Welcome

Welcome to my little corner of the world. I am so honored by your visit today. My name is Kristi and I am married to my college sweetheart(I refer to him here as "Mr. Incredible"), momma to my 2 beautiful girls who are growing much too quickly, a high school computer teacher, photographer, and a gardener (at times~right now I'm growing weeds). I love to laugh, drink strong Starbucks coffee, take pictures, and be anywhere my family is. Jesus is my Savior and I try so hard to be the wife and momma that He has called me to be. I often fail but He lovingly picks me up, dusts me off, and encourages me that with Him all things are possible. Feel free to join me on this journey of faith, stop in and say hello, look around, and leave a comment~I love comments. Why "Kiki's Corner?" My nephews call me Aunt Kiki and I love that too.

Please, don't pass the turkey!


I hope that all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am still full, how about you? I don't care to see another turkey for at least another...oh I don't know...3 hours. I'm kidding, salsa and queso is starting to sound good. We had a great time with Mr. Incredible's family. My mother-in-law's home was filled to the brim with joy and laughter. If I counted correctly, there were 45 1/2 people (one little blessing named Addison to be born in 6 weeks). Of the 45, 19 were children.


Some of the Houston crew came in this year and we enjoyed visiting with them so much. We only see each other every other year. Little Violet, who is a year old, was one of the stars of the evening. She has curls in the back of her sweet little head, just like my Hannah had. Violet wore the cutest little hot pink outfit with ruffles, bows, a pacifier and holder with rhinestones, and shoes that squeaked when she walked. She loved all of the attention.


I had fun holding baby Wesley who is only a few months old. He went to sleep in my arms and I loved every minute. Sweet baby smells...tiny fingers and toes....makes my heart long a little. It seems like yesterday that my girls were that tiny.


I had fun with 2 little cousins named Chandler and Trinady. They wanted to play monkey in the middle with me (we use to call it Keep Away back in the good ol' days). They laughed and giggled until all three of us were worn out. The absolute funniest was when Chandler caught glimpses of himself in the mirror. He had to strike a cool pose every time and flex his muscles.


We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner together and then it was time for Christmas. Since the Houston group can only come every other year, we celebrate Christmas early with them. All the adults bring gifts to exchange white elephant style. No one ever wants to receive the dreaded Santa drawers; they have been passed around for several years now.


All of the aunts buy gifts for the children. My girls were blessed with these cute slippers:

Aren't they cute? The also were given matching pajamas.

It was a fun night. When we got home we continued one of our silly family traditions by watching...."Christmas Vacation." Oh, how I heart that movie. We will try to watch Elf together this weekend and finish the Hallmark movie, "A Christmas Card."

Mom and I have a tradition of shopping the day after Thanksgiving. We don't start at 4 but we are usually at the stores by 9. It's kind of our retail therapy ministry of sorts. We have such a blast together that everyone seems to notice us as we shop. Because they are...well... a bit grumpy around this time. The checkout people are always glad to see us. We try to encourage them to hang in there and they look at us like we are a warm drink of chocolatey goodness on a cold winter morning.

But, this year Mom has to work! Bah humbug! Yes, we are thankful for her job, but selfishly I am missing her today. I will be home writing yet another research paper, which is really where I need to be, but it isn't fun...it stinks! Yes, I know I am clearly 3 years old right now!

If you go shopping, let me know what great deals you find so I will feel like I was still a part of the frenzy of shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I will still be here in my robe and pajamas, sipping hot cider and trying to avoid writing my paper.

Joyfully,

Kristi


Operation Thanksgiving Surprise!

Happy Thanksgiving! I have to share this with you before I burst!
Mr. Incredible comes from a large extended family. My family is much smaller.
We alternate spending Thanksgiving between our families. This year we will celebrate with probably 50 family members at my mother-in-law's house.

While we always have a wonderful time, my heart aches for my family. My brother lives 400 miles away and with his work schedule, can only come at Christmas time. When we are with Mr. Incredible's family, my parents are alone. This makes my heart ache; it always has.

When I was talking to the Lord about it, He gave me the most wonderful idea! It was as if I heard Him say, "Sweet child, why not celebrate with your mom and dad the night before Thanksgiving then they can enjoy the left overs on Thanksgiving."

