Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Explosion

It's that know, the one where you crawl into the attic or back of your closet to pull out the decorations. Each year we seem to add to our Christmas collection with ribbons, lights, and ornaments. This year we are adding three more trees. Yes, you read that right, THREE more trees.

We have a 12' tree that I am usually in charge of erecting and decorating every year, and now we have two 6' trees and a 3' tree to add to the forest. We decided to start a new family tradition of each having a tree to decorate in a theme that reflects us, our likes, and our family. Over the next umpteen years we will add more ribbons, lights, and ornaments to each tree and when the boys are married and starting their own families they will take their trees for their "first" Christmas...away from home *sniff*.

It's a silly gesture perhaps, but its a way of keeping something from their past and adding to their future; keeping a piece of holiday from home to add to their own traditions.

By the time I am finished decorating while my Mom is in town it will look as if Christmas has exploded in our home. We will not be here for Christmas day itself, but get to enjoy it until them and for a few days after when we return to celebrate with Hubs' family.

What is he off doing while I'm setting the Christmas mood? Shopping of course ;-)

What different traditions do you have for this time of year?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Black Friday Blues

Woe is me and my rush to get a good deal! I'm usually not the type to even step foot out of my house on Black Friday due to the traffic and crowds, but this year is an exception. We are strapped this year, as are many of my peers, and need to play the retailers Black Friday Door Buster's to our advantage. I have a unique case for my woes though. My oldest son is going in at 6:00 A.M. for surgery on none other than BLACK FRIDAY!

Yes, pity me. I am so excited though, not because he has to have surgery, but because a few stores that I wanted to hit are starting the sales EARLY! I will be one of 'those' people who are camped out BEFORE midnight on Thanksgiving at Toys R Us in order to get my soon too be tonsil-less...(sp) child his big gift. He wants the iPod Touch decked out, and this store will not only have it on sale, but will be giving out $50 gift cards at time of purchase! That works for me because my little guy is having a birthday two weeks from now that I can use $50!

I've been searching sites, checking fliers, and doing some military operation style investigating to find out the best plan of attack. It's not finished yet, but once my Mom gets in to town tonight we will set our game plan.

One article I came across gives 11 Ways to Survive Black Friday. There are many others that you can google if you are new to the Black Friday chaos like me. Best of luck to those tempering the masses!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Friend Post

TGIF! And today I have my friend, Brandy, as my Friday Friend!

1. Your name/nickname and how you got it.
Brandy Lea Lossett Jackson, nicknames are mom, mommy, bitch and the devil :) I don't know where Brandy came from but Lea is from my grandmother on my father’s side. Jackson, well I picked that name up when I married the love of my life. And those who know me, well they can contest to the bitch side of me and Trey says all women are the devil...Oh and I almost forgot...Brakeless Brandy!!! Well I hung around this girl in high school named Sissi (Name dropper!). Her nickname was Crash Buckley due to ALL the wrecks she some how ended up in. Then one day, I get in a wreck myself due to my brakes going out and Brakeless Brandy started. I wish I still had my jersey. Sissi do you? I sure do. I put it away, far away, with other things from my past that I never need to explain to my boys ;-)

2. Where are you from?
I live in Watson Louisiana. I am originally from Baton Rouge, LA and moved to
Denham Springs when I was 17. When I "ran off" and got married after high school, I lived in Cheyenne, WY. Boy, I will NEVER live somewhere again where it snows that much!!! We moved back to Louisiana a couple years later where we bought a house in Watson. Never in a million years did I want to live that "far" out but now, I wouldn't live anywhere else! I never thought I would miss living in a small town until I traveled the world and realized there is no place like home...I still never moved back! LOL! Although I would prefer back home to any place cold.

