Nov 28, 2010

Family, Snow Man Hats, and Shrimp Corn Chowder

Kyle and I are back home in Lindale, loading all the things into our house that we purchased/acquired this weekend. When I say acquired I mean the Christmas decorations that Kyle's mom was getting rid of and we so gladly accepted. Between the couple of ornaments from my Aunt Billie, the collection of stuff from Kyle's mom, and the things my mom has waiting for me... we'll have a full house! We may not even need to buy anything, but we'll see. This is our "make everything" decorating Christmas. So stay tuned for the process and results of the decorating to begin soon!

Also, I'm sure that many of you return from the Thanksgiving holidays dare I say 'tired' of your families... but I hope that many more of you return from the Thanksgiving loving and thankful that you, in fact, have a wonderful family.

I have a wonderful family.

And this post showcases the wonderful family I didn't get to see this Thanksgiving, and my pre-Thanksgiving trip down to Lake Charles to see them!

The Lake Charles Trip
The trip started with the ever so eventful rolling over to 100,000 miles on my Saturn! Are you kidding this is momentous... why do I not have a picture? Because I was looking forward to it for years/months/days, but in the everything of the trip I missed it! I looked down and oops, it's like 100124.

The women in my family are hilarious. Really. We love a sale, but we love to spend, we hate to go shopping, but love to 'run to the store' (for hours), we could care less about March Madness, but we will sure yell at a ref for a football game, we open our mouths for pictures, and need covers in the living room ALL the time.

This trip to the store we went looking for clear glass ornaments to paint... and somehow we got other things, spent more time, and never ended up with the clear glass ornaments? Let me let the pictures speak for themselves.

Confusing because they have Mardi Gras Decorations already out? ...yes.

This one we convinced my mom to open her
mouth for the pic! Don't you love those hats?

We could not help this. You would have done the same thing.

The real fun part of our family is that we have family right next door. Now I'm not talking about the way you call your neighbors your Uncles and Aunts because you're so close. I mean that my mom's brother and his family literally live next door, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I mean we have pavers that lead from one house to the other in case of mud.

So Saturday night we flipped on the LSU game (ULM, so it was a winning game) and all gathered around the TV, to like I said, yell and cheer and eat yummy food. But again on Sunday afternoon they were over again for Aunt Pam's famous shrimp corn chowder made by mom and of course family fun. Really you should visit us.

So here's the fam: Note Jared and Justin aren't pictured. Jared wouldn't be photographed at the moment, and Justin was sadly out of town.

Cousin Chelsey, Cousin Logan, and Sister Payton

Pay and Dad. Notice Payton is in camo,
she'd like to make sure you know it's because
she was hunting. Also note the amount of Ritz
crackers in her hand :)

Aunt Pam and Mom

Dad and Mom. this is where we realized
they were kind of matching.

This is why I love my mom. Well, one reason.

And of course all the Kingsley Ladies. :) Love.

I love my family.  And again, Happy Thanksgiving! Take time today and love your family, the ones you were born into, raised by, and even married into :)

...and get your craftiness ready for the Christmas decorating!

Nov 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Marshmallows and Black Friday

Happy Thanksgiving! 

I know I'm a day late, well two days late.  But we've been busy up here in Oklahoma.  We've been fooding for Thanksgiving, shopping for Black Friday, footballing for all the big games, and of course leftovers, rubber band wars, and marshmallow gun fights! 

You really wouldn't believe the things you can fit into two days, especially when you stay up all night shopping. So for anyone who doesn't participate in the day after Thanksgiving shopping, here's how it goes down with the Hess family:

1. Grab the ads. Get the kiddos to choose what they want for Christmas from what's on sale! Perfect!

2. Make your own Christmas list, some sale items, some not. And make copies for everyone in the room.

3. Make your gameplan! What time do all the stores open, what's the best deals, who do you have to buy for, what do they want that's on sale. Cross compare the ads, to the lists, to the plan. Figure out who's going to what store and who can grab something for you (even if it's what you'll be giving them for Christmas).