I was so excited. My sweet mom would never have agreed to this because she would want to make dinner and just have me help, but I knew that she was too busy and besides I wanted to surprise them with dinner. I shared the plan with my family and they were just as excited as I was. "Operation Thanksgiving Surprise" was quickly put into action. The only trouble was...I've never made a turkey...or dressing...or pecan pie, oh no!

Then I remembered this incredible lady named Ree...I think most everyone has heard of Pioneer Woman...and all of her wonderful Thanksgiving recipes. Using Pioneer Woman's recipes I made: turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, pecan pie, and gravy.


I also made Rachel's favorite "Do Ahead Potatoes," a refreshing Cranberry Salad, Hannah's favorite Pineapple Pretzel salad, rolls, devilled eggs (let's call them Angel eggs), and purchased a Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake.

We could hardly wait for Granny and Grandpa to come over for dinner!
Look at my very first turkey:
It was incredibly moist and so pretty too!
And here is the dining room table:
We ate dinner on my Granny's china. She would have loved this.


My parents were so surprised. It was an absolute joy to bless two of my most incredible blessings. There were three generations sitting around my dining room table enjoying sweet fellowship and a wonderful meal together. (I wish that we had taken a family picture!)
I was so worried that it wouldn't taste like I imagined it all would taste. But, it was way better...thank you Father!

I have tears streaming down my face. Life is just too short to take for granted. I am so thankful for my family and for a loving Heavenly Father who knew this child just couldn't stand the thought of not spending time giving thanks with her parents this year.


It was His Operation Thanksgiving Surprise from the beginning and I am so very thankful! What an awesome God is He!!!!


With a Thankful Heart,
Kristi

Happy Thanksgiving!


May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving!




A Tiny Tree Makeover

Hi Ya'll! I can't believe I haven't blogged in a week. Yikes!
I've been a bit busier than normal, and that is saying a lot.

We partied all week. My birthday, Mr. Incredible's Father's birthday, and Mr. Incredible's birthday... all in one week and it was a blast!

Rachel's basketball season began last week too. I just love watching my girls play ball! Hannah's season starts after Christmas.

I didn't have time to decorate on my birthday and that really got on my nerves. No time to decorate? The horror! Oh, I kid. After Rachel's game this weekend, Mr. Incredible hauled all of the stuff down from the attic. I have been forever banned. (I'll tell you this story another day.)He never looked hotter! I was so ready to get my house ready for Christmas that I could hardly stand it and he noticed!

I normally decorate the house (I save our family tree decorating for when we are all together) when my family is at work and school so as to protect them from my madness. I also like the fairy tale-like transformation that they see when the come home. That just didn't happen this year and you know what? I like it this way much better. It was fun to decorate the house with my girls while my man watched football. We had stuff everywhere and that is okay.
I am saving most of my pictures for Boo Mama's Christmas tour of homes on December 15th but I just had to share this project with you.

(I must confess, I really should be writing 3 of my last papers of the semester but I am taking a creative break and sharing it with you.)


I made this tree probably 9 years ago. I use to decorate my house in country blues and this tree looked so cute in my kitchen. We have been in our new home for almost 8 years now and I have never used this tree. It just didn't have the same look in our new house. Anyway, this year I was inspired to change it.
Here are the before pictures:




I hand painted all of the ornaments and the pot but I was tired of it.
Here are my supplies. I purchased them at my favorite store, Hobby Lobby.

The girls and I painted the pot with Burnt Umber:

And then we just had fun decorating:







I just love this fringe the I hot glued around the edge of the pot.

I heart my hot glue gun!


What do you think? Not bad for a 15 minute makeover. We felt like designers. Even Mr. Incredible thought it was fabulous!

That's one of my tackles for the week. What are you tackling?


Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Ta- Da!

Happy Tuesday to you! I have been trying to tackle the Christmas cards. We had family pictures taken in September. Sarah Green is our photographer and she did such an amazing job that it took me 2 months to narrow down my order.

The hardest part was picking out the Christmas card. I finally decided! Here it is .......

