23 December 2012


The pecan crop this year is CRAZY. We can't get the yard cleaned up because we keep getting distracted by the pecans on the ground. I guestimate that we've harvested around 100 lbs so far (from 2 ~60 year old trees) and we might not be done. We've given away many goodie bags of pecans to some friends and teachers as "Thank You" gifts and the recipients all seem so grateful.  I checked out the prices of pecans at the store and I can see why at $8-10 a pound. We still haven't made that pecan pie, but soon...

Shelled vs. Unshelled

Also, all of our original lady birds stopped laying a few months ago as the new gals starting laying. We thought it might be the stress of Ozzie because he stressed us all out. About 6 weeks ago, Norman passed an ordinance allowing residents who have average sized lots to have up to 4 hens and no roosters. I was so happy that the ordinance was updated so that more folks could have urban chickens, but it left us non-compliant with Ozzie. We were not surprised as the mayor lives across from us and she was probably tired of hearing his constant crowing. So anyway, Ozzie departed about a month ago and life in our back yard is so much more relaxed.

The hens are more social with us and I can rake leaves and tend to chores without fear of being attacked unprovoked. I was hoping and praying that my Easter Egg hen would start laying again and she did!

Easter Egg Layer is Back!

It's nice having a flow of food coming in from the bag yard again. We are planning to set up a few more garden beds soon so we'll have more things to harvest next year. Any ideas on what a family of 5 absolutely must have in their garden?

22 December 2012

Feeling Crafty

The other night we personalized our stockings.

Give Me an "A"

One of Emi's classmates gifted everyone in class (and a few of us parents) with the coolest snow sleds around. We might have to try our hands at creating something similar soon!

Cute Package of CHOCOLATE!

And while we're not huge fans of gingerbread, we wanted to create something yummy from something yummy. So we went Scottish...

Confectioner's Construction

We had a Scotch Shortbread base and pitched roof which we had to change to a flat roof in the end (bad design). It was a yummy disaster...

Scotch Shortbread Shack

Engineers, we are not!

Scotch Shortbread Shack

18 December 2012

In My Life

You Decorated My Life
True Dat

Getting Full Under the Tree

Festive Book Bag

Peace Be With You

We've been super busy and super tired from being busy lately. We spent an evening at Barnes & Noble, attended a Dirty Santa/Ugly Sweater Party, Christmas shopped and made a few decorations during the past few days. Tonight we decided to punt the scheduled Adventivity (actually we rescheduled it) in favor of Pizza and a Movie because we are so drained. Looking forward to some much needed down time...

Hope you are taking it easy in the midst of all of the craziness that can be this holiday season!

12 December 2012

Catching Up

Last night for our Advent-ure we went to Grandma Babe's and Grandaddyo's for dinner. Special family time during the week and it was a nice time to catch up. I didn't get any pictures but I did fill up on Chicken Enchiladas (yum!)

Tonight we did some Christmas connect the dot and word find activities with the kids and Emi read some related Bible verses. It was a departure from the food and TV adventivities but we really want them to know the true meaning of Christmas.

Love my family!

09 December 2012

Morgan Adventures

The last few days have been crazy busy with Christmas parties and programs.

Thursday night we went to a friend's church to watch a cool Christmas program.

And Friday night we went to Emi's basktetball team's Christmas party.

Synergy Girl

Saturday we spent a fair amount of time on the road, at a family reunion, at basketball games and back home. We made our rounds and it was nice to see everyone.


Today we slowed things down a bit and tried to get ready for the colder weather. Brrr

05 December 2012

The Lights, the Lights, the Lights, the Lights that Light the Lights* (aka Advent Day 5)

* Lights by Grasscut featured on the K-Mart commercial.

Tonight after dinner we went to the Downs Family Christmas light show like we did last year. Only this time we didn't get the kids ready for bed and then pretend like we had to run out to their PeePaw's house to pick up a forgotten item.

04 December 2012

Advent Day 4

Tonight after dinner (lasagna!) and baths, we forced the kids to go way back in time (before their mom and dad were even born) to watch the stop animation classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Emi complained about it at first, at how long it must have taken to make the movie, but she settled in after a while. It's a classic and we wanted to keep things low key tonight (read: we were tired already).

I can't believe there are only 21 days until Christmas! This first 4 days of December have flown by...guess we better get a move on with those purchases!

Hope you are getting into the Christmas Spirit!

Shades of Grey

No, not the book, you dirty birds! (Although I do have it reserved at the library.) 

So I think I found the perfect grey boots - the ones that I was in search of while in Manhattan a couple of weeks ago (and in Oklahoma for the past year).

Now, mama's getting into the Christmas Spirit!

I wasn't even looking for them...and they were 25% off with free shipping when I put them in my cart. Score! Now all I need is that elusive giraffe scarf and some various colored jeans and I'll be set! (for now)

02 December 2012

Advent Day 2

Today was a gorgeous day! We spent most of the day outside in the back yard raking leaves and collecting pecans.


We collected a bucket of pecans and bagged up several bags of leaves before the kids started playing in the piles.

Playing in the Leaves

(They helped bag up some leaves first.)

And I gave the lavender a "haircut" so I could replenish the greenery on the old Peace Wreath.

Lavender Wreath

I considered making a Rosemary wreath but I decided to work with what I have....I'm very pleased with the results.

Lavender Wreath

Emi cooked up some Hobo Packs to go with our sandwiches for lunch.