Example Plan from Kyle and Brittany:
11:30pm  - Be at Walmart, find the deals you want to grab and make sure to be at the front of the line.
MIDNIGHT - Time to grab and go mad, and run to the number 2, 3, 4 priority item on the list.
12:30 - Dash to the front register as everyone else grabs the last items and meets you in line!
1:00 - Head to Old Navy for jeans for $15 a pair!
1:15 - Leave Old Navy realizing that the line literally goes up and down every aisle and is 3-4 hours long!
1:45 - Head to Walgreens for wrapping paper at 1.99 a roll plus 1 free rolls! Then realize that has been the sale for like 5 days, oh well.
2:15 - Go by Norman's second Walmart looking for a particular toy for a particular nephew that sold out in like 10 seconds at the other Walmart. Go up and down every aisle looking for that toy someone may have set down and decided not to buy...
...keep looking...
...keep looking and find Toy Story 3 for $10!
...keep looking and find the toy in pink and purple :(
...keep looking...
3:00  - YES! Found the toy in boy colors on the floor on the greeting card aisle! Wooo!
3:15 - Head back to home base to check out the online Old Navy sale for jeans and realize I am not a size 0 or size 16 so no jeans for me.
3:30 - Pack up and head to Target! Lady in the parking lot tells us the line starts in the back of the store... the line goes from the South entrance, past the North entrance, past the Motherhood Maternity store, past the Verizon store, past the AT&T store, around the dumpsters and back around to the AT&T store. WOW!

Picture taken by Emily Hess real early in the Morning!

4:15 - Run into Target, get everything we were looking for and race to the checkout to get a great spot in line and out in like 15-20 minutes!
5:00 - Head back to Old Navy just in case... and they have even more jeans available, the line is short, and we score jeans half off! Woo!
5:30 - See a line outside in the mall and wonder what people are waiting for. Hop in the line. Get a free gift bag with a "sport ball" in it. But the lady in front of us got a $50 mall certificate! Good for her, she was very cute!

4. Rest
6:15 - Make it back to home base, SNOOZE!

Can you say, wonderful, adrenaline, and whoa tiring! But we're officially done with all the gifts for Kyle's family. We'll wrap them today and leave them here!  So I encourage everyone to get out and do that next year, really because at least at 2am there's some fun involved as opposed to 2 weeks later when the stores are just as packed, you don't get any sales, and you don't seem to think it's quite as exciting.  And now we can focus on decorating! right? (and buying for the Kingsley fam of course).

More to come soon on our fabulous fall! My trip home to Lake Charles with the fam, our trip to College Station... and SOON to come decorating the house for Christmas!! (once we do that :)

What did you do this Thanksgiving? and what are you thankful for?

Nov 10, 2010

Rooftop Adventures and Term Papers

Today I have tons of homework to do, and a term paper due tomorrow by noon! Good thing we get off tomorrow for Veteran's Day so I can finish my paper. God is good.

But I did want to make sure and share:
Today I told one of my sweet older Veterans (who is real unstable just walking) to stop getting out his extension ladder and climbing onto the roof of the barn in his backyard. His wife doesn't appreciate it, and he could fall. He replied "I used to do it all the time... and anyway I probably wouldn't fall that far."

So climb on your roof while you still can, and again, make sure to take time tomorrow to thank the Veterans in your life :)

Back to the grad school-ness...

Nov 9, 2010

So I got lost...

So I'm not sure how much I've mentioned my job. And I have no idea why I have not mentioned it more. I honestly believe that I have one of the most interesting jobs... highly comical, entertaining, and just plain out of the ordinary. Vaguely described I drive around East Texas to places I'd never imagine I'd go, streets I'd never imagine I'd turn down, in houses I'd never thought I'd enter to meet some of the most wonderful and old Veterans I've ever met. Like I mentioned before, I work as a dietitian for the VA and I literally drive to Veterans' homes and talk to them about what they eat... and well anything else they care to bring up during our conversation.

So I drive a lot, really like during the K-Love pledge drive I had so much radio on due to so much car time that at any given moment I could have told you the goal for the hour, or the percentage needed for complete funding... So I'm driving to a patient's house from handy dandy Google Maps and it's quite far away. I've gone about 30 minutes east and then another 15-30 minutes north by this point, and then south again and I end up in this cute little down town area. And While adorable and made me want to stay all day, when I found the location I was looking for, I was pretty sure that my patient did not live in a little fashion boutique? Right?

So I realize that Google Maps had "corrected" me. You know how it says "Did you mean to say...." well, no I didn't mean to say an entirely different street 30 miles or so away from the original address I typed, but apparently I clicked it anyway.

Luckily I had people to call to help me find my way there. Which involved me saying "I think I'm going too far" and them saying "nope, trust us, just keep keep on coming down that road.  So it takes me an hour and a half to get to this fine man's house and we all laugh and tell fun jokes.

Joke was on me. He lives 2 turns away from our clinic, if you go the right way. It took me less than 45 minutes to return back. :)

What will you do to celebrate Veteran's Day this Thursday? I told one of my patients that Veteran's Day was two days away and he responded was that well he'll just have to "go in the front yard and do the twist!" ?