(For safety sake, I warped out our last name. The real cards will not have Sarah's name, but I am glad that they are on this one. She is a WONDERFUL photographer that we highly recommend!)




Yesterday was my birthday! Mr. Incredible's birthday is Thursday. He gets to rub in the fact that I am an older (Although we don't use that word OLD in our house anymore, right dear?) woman for 3 day!

We agreed that our gifts to each other would be our family portrait to be hung above our Austin Stone fireplace and the Christmas cards.
Here is the cake that he surprised me with:
I am way past 21. I think this was his way of saying, "I'm sorry!" :-)
My sweet girls surprised me with a James Avery Mortar board charm for my charm bracelet. We are all getting very excited about my May graduation! Thank you, Jesus!

We enjoyed a fun lunch together after church with my parents and they blessed me with a beautiful turquoise and red watch, necklace and earrings. They are beautiful!

My sweet nephews and sister-in-love and Uncle G surprised me with scrapbook paper (I was completely out after this summer's catch up month) and a Starbucks card. I'm stopping by for a treat today on my way to class.
Mr. Incredible's parents blessed me with money to buy a new cell phone. Mine has been on the fritz ever since the swim it took a few weeks ago.
I received these beautiful bookmarks in the mail yesterday. The came all the way from Singapore:
They were a surprise from my blogging friend Nancie. They arrived on my birthday. I felt so special. Aren't they beautiful?!


Okay, a few have asked about my new look. Remember, I live in Texas where the bigger the hair the better.

Okay, well here goes....



Taadaa! Not bad for an old woman, I guess! I'm still a work in progress!

What are you tackling today?

Joyfully,
Kristi


PS Snapfish is having a free ship special today. I just uploaded 50 pictures so that I can have fun with my new scrapbook paper when the pictures arrive. The code is: SHIPALLFREE You have to hurry. The offer is for today only!




Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Chi-less or The Hair-a-chi of it all!

Excuse me for a moment...while I cry!
This little bit of beauty goodness has been my bff hair tool for the past 4 years.
As of yesterday...dead to me!




Yesterday was my 6 week hair appointment. I so look forward to my visits. The ladies are fun, they put foil in my hair and I get great reception on my I-pod, I love the smells of different hair products all around. We laugh and visit. It's fun! Until yesterday!!!!!!!

I have been going to the same stylist for the last I dunno, 11 years. Yesterday she says, "Sweetie, I don't know how to tell you this...but...um...please don't hate me (that's not possible)....but your hair is starting to fall out...and it is breaking all over."


What? Am I dreaming? Stylist said what?
Then she proceeds to ask me if I have ever thought of using Murad.
Huh?


As I am fighting back major tears, she asks me if I have any stress in my life. I'm chuckling now as I type. Uh, YES, I do! And up until a few seconds ago I thought that I was handling it pretty well. Who knew?

My hair is in such bad shape, they couldn't put me under the dryer. It had to air dry. Hmmm. She told me that hormones play a big role in the life of your hair too and that I should probably check it out with my doctor.


I cried all the way to class. I called Mr. Incredible and he....laughed! He thought that I was joking about my hair loss. What woman jokes about that?!
I sought comfort in talking to the Lord and a Grande Cappuccino from Starbucks. I shared a cup with my mom and felt a little better. My Dad told me to get over it and just call the doctor and then go home and read Ecclesiastes. (He meant that in the most loving way and it's not the first time I have heard this advice).


Great! I avoided my last appointment because of the dreaded scales. Yes, I know that I am being very shallow right now, I'm not proud about it at all.
Anyway, my ob/gyn (sorry to any men that might be reading this) has this gestapo-like nurse that weighs you in and takes your vitals, etc. I think the highlight of her day is lecturing women on their weight. If she would only write down that my height is not 5'9" but rather 7'2" then we wouldn't have to discuss my BMI every time I visit! But no, Nurse Ratchet doesn't think that is very funny. I'd like to weigh her the next time I visit!

Anyway, I swallowed my pride and called his office to schedule an appointment. Good news! My next appointment is on...get this...Friday the 13th (of February)! I am not kidding.
After I told them about my hair loss and a little swollen lymph node issue, they are getting me in in just 2 weeks. Joy! At least I will be weighing in before Thanksgiving and not after. Nothing says Happy Thanksgiving like an exam. Does it?