3. Married? Describe how you met and how he proposed.
I have been married for 13 years. I actually meet Trey at daycare when we were lil tots! We grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same high school for a couple of years. Our first date was for his senior prom. I was a sophomore at that time and actually ended up with my friends that night and not him. I was so not interested! Well he enlisted in the Air Force and moved to Cheyenne. It was then that over a year of many phone calls and hand written letters that our friendship grew into so much more. He proposed to me my senior prom night on the tailgate of his truck and put the ring on the wrong hand and I have been his ever since. So romantic huh? Yeah, he's a pretty good catch and spoils you rotten ;-)

4. Kids?
I have one daughter, Gracie. She is the best thing I have ever done! After 6.5 years of fertility and 2 miscarriages, the Lord brought her to us. She makes my world go round.
She is such the lil drama queen. Just a word to those who have no kids yet, yeah well when your mom wishes kids on you that are 2x's as bad as you, you actually get it x's 10. Being an only child means two words: SPOILED ROTTEN! I have a couple like that...I blame their father!

5. Favorites:

Beverage/Food- Diet Coke & Spaghetti
TV Show- Greys Anatomy... McDreamy need I say any more Mmmm, McDreamy!
Music- Old Country would probably be my favorite
Actor/Actress- Reese Whitherspoon & Vince Vaughn
Quote or saying- Always make sure you have on clean panties (What my mother use to tell me) And with our driving that proved to be invaluable advice!
Time of day- I am so NOT a morning person. I am a night owl. Some things never change ;-)

6. Worst fear? Why?
Worst fear would be something happening to my family. Treys a fireman so I worry about him at work all the time, and as a mother I worry about my child day and night! AMEN!

7. What is one dream you'd like to make come true?
My biggest dream is not a realistic one. It would be to have my mother back. Even though she is at home with our Lord, she was taken away from us to soon. Loosing my mom when I was 28, her 49 and Gracie 1.5 was by far the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Being a first time mom and not having your mother to turn to has been one of my biggest obstacles. Your mom is looking over you beaming with pride at what a wonderful mom you are. I know I'm proud of you!

8. If you won the lotto of $1 million what would you do?
I would pay off my current house. Build a new one (not a big one though). Buy me and Trey both new cars. Make sure Gracie’s college would be paid for and put the rest in the bank. Nothing exciting. In these economic times paying off anything is pretty darn exciting!

9. What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a pediatrician. Well yeah that didn't happen, but my life is the way it should be. Yeah, my dream of becoming a vet came true. Though I was meant to be a Veterinarian, not a military veteran...just as good ;-) LOL!

10. Any regrets?
No regrets. Just lessons learned. Well put!

BONUS: How did we meet and fondest memory of us?
We meet in high school 14-15 years ago… man we are getting old, Sissi PFFFLT! I have such a bad memory. But I remember the days we skipped school; I remember sleeping and messing around in that music class we had first hour *our teacher loved us, we both got A's; I remember your big party where people whom we didn't like where riding up and down the road hollering at us *jealous beotches; I remember hanging out at Dodge City while you where at work *sniff* Doc was the best and toughest boss I ever had, may he rest in peace; I remember we got into a huge fight, but cant remember why *you "ran away" and didn't like my advice...which you ended up taking anyway. Other than that I don't remember; I remember "running away" to your house *I forgot what we told my mom that kept her from calling yours...; I remember your dad and mom’s bad ass old car *the old mobster car and '29 Mercedes...oh yeah. But most of all, I remember how much you meant to me; that you were and still are one of my oldest, closet friends that I could always count on *that's why we are called 'friends'. You'd do the same for me ;-)

There she is ladies and gents, Brandy Lea; who also happens to have the same name as my big sister, except the middle names are spelled different. That's the conversation that started our friendship. It's he small things can make the biggest impact. Brandy and I have definitely made an impact!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Banana Nana Fofana

BANANA PUDDING TIME! I love the holidays for many reasons: time off, family, la dee favorite though is all the delish dishes we get to enjoy! One of them being THE Banana Pudding. This is not just ANY banana pudding; it's paradise. Or a diabetic coma...which ever hits first!

Here's the recipe:
1-1/2 cup of milk1 small pack of instant banana cream pudding1 small cool whip (8 oz)1 can of sweetened condensed milk1/2 cap full of Vanilla, at least 4-5 bananas and a box or two of Nilla wafers.

Mix the milk, pudding, cool whip and condensed milk, then add vanilla and stir. In a separate bowl or pan layer the "Nilla" wafers on the bottom and sides. Then layer sliced/diced bananas on top of the wafers. Pour half of the mix on top of the wafers and bananas. Add more wafers and bananas for a second layer and pour the rest of the mix on top. Smooth it out with a spatula or spoon.