Making Hobo Packs

Hobo Packs

While the kids napped, Scott and I wrapped gifts....and then later we did the Advent activity.

Nutter Butter Reindeer
Nutter Butter Reindeer

01 December 2012

And the Countdown Starts...

I'm finding it hard to believe that today is the first day of December! It's balmy outside and 2 of my kids were in shorts today. It was almost amusing for me to be at Petco getting a sweater for my littlest "baby" today but this lovely weather isn't bound to last.

We didn't get the Advent calendar filled with activities last night and we weren't sure what we were going to do for the activity today. Luckily we had some supplies given to me by my sister yesterday to make a sweet treat and save the day.

We made pseudo cake pops tonight with doughnut holes, frosting and sprinkles. The kids loved it!

Cake Pops
Thanks, Aunt DeeDee!

28 November 2012


v. to fly (Italian/Latin)

Last week Scott got some stuck CDs out of the Disco for the first time in maybe 2 years. The magazine was being held hostage by the changer and the player wouldn't recognize or play the CDs. ;.(

Here is what we found in there:
  • Legend - the best of Bob Marley, disc one
  • The Beatles LOVE
  • 50 First Dates soundtrack
  • My beloved Gipsy Kings Greatest Hits CD
Sadly/surprisingly enough we didn't find my Santana CD. ;.(

Now back in 2004 I fell in love with spanish music and dancing and food after a week in Miami.  I dragged my husband and friends to ballroom dancing where we learned many dance steps that none of us have probably used since then (except for when I was doing Zumba).

A few months later, my good friend Bob gave me the Gipsy Kings CD, and while I didn't understand most of the words being sung, I was moved by a couple of the songs on the CD. Specifically Volare. It was such an uplifting song and I found it hard to sit still while listening to it.  

This week I was reunited with it and I have listened to at least 17 times in the past 2 days! (And several more times while translating it this evening!)

I didn't know exactly what it was about the song that moved me - probably the passion in the singers' voices, but tonight I know. I did some research like I did with other songs that have touched my soul. (La Mer, Usuahay) and here's what I found.

"Volare" was originally called ""Nel blu dipinto di blu" (English: In the Blue, Painted Blue) and was written and sung by Italian singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno in 1958. 

The Gipsy Kings really do this song right...and they were cool enough to leave the chorus in Italian.

Volare (Fly)

Pienso que un sueno parecido no volvera mas (I think, that a similar dream will not return)

Y me pintaba las manos y la cara de azul (I was painting my hands and face blue)
Y me improviso el viento rapido me llevo (and suddenly  fast winds lifted me up)
Y me hizo a volar en el cielo infinito (and made me fly in the infinite sky)

Volare, oh oh (Flying, oh, oh!)
Cantare, oh oh oh oh (Singing, oh, oh, oh, oh!)
Nel blu dipinto di blu (In blue, painted of blue)
Felice di stare lassu (I'm happy to be up there)

Y volando, volando feliz  (And flying, happily flying)
Yo me encuentro mas alto (I found myself higher)
Mas alto que el sol (higher than the sun)
Y mienstras que el mundo (and while the world)
Se aleja despacio de mi  (moved slowly away from me)
Una musica dulce Se ha tocada solo para mi (A sweet music was playing just for me)

Volare, oh oh (Flying, oh, oh!)
Cantare, oh oh oh oh (Singing, oh, oh, oh, oh!)
Nel blu dipinto di blu (In blue, painted of blue)
Felice di stare lassu (I'm happy to be up there)

This song made my heart soar before I knew the words. It also made me want a Chambord margarita by the pool. Please give it a listen and let your heart soar!

24 November 2012

Nuts for Fall

More to Come

Bumper Crop

The leaves are falling and so are the pecans. These 2 trug tubs have been filled to the brim and we've given away a few gallon sized bags to friends and family already. Love reaping the free food from our back yard. Last year we weren't so lucky. Right after I took the picture above, I spent about 30 minutes raking leaves and collecting more pecans and that red tub is now full. I'm guestimating that we will probably fill at least another trug full...

17 November 2012

Who Needs Pie?

When you've got fritters?

Today we spent most of the day in Ripley, OK - believe it or not.  Heh! Emi had a basketball tournament there.

I don't get to watch most of the games....can you guess why?

At the Game

Sure, they are cute with their curly hair and brown eyes, but sometimes I'd like to watch Big Sis for just a moment.

After we got home and I loved on my sweet little Gracie for a bit, I got busy with a Mexican themed dinner  -  chicken taquitos from the store, white beans with rotel and cilantro and home made guacamole.  I used the jalapeno I found in the garden along with a few home grown grape tomatoes and it was yummy. Even David ate some and he claims he does not like avocado.

So after last week when I fell in love with lemon sage fritters, I got the urge to make apple fritters for the family. I googled for a recipe and of course, Pioneer Woman had a recipe and so I had to try hers. Ree has never steered me wrong. We deviated from the recipe right off the bat with the omission of the 3 tbsp sugar (listed under the 1/2 C of sugar (?)) and also, we used Sunrise Apples instead of Granny Smith because that's what we had on hand.

Apple Fritter Batter

Oh, and instead of glazing the finished fritters or dusting them heavily with powdered sugar, we used a drizzle of caramel. Oh my!

Apple Fritters

I sure had some happy campers in the house tonight!

Apple Fritters