Back to my hair stylist, we determined that I am clearly addicted to using my Chi. As of today, I am Chi-less. I have to put it away for a while. She cut off 4 inches of my hair, in order to make it more healthy. I wasn't prepared for any of this. I know it is only my hair...but it's my hair people! Surely someone can relate to my vanity issue.
I get to use these new products made out of pure gold and diamonds, they are a bit pricey, in order to revitalize my dry, aging hair.


And since I'm Chi-less, I get to try to figure out how to use this:

The name cracks me up! I don't want to look like I've just rolled out of bed or that I can't figure out how to use a curling iron after so many years without one. But, it is a pretty pink shade don't you think?

Monday is my birthday. I'm not feeling the love.

I was feeling a bit self conscious and a little on the weepy side so I asked Mr. Incredible what he thought about my new hair style.

Honestly? He said. It makes you look old! (I wish that I were kidding!)

What???? Say that to my face!

At this moment I think I am having a nightmare so I pinch myself. No such luck!

Don't worry, he continued, it will grow back! This day just keeps getting better.

He has never said anything so stupid, I mean so unemotionally honest, before. This happened right before bed last night. Girlfriend didn't sleep very well. Would you?

So, first thing this morning I hopped in my suburban and headed for Target to buy these:

Yes, I know it is vanity!

But, when your husband says you look old, it kind of messes with your psyche!

I know that I am going on and on in this very random, vanity filled post. If you are still with me I'll wrap it up. If you need me, I'll be in my bathroom trying to figure out how to use a curling iron again and how to make myself look younger. If you have any good advice, I'd love to hear it! Just don't tell me that I look old because I may have to beat you with my Chi! Oiy!

Run Bambi Run!

I thought I would share a few pictures with you from our Hunting Weekend.
Yes, it's that time of year again.
Two out of our four really enjoy this time of year.
Here are 2 mighty hunters:

Hannah was so excited to go with daddy, Uncle G, and cousin A.
She was thrilled to be able to shoot her first buck ever.
It was an 8 point and it is bigger than the one her daddy had mounted several years ago.

They had a fantastic time. Her daddy was beside himself.
He was so excited and so proud. They brought back nearly 50 pictures of the adventure. And it really is a beautiful deer. We should have lots of deer meat in the next few days.
Anyone know of any good recipe? I hope that it tastes like chicken, but then I already know that it doesn't.
I have come a long way. I use to threaten to hang jewelry and bows from any deer head that entered our home. And now....my baby likes it as much as her daddy. Oh, the love of a mom! She is picking out her spot in the house to display the soon to be mounted deer. She can't decide between the family room, where daddy's is, or her room. Her room??? I have never seen that look in Pottery Barn for Teens. Have you?

Here is a picture of the other 2 hunters in the family:

No guns required! We had fun "hunting" bargains too. Have a great weekend!

Joyfully,

Kristi




Growing in Grace-WFW 11/12/08

"But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! Amen. 2 Peter 3:18

I love the beauty of these trees and the wisdom of this verse. We ought to be growing in His grace and knowledge every day! I have to admit that I wasn't very full of grace this past Sunday. I let someone steal my joy and it showed all over my face and in my mannerisms and to be perfectly honest, I hate to admit this, I didn't care. Ouch!

Ya'll know how busy this semester has been but how good God has been to help me with all of my reading assignments and numerous papers. Well, Monday night I couldn't write. Although I had spent nearly 10 days preparing to write this paper, the thoughts would not flow. I wrote 2 out of 8 pages in 6 hours.
My mom was so sweet to call and check on me. She asked me how my paper was coming and I told her that I was frustrated because I just couldn't write it. I said, "I think it may be a spiritual problem." The Holy Spirit kept reminding me of my behavior and my attitude. Mom lovingly encouraged some "face down on the floor time with the Lord." I so appreciate her love and encouragement.

I finally relented and humbled myself before the Lord and asked Him to forgive me for my pride and lack of showing His grace to a particular person.


