkey sandwiches. Thanks, babe. I don’t know what I would do without you!

May you all have someone in your life who will bring you turkey sandwiches.

The hands

. . . To Wives and Mothers

So I’m sitting at my desk this morning, hands on the keyboard. And I looked at them. Really looked at them. Do you ever really look at your hands? They can tell a lot about a person.

My nails are short and unpolished. My cuticles aren’t in the best shape. I see what I think might be an age spot, God help me. I see a wedding ring that’s been on my finger for 14 years. A little farther up is my watch, which my husband gave me this summer when we went on a cruise. Our first. I treasure it.

My skin doesn’t look like it did when I was twenty. But my hands have been through a lot. They’ve been a wife, they’ve been a mother, they’ve been a homemaker. They’ve been a hard worker. And they’ve been glue to hold everything together.

How many times have you come home from a trip and your husband and children are hungry and naked, hugging you, begging you to never leave them home alone again?

Moms, wives, keepers of the home, I applaud you today. You are the heart of the family.

Tomorrow when you are about to sit down to your Thanksgiving table and someone “blesses the hands that prepared the meal” . . . receive that blessing. You ARE blessed. God has entrusted you with the heart of a family, the love of children, and the devotion of a husband. You are a crucial part of your family. You cannot be replaced. You are so very valuable.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Enjoy your families this weekend. And thanks for reading.

Sushi rolled

So our Betta fish, Sushi, met his maker today. I don’t know why, we didn’t do anything differently, I guess he just swam his last lap. Jaxon was not sad. In fact, he was rather interested in flushing him down the toilet. He has seen it in movies and always wanted to do it.

Do we get another one?

Do we pretend it didn’t happen? Pretend he didn’t die? Keep on living ignoring the fact that Sushi is no more?Do we quickly replace him with another one just like him? Do we hurry to make things exactly the same? Or could we possibly count this as a blessing? Do I have to take on another fish? Or should I go further down this road; buy a real tank, more fish, etc.?

Have I asked enough questions?

And how does that make you feel . . . ?

I’ll stop now. It’s been a weird day.

Jaxon said what?

So we are driving home from school today and I had this bottle of water in my cup holder.

I am always thirsty on the way home from school, I guess it could be due to the very salty, unhealthy lunch I had a few hours before. But today in particular, when I reached down for my water, my very observant and highly intelligent nine-year old said, “Mom, don’t drink that! It was warm today and that water has been sitting there for hours and germs breed in a warm environment!”

I put the bottle down and asked him to elaborate.

That was my mistake.

“You see all those little bubbles in there?” He said.

“Yeah.”

“That’s because all the germs have been farting.”

My one and only

This is my child, my one and only. He is nine years old, going on 20. I snapped this picture today after I had taken him for a haircut, and I was stunned how old he looked. My baby is growing up.

It seems like yesterday that he looked up at me mischievously and said, “I poke you eye!” He would point one little finger at me while he said it, it was hilarious. This kid was a character, still is.

I know it’s said, that every mama crow thinks her baby is the blackest. Well, I think my baby is the coolest. He is so much cooler than me, it’s not even funny.

He’s not into girls yet, he still prefers Xbox. But what he is into that makes my heart happy is me and his Dad. He still thinks we are pretty great and I’m so grateful. I pray he always feels that way.

You know, people say things like, “Enjoy your kids’ love while you can because when they’re teenagers, they’ll hate you.” That doesn’t have to be so. Lynn and I talk about this all the time because we always want Jaxon to feel safe to talk to us, to tell us anything, and to know that we are in support of him. And we want him to develop the gifts and talents that God has given him, knowing that those gifts and talents my not be like ours.

I don’t know exactly what God has in store for my son, but I know it’s going to be great and I want to do everything in my power to create an environment where he will flourish and become the man that God designed him to be.

Kids are like little seeds, and you just can’t tell what they’re going to grow into by looking at them. But by nurturing them, loving them, watering them, filling them with the Word of God and the love of God, you are preparing them for a brilliant future.

I ain’t lion

Jaxon painted this in art class. I ain’t lion. I think it’s totally brilliant. He said it was supposed to be a lion, but I think it looks kinda like a baboon. Or maybe a mask of a lion, like the kind the guys in the Lion King musical run around in. I don’t know, but I think it’s cool.

There is no point to this post. I just wanted to share the artistic brilliance of my son. Thank you. I have to go to church now.

Happy Friday night to you all.

You’ve got something to say

I’m a writer. A novice, for sure, but a writer nonetheless. I have written in the Terry and Jackie Mize voice for over a decade, now I’m learning to write in the Richard and Lindsay Roberts voice. And for the last two months, I’ve been finding the Juli Mize voice here on this blog.

I am so blessed to be able to put pen to paper for these two great ministries. Both of which are all about helping people, getting them saved, set free, and victorious in life. And while all of us say things in different ways, our hearts are the same. We love people, we feel called to the ministry, and we are contributing in our own way. Dad doesn’t preach like Terry and Terry doesn’t preach like Dad. Lindsay and Jackie have two very different voices, but they both bring a life-changing message and are a tremendous blessing to whomever they preach, especially women.

Not everybody can preach, not everybody can write, not everybody can sing, or cook or dance. But everybody can do something, and they can do it in their own voice.

Find that voice and speak in it, write in it, decorate in it, cook in it, sing in it, dance in it, help people in it. However you do it, you’ve got something to say.