Take two wafers and crumble them on top, adding a rim of wafers along the sides for decoration and taste. Voila! Banana Pudding Paradise! It can be eaten right then or it's best when chilled for a few hours. It's even better the next morning for breakfast. And even better that night for a late snack. Oh what the hell, it's good any time of day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

This is a nostalgic week for me. Yesterday we celebrated our 234th Marine Corps birthday and today we honor our Veterans. My husband and I come from WWII and Korean War era families who fought proudly in the U.S. military. His father was in both the Marine Corps and Air Force; he served at the tender age of 16 in the Korean War, one of the Frozen Chosen. My grandfather was a US Army paratrooper who landed in France on D-day; my father was a Marine; my step-father was in the Navy; my uncle was in the Army.

The years in the Corps brought me closer to my family, made me long for travel, and I found life long friends. It's hard to find the closeness with new friends that you have with childhood and military friends. There's a bond that forms with them regardless of where you come from in your civilian life. It's not easily explained, but it's known among Veterans.

My husband and I often talk about how we miss the Corps, then we see our two young sons and wonder if they will follow in our footsteps. We proudly display our Marine Corps flag just below our American flag. It's a part of who we have become and our drive to succeed to become better.

On this day I want to challenge each of you. I challenge you to seek out a veteran and thank them. Hug them. Tell them their sacrifice of service to protect your freedom, our way of life, is appreciated. It's a small task compared to the experiences those who have served and are serving have been through, but it means a lot to them.

God Bless America and thank you.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Good Monday morning...wait, *sip* ahhhh. Okay, now it's a good morning. Yes, I'm one of those people who need coffee in the a.m. to function. Well, not so much function, but to guard my patience. It may be hard to believe, those of you who know me, that I have very little patience. This happened over time. I'm the youngest of my clan, always having to wait my turn. In the service we had to have patience, the difference meant life and death. In motherhood and marriage I've lost it. I KNOW! You'd think having kids would put the P in patience, but not in my case.

No, over the years I have had to consume a morning cup of coffee in order to put on a "go ahead, it's safe to speak to me now" face. My children understand this. My hubs is usually gone to work before seeing this (key part of our happy marriage). My co-workers are lucky enough to see me after my second cup...hell, they're lucky to even see me at this point (side note for later).

The funny thing is I drink coffee to jump start my day, but I can also drink a cup at night and sweet dreams are soon to follow. My body tolerates caffeine better than most. I can also take a Tylenol PM and sit starring at the ceiling for five hours. Ambien...PFFFLT. Basket case of sleep walking while I'm awake; and yes, that is possible. It's called the zombie effect. Never, nada, nope, not gonna take that crap again.

Coffee is my morning mojo and a nice night cap. Here's some interesting coffee facts to ponder:
  • The Coffea plant is native to subtropical Africa and southern Asia

  • Brazil remains the largest coffee exporting nation, but in recent years, Vietnam has become a major producer of robusta beans

  • Coffee ingestion on average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe.

  • Coffee was initially used for spiritual reasons.

  • Studies have shown apparent reductions in the risks of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout.

The amount of bad vs. good effects of coffee is not enough to sway me from drinking it every morning. Hey, at least I don't smoke with my coffee...I save that for the afternoons when work has thoroughly run through my supply of patience ;-)

How do you get your mornings started?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday Friend Post

There's a new addition to my weekly posts! Each week (Fridays) I will be hosting a Q & A session with on of my dear friends. I have been blessed with an abundant supply of wonderful people to ask questions, not to mention the answers are...well, let's just say that some may need censoring!

For the virgin post I'd like to introduce one of my girlfriends, Ginger. She and I met roughly three and a half years ago at a friend's party. If you've read previous posts then you are familiar with some of the chaos we cause in order to have a great and memorable time. Ginger will tell a bit about herself, but you will see my response to her reply in stiletto red *evil laugh*. Let the fun begin!

Q: What is your full name, and who were you named after (if anyone)?