Guess what?
Instantly the writing began to flow.
Hmmm...it was a spiritual problem after all. I may have only had 3 hours of sleep that night, but I felt renewed and comforted in knowing that I wasn't writing this paper alone because God was right there helping me. I found out early the next morning that mom was "on night duty" too. She stayed awake from 12 until 1:30 praying for me. Isn't she amazing? I am dearly loved!

You are dearly loved too. God loves you and I too much to leave us the way that we are and I am so thankful. I want to daily grow in His grace and knowledge don't you?
Joyfully Forgiven,
Kristi

PS Please visit my friends at the 160acre woods for more Word Filled Wednesday inspiration!

Tackle it Tuesday-Tag You're It!


Brenda at Queen of Good Intentions blessed me with this award! Thank you Brenda. I ALWAYS enjoy my visits to your blog!

And....


My funny friend Kim tagged me this week. By the way, she has a fantastic give away going on this week where you might just win this:

Go check it out. You have until Thursday to enter!


Back to the tag: I am suppose to list 15, 15 really?, things about me that I am not afraid to admit. Bear with me, I'll try to make it quick:


1. I started listening to my favorite Christmas CD's this year on October 31st. Oh, yes I did. I adore "Ring the Bells" and "Jesus Saves" on Travis Cottrell's new Christmas CD.

2. I will put up my Christmas decorations on my birthday, November 17th, like I always do. Oh, wait! That is next Monday??? Well, I may have to wait until the weekend, or maybe not! Yes, I know it is BEFORE Thanksgiving!

3. I only have one more Christmas present to buy and then I am finished! Woo-hoo!

4. I have 100 tulip and daffodil bulbs chilling in my refrigerator. I can hardly wait to plant them in my vegetable beds. I hope they look as pretty as I imagine that they will in the spring.

5. I once called my eye doctor to schedule my annual female exam. (Aren't you glad that you kept reading my list?) I told the receptionist my name and why I was calling and then I just heard laughter. I think I changed eye doctor's after that. I mean, how could I look at them in the eyes after that!

6. I received my first speeding ticket while coming home from Baylor University in my hot Fiero. I was always told that if you were stopped by a police officer to simply say, "Officer there was a huge bug on my windshield and I was just trying to get it to fly away." So...I tried it...guess what? They do not care!

7. I always dreamed of having a daughter...God blessed me with two! I am so blessed!!!

8. I can't write a blog or comment on someone else's blog without using exclamation marks...lots of them!!!!!! I can't help it!

9. I can't stand the dollup of Daisy commercials...you know..."Do the dollup...do...do...the dollup of Daisy!" Ugh!

10. My nickname from childhood was "Too Tall." A boy at school called Hannah "Too Tall" the other day and I had to smile and then tell her my story. She thought that was cool. She is only 11 and already 5'9. Keep growing, baby!

11. My first job, besides baby sitting, as a teenager was as a ride operator for the parachute ride at Six Flags Over Texas. I loved it. I saw a guy propose to his girlfriend on the ride one day. It was a cool moment! Shout out to Six Flags...it was such a fun place to work!

12. My husband doesn't take me deer hunting any more...cause I might just holler, "Run, Bambi, run!" What's the problem with that?

13. I love to wear Bath and Body Work's Vanilla Bean Noel stuff this time of year. I put some on the other night and Hannah said, "I love it when you wear that. It smells like home."

14. I sleep walk when I am extremely tired. I woke up on the front porch once. I'm glad that I don't sleep in the nude! How does anyone do that??? Melissa, do you know? ;-)

15. I Love Lucy episodes make me so happy. Vitametavegamin anyone?


Whew! Okay, now I get to tag 5 people!

I am passing on the Superior Scribbler Award to and tagging:


1. Lea-she always makes me smile. She has an amazing testimony and her love for the Lord shines so brightly.

2. Sunni-She is a fellow Baylor Bear and such an incredible wife and mother. I love to see pictures of her daughter Ava and see what's cooking at her house. She is expecting another precious daughter very soon.

3. Tracy-She is truly inspiring! I always look forward to reading about her thankful heart and her incredible love for the Lord. Her posts are always uplifting!

4. Brenda-at Queen of Good Intentions. (I know you tagged me, but I just had to return the favor...I can't help it!) I am in awe of her creativity in her decorating and in her party planning abilities. She always has something fun going on at her house!