P.S. - Did I mention that yesterday was me and Kyle's 6 MONTH Anniversary of being married! Woo hoo. More info later on the wonders of marriage, and that sweet Kyle Hess (and his fix-it skills!)

Nov 7, 2010

So I'm no Lou Holtz

I'll tell you what, I LOVE college football. I know you were probably expecting an inspiring way to spend your extra hour due to daylight savings time... but I'll tell you what, I took that extra hour and watched some great football.

NFL: I can pass on... I may go to a friend's house to watch an NFL game and end up talking and eating more than watching the game. There's just something a little less inspiring about the players being 30-something... or more so there's just something I love about college football, playing for the win, playing for their alma mater, school and state behind them, and having such a limited time in college to make plays happen.

I'm not sure if you watched college football this weekend, but being born and raised in the South, I can't get past the allure of the SEC. I mean it is rare that you end up with one team undefeated on the top of the SEC... the teams are all too good, the rivalries all too personal, and the "better" team being beaten out some weeks by the teams with more heart or vengeance, honestly.

And there's LSU. My alma mater. I've lost years off my voice I'm sure for all the yelling I've done in Tiger Stadium and now, living further away, all the yelling I've done at the television set. And last night I was very impressed. I mean our coach gets a lot of slack, and I was disappointed to find out that for a few weeks there a local Baton Rouge station was tearing him up. I mean you have to be careful about that kind of thing... it could go an get you Dixie Chick-ed out of town. (I understand I've just compared Les Miles to the former President of the United States, but have you been to Baton Rouge??). I mean I just love that Les and I both tend to clap like crazy when we get excited about a football game :)

Associated Press

But last night all LSU fans were proud of Les and those Fighting Tigers for beating Alabama... you have no idea how long that one has been coming. Anyway, I'll stop ranting and simply show you this picture of the play our insane (genius) coach decided to call at 4th and 1: some crazy play called "River Left" that I don't even have the football knowledge to explain... but it got us well past the 1st down and about a yard from the end zone :)

Associated Press

Don't worry, I'm not so crazy to say that LSU is the best team there ever was, or even the best team around this season... but the best team there is to watch, and that SEC football will take years off your life due to the excitement, jumping out of your seat screaming, and "what are they doing?" calls. Truth.

Note: My Saturday could have used an extra hour between the LSU game and the Nebraska game, because lucky we were to get both games on our antenna... they kicked off at the same time, and I did a lot of channel flipping.

Kudos to the Huskers for their win, messy and crazy, but that's what makes it good right? Heart pounding until the very last second (interception by Nebraska to stop the possible Iowa State-winning 2 point conversion in the second part of overtime). Or maybe that's just how I've grown up in the SEC

(I'll have to dig out those pictures of us dressed up in our Ole Miss and Arkansas gear as 4 year-olds.. courtesy of Uncle Frank, Aunt Billie, and Uncle Keith).

Courtesy of
So tell me, what did you do with your extra hour?

Nov 5, 2010

Well, hello November, I didn't see ya there.

Welcome November! My goodness where did summer go, I mean I know I was excited about fall, but I think fall's on it's way out too... I mean tonight there's a freeze warning (even though the low is only 33)!

But remembering the fall and all it brought.. and excited about the month that means Thanksgiving and the best football games. But first, October:

First, this is what I get to wake up to every morning, I have a 45 minute-ish eastern commute to work. In the spring I'm sure the sun will peg me in the face and blind me but for now it's beautiful! Only of course the days I didn't have my camera, they were even better. And yes, I know I should clean my windshield...

Then of course the food! Acorn squash or pumpkin bread anyone? (I'll put the recipes up later if you want them).

And then more food... didn't realize this'd be all about food. But the fabulous Kati Mason is getting married in less than 10 days, and so of course, I make a cake in honor of the future Kati Kern. (And yep, I have dreams of running a tiny cottage bakery someday).

And then as all October's we had Halloween! Okay, so on actual Halloween we attended our financial class at the Methodist Church in town... but the night before:
Don't worry, we understand that Christmas is not here yet, but it did help the costume that Walmart is already stocked with wrapping a paper!

Plans for the rest of Fall:
1. Finish my term paper... eww (but then really once I start I'll love it I'm sure).
2. Get my wedding pictures from the WONDERFUL and talented Jill Pfalser!
3. Visit my family in Lake Charles! Maybe they'll agree to be featured on the blog?
4. Go to College Station to see the Huskers woop up on the Aggies, lol, and see our Family Camp Family, yes!
5. Thanksgiving with the Hesses in Oklahoma... bring on the marshmallow war and the Black Friday deals!

What are your plans before the fall runs away from us??
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