A: My full name is Ginger Jeanette Burroughs...well...OBVIOUSLY, my parents were fans of Gilligan's Island!!!!! LOL...Kidding! My middle name was given to me after my Grandma Jean, other than dad just loved the name Ginger.
SAI: Our nickname(s) for her are Ging, Ginger Spice.

Q: Describe your physical self:

A: Geez Sis...really? My physical self, blond-ish red-ish hair...this month anyways, hazel eyes, freckles, and a ghetto

SAI: Yeah, no. She’s a petite lil’ thing with a J-Lo butt. When you hear the song “I like big butts and I cannot lie…itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face…” That’s Ging. She has a fabulous haircut that always looks fresh, a pixie shaped face with a wicked smile. I say wicked because she has subtle vampire fangs that Twilight fans would kill for. Here’s a recent pick of our spicy Ginger and hubby:

Q: What is your profession and do you like your job?

A: I am a Massage Therapist at Transformations Salon and Day Spa. I do love my job....I waited 15 years to do it.

SAI: For those of you familiar with massages, triple the relaxation and serenity with Ging. She’s made the 15 year wait well worth it!

Q: Are you married? If yes, elaborate.

A: Joe and I have been married for 9 years, together for 16 yrs. We were high school sweethearts. We met at a favorite hangout called Garibaldi's. A popular Italian food hand out. We had a mutual friend (Bob) who introduced us. We hit it off and have been together ever since. WE have defiantly been on a roller coaster ride for 16 yrs...I LOVE roller coasters!

SAI: Awe! Roller Coaster of love!

Q: What is your home life like?

A: Our home life is a house that is to small for us...but less to clean right???? NOT! We live the typical family, school, meals, chores, homework, practices, more chores for mom, bath times, bed times, puking in the middle of the night, bad dreams, loose teeth falling out, kids crawling in our bed, head lice, more chores for mom, hurt feelings, apologies, kids who think they know more than you, kids who realize they DON'T know more than you, quiet moments(almost never but once in a GREAT while) hugs, kisses, compliments, jokes, and Happiness! Wow...and that's just this week so far!!! We love to be at home...hang out with the kids. There's a lot of laughter, a lot of drama...(4 kids and all), but it's filled with Love!

SAI: All too familiar! Granted I am blessed with only two kids and that does me in. Whew! I’m worn out just reading this answer!

Q: Kids? (Nicknames only)

A: Brand, BobBob, B: He has a very kind and soft heart and is sensitive...he definitely takes after me.

Jake, Akey, J: He is our comedian/witty...he is a funny FUNNY kid..he can cheer me up on my worst day. He gets that from Joe.

Vana, Sovina, Savey, SunShine, VanaGirl: She is our entertainer/out~going. If she could sing in her sleep, she would...actually I think she has before :) I was a singer growing up, but she gets the out going part from her daddy!!!

Jos, Josy, Love Bug, Lovie: She is the lover. She is always asking for hugs and kisses, telling us she loves, telling me how pretty she thinks I am. She is full of compliments for everyone! I think she gets that from...ME! Although Joe always compliments me too.

SAI: Not to mention how gorgeous all four of them are: Blond-haired, blue-eyed, and can charm you with a smile!

Q: Where are you from originally and how did you end up here?

A: I am originally from Elgin IL. I lived there for the first 27 years of my life. We decided to make the move to Florida to "start over". It was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my whole life, but one of the best decisions Joe and I have ever made.

SAI: I agree 100%. After all, how else would we have met?

Q: What is one of your favorite hobbies?

A: Finally an easy one. Photography!!! It is my favorite thing to do in the world. Why do I not do this as my career? I did that back in Chicago, and it became a job...I love it to much for that to happen!

SAI: As a personal reference, her pictures are amazing! She has an “eye” that puts the phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ into perspective.

Q: Have you ever been arrested? If so what for? If not, why not?

A: LOL...nope I've never been arrested...and only because they never caught me!

SAI: Um, I recall driving without lights at night, lost in your boss’ neighborhood for your company’s first Christmas party. The same company you had only been employed at for what, two days? Yeah, formal was literal, not jeans and a scarf. LOL! Not to mention the sheriff’s car that was following us and the alcohol we had stuffed in our purses. Ok, I won’t mention any more than that…

Q: Is there anything you regret?