5. Melodye-She is such a sweet, gracious, and generous lady. I always look forward to reading about her adventures in motherhood.

Joyfully,
Kristi


Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Table Manners 101-oiy!


Happy Monday to you! I am so happy to post my menu today! I missed it last week. When it was "fend for yourself night" (The Martha Stewart-wanna-be in me just cringes at this idea. I really do try to fix my family a nice meal most nights. I feel better when I think that the real Martha doesn't have 6 papers, 2 projects and 2 finals looming around the corner!) anyway...it was fend for yourself night at our house and my youngest decided to eat two hot dogs and wash it down with a bowl of fruit loops. Yes, she did. It was right then and there that I resolved to get my act together this week!

Also, there was that thing at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant Friday night that made me think that Table Manners 101 needs to be back in session.

Hannah, our youngest daughter, decided to stop eating her chicken fried chicken and have a biscuit. Instead of properly putting her fork on the side of her plate, she...I can't believe I am going to tell you this....but I wish that I had brought my camera....stuck her fork in her chicken fried chicken, straight up in the air while she nibbled, I mean inhaled, the biscuit in 2 bites...2 bites! I was mortified. I wanted to ask her, "Excuse me young lady, where is your mother? Didn't she teach you better manners than that?"...then I remembered that I was her mother...oiy!

I guess the spinning of my head in disbelief at the sight of the fork tickled Rachel's funny bone so she stuck her fork in her chicken that way too. Very funny! How old are you? Mr. Incredible burped, in my mind anyway even though he doesn't remember that, and then announced to the table that this is (picture Cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation) "G-o-o-d!" He said it just like cousin Eddy.


Our sweet waitress named Twila happened to come by and ask if we needed anything. I politely raised my hand and asked to be moved to another table. She laughed. I think she must have been watching our circus show, I mean fine dining experience. We just want to be a blessing!
Anyway, we will be holding Table Manners 101 sessions all this week while we dine on this menu:

Monday:
along with: This is how you place your spoon on your plate when you are finished with it!

Tuesday:
Turkey Club Sandwiches
Along with: How to politely inhale a sandwich in more than 2 bites!!!

Wednesday:
Italian Chicken in a Crock Pot
Along With: How to not burp at the table and say "G-o-o-d!"
(Cousin Eddy style).

Jane's Slow-Cooked Italian Chicken (from Fix it and Forget-It Lightly)
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg. dry Italian dressing mix
10 3/4 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
8 oz. of Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt
Place chicken in Crock-Pot. (I use the crock pot liners for easy clean up!) Mix dressing mix with soup and mushrooms. Stir into chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. With a spoon, lift chicken out of cooker. Place in a covered dish to keep warm. Combine cooking juices with sour cream in crock-pot. Cover and heat until warmed through. When ready, place chicken on bed of rice or noodles and pour sauce over the top.

Thursday:
Beef Stew in the Crock-Pot
with Cornbread
Along with: How to not slurp your soup...pinkie fingers out, please
(Just kidding!).

Friday:
Football Game Playoff Night
We will be eating outside....much to my family's delight!

Have a great week!
Joyfully,
Kristi

Word Filled Wednesday 11/5/08

Oh, how our hearts cry, Father heal our land!

Please visit my friends at the 160acre woods for more Word Filled Wednesdays!

See You at the Pole!

I posted this a few weeks ago but I thought it was appropriate on Election Day! I can't believe Election Day is here! Please, go vote today!!!

I certainly won't be using my blog to tell you who to vote for; that issue is simply between you and God. But, please go vote! It is our responsibility and our privilege. I voted Friday because I couldn't wait any longer. They didn't give me an "I voted today" sticker! But, that's okay.

A young man from the high school was in line behind me. It was his first time to vote and he was excited. He voted before he played football that night. I thought that was pretty cool.

Regardless of the outcome of today's vote, let's continue to pray for our country. May God continue to bless America and may we strive to be a blessing for His glory too!

Joyfully,
Kristi

P.S. Happy birthday to my youngest nephew today!!! Aunt Kiki thinks you are sooooooooo special!!!