A: I have a TON of regrets. They sneak up on me sometimes...but they were lessons in my life that I have learned from. They are the past. I spent a lot of years tormenting myself, but I had to let go of the guilt. Like I said, they sneak up occasionally, but you have to move on or be stuck. I don't want to be stuck! I have been forgiven by HIM so in HIS eyes I am free from those mistakes/regrets. Now it's about forgiving myself. It's a struggle everyday, but I'm working on it!

SAI: Something the majority of us can relate to.

Q: If you had a bucket list name the top 5 things on it that you'd want to do before you die.

A: 1. Marry Joe AGAIN, 2. Travel with Joe and the Kids (Hawaii, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Spain, Bahamas(cruise), 3. Go BACK to Hawaii ALONE with Joe for the honeymoon we never had! 4. learn to ballroom~Latin dance...and be really good at it! 5. Be Miss Fitness! Ok..really #5 would be to go on a Generations trip; Me, My Mama, and My Girls!

Q: What is the one thing you'd like people to remember you for?

A: I would hope when people remember me...they would laugh, cry, and be happy happy! I would like them to remember how much I love my family. My sensitive heart..maybe giggle remembering how I cry about EVERYTHING! Remember how my quiet demeanor never meant I didn't have a voice..I just was not as loud as everyone else was. How much I cared about my friends. I loved helping people feel better(massage therapy). How great of a photographer I am :) I guess, that I was a good person.....a big pile of mushy, sensitive, creative, loving loveliness!

SAI: *sniffles*

Q: What is one of the craziest things you've ever done?

A: Well, I would have to say back in the day getting into a fight with a chick twice my size in a bar parking lot and throwing her on top of a moving car, continuing to beat her up until my husband ripped us apart and my BF stepped in! We really were not that type of girls, but this chick was ridiculous and SHE STARTED IT!

SAI: Seriously, to know Ging, she is the quietest and shiest of my friends. Ah, it IS the quiet ones you have to watch!

Q: What is your biggest pet peeve?

A: My biggest pet peeve is farting and liars!!!! LOL!

SAI: Yeah, these two are on my pet peeve list too.

Q: What do you think your weakness/strengths are?

A: I think my strength is my sensitive heart...I think my weakness sensitive heart!

SAI: So very true.


  • Food- french fries

  • Beverage- ice water w/lemon or's a toss up!

  • Color- pink and turquoise

  • Smell- Lily of the Valley (flower)

  • Sound- the ocean or thunderstorms/rain

  • Actor- Ryan Gosling

  • Actress- Angelina Jolie

  • Book- The Bible and Captivating

  • Movie- I have too many favorite movies! Passion Of The Christ, Remember The Titans, All Rocky movies, Rudy, Titanic, The Colour Purple, Gia...ok the list goes on and on, LOL!

  • TV show- depending on the season, American Idol, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, oh this list is even longer than the movie one..haha!

  • Place to shop- Ross or TJ Maxx or Marshals

  • Website- FaceBook of course.

There she is ladies and gents! My Friday Friend, Ginger!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No More Gloating...

Remember a few posts ago when I was gloating about the perfect weather here in Sunny Florida? Well, kick me. I am sitting here sneezing my head off from the pollen/ragweed that is floating amok in the air. I never had issues with my allergies until I had kids. I blame them. I also blame this perfect bloom-all-year-long weather we have.

Claritin D is my friend. I have a very important meeting this week that I cannot go to sniffling and sneezing every time I try to answer a question. That makes for a bad first impression, no?
After my sneezing rant I did a little research:

Tomorrow for Elm/Ragweed/Grass the count will be 9.4 which on a scale of 1-10 is a tornado followed by a four day hurricane! PFFFLT!

Thursday for Elm/Ragweed/Grass the count will be...get this, 5.0! If only I could switch the meeting date.

Now where is my allergy spray when I need it? While my northern friends complain of cold and rain with some snow already, I am here to tell you it's not always sunny in the Sunshine state; but for the majority that it is there are pollens lurking...waiting to attack your sensitive sinuses at the most inconvenient time!