Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Hungry Hungry Hodgepodge

I am glad to have the time to participate in the Wednesday Hodgepodge this week. During a week of giving thanks, I am thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and photos on this blog, and I am thankful for Joyce who hosts this little cyber shindig each Wednesday. Be sure to click on the button to visit her at From This Side of the Pond, then check out the rest of today's group of Hodgepodgers.

Now for her questions and my answers:

1. Are you settling for something?
I am settling for life in the small midwest community in which I was born, where we greet our friends at the grocery and are safe to leave our keys in the ignition (true story). I'm settling for loving the same man for 32 years, and for living in the home his grandparents built on the family farm. I am settling for not listing my greatest accomplishment as fame or fortune, but rather as the blessing of being Mom to our children. I am settling for a life of learning to love and laugh and forgive, to give and receive, to hurt and to heal, and to give thanks to God for his unfailing grace. I'll settle for that any day.

2.  It wasn't that long ago almost every store in the US locked doors and turned out lights on Thanksgiving Day. This year many will be open all day Thursday, giving shoppers a jump start on 'Black Friday'. In your opinion is this a good thing or a not so good thing? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving Day?
I will not be shopping on Thanksgiving Day, or on Black Friday for that matter. In fact, I recently stated that you couldn't pay me to shop on Black Friday. I prefer to stay far, far away from the Friday frenzy and let my fingers do the clicking when at all possible. While in my younger day, I was an enthusiastic and savvy shopper, I have eagerly embraced internet shopping in my old age. :) The traffic, the rushing, the crowds, oh my! For those of you brave enough to venture out on Thursday or Friday, may the force be with you. :)

3. Speaking of shopping... I saw a recent article on the twelve best shopping cities in the world. In order they are-

New York, Tokyo, London, Kuala Lumpur, Paris, Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Dubai, Madrid, Milan, and Seoul. 

Ever shopped in any of the cities listed? In which city would you most like to pull out the plastic or cold hard cash?
I have not shopped in any of those cities. I would love to visit any of them, but I think I would most like to pull out the plastic in London. (Field trip, Joyce? Lol.)

4.  When did you last dine by candlelight?
We enjoyed a candlelight dinner a couple of weeks ago in New Orleans. This photo is of Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at Irene's Cuisine. Yum.

5. What do you have too much of?
Stuff. Waaaaayyy. Too. Much. Stuff.

6. The Hunger Games...are you a fan?  Did you read the book(s)?  Will you/have you seen the movie?  Will you/have you seen Catching Fire?  No spoilers please!
I did read the books, and I liked them. As I often find with books in a series, I enjoyed the first book the most, and the second and third books a little less. I'm not sure why this happens with me, although it may be just too much of a similar theme.

I enjoyed the first movie, and will probably see the second when it comes out on DVD. I have heard that the scenery is outstanding (it was filmed in Hawaii), and that the movie is a long one.

7. Share your plans for Thanksgiving Day. The who, the where, the what...especially the what! As in what's for dinner?  If you're one of my International visitors, whose homeland doesn't celebrate American Thanksgiving (the whole world doesn't ya know!), then still tell us your plans for Thursday. 
We will have our Thanksgiving meal with all the kids on Sunday. We will feast on beef tenderloin, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, salad, rolls, and an assortment of pies. Beef. It's what's for Thanksgiving. Everyone knows that, right?

On Thursday, we will go to my parents' home for a Thanksgiving buffet and the traditional family, food, and football.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Last week, after we got home from New Orleans, I was off bright and early to watch Jennifer and Bryan's baby, Noah while they went to work. I also got to take this little cutie, Andrew and Darci's daughter, Ella with me to spend the day with Baby Noah. She looks pretty happy for 6 am, doesn't she?
She enjoyed reading a book to Noah.
We also made a little trip to Target. Everyone loves Target.
Ella loved hanging out with Baby Noah. Not sure he knew quite what to think of her. :)
Hopefully, she didn't try to feed him any of her M&Ms.
She found his little crocheted boots and decided she should try them on for size.
It was a good day. And every day is a good day when spent with grandchildren. :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Birthday, David!

Thirty-one years ago, we became parents with the birth of our first baby, David John. He was born after a Thanksgiving day spent with family and friends (and a little too much sugar cream pie!).  :)

His daddy was so proud! We laugh about the fact that Jim asked my mom to make him a turkey sandwich before we left for the hospital.
We went home to our little blue house on the edge of the Purdue campus as a family of three.
Legend has it that the first time I left David at home with his daddy, he zipped him up in his snowsuit to keep him from crying. That's how I found him when I came home.
David and Daddy spent lots of time together.
I think he's teaching him to say, "Hail Purdue!"
Thank you, David, for being a blessing in our lives. You taught us how to be parents, and filled our hearts with love. You still do.
Happy Birthday, David!
I love you!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Who Dat Say They Gonna Beat Dem Saints!

Last Sunday was game day in New Orleans, and we enjoyed a delicious breakfast in the hotel courtyard. When I finished, I went up to get my things together to take to the game. Jim stayed to finish his coffee.
And if you look closely, you'll see that he is hard at work with coffee, computer, iPad, and Blackberry.
We got in the game day spirit by enjoying some of the beautiful cookies Darci made for us to take along on our trip.
My brother Ted sent me this text the night before the game. He and Cheryl went with us to a game there a couple years ago, and he might be just a little bit bitter about the 62-7 loss his beloved Colts suffered that day in the Superdome.
We got to the stadium early, and enjoyed the plaza and Champions Square. Jim always receives lots of compliments on his pants, and he is asked many times where he got them. It always amazes me that with all the wild outfits we see in NOLA, his striped pants cause such a fuss. He doesn't mind, though, and I think he enjoys the conversation starter.
We were there before they even opened the gates for Champions Square.
There he is! :)
This is Benson Tower.
We were among the first to enter the Superdome, and our club seats allowed entrance to the Bunker Club Lounge below the stands. They have food and drink available, comfy couches, and flat screen TVs. You can even watch TV while you wash your hands in the bathroom!
Jim enjoyed his beef tenderloin sandwich.
A panoramic view of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

When the players came out, I took a photo of Garrett Hartley, the place kicker. Little did I know that he would be the star of the game. Well, behind you-know-who, that is.
And there's Drew now, taking time with his fans to sign lots and lots of autographs.
He signed,
and signed,
and patiently signed some more.

Reminds me of this throwback photo from his Purdue days, when our little boys were the ones waiting to get an autograph. On this day, Drew said he would sign one item each. Adam wanted him to sign both his jersey and the cast on his broken arm. I could see Adam make a quick decision, and turn for him to sign the back of his jersey. When that was done, Adam turned back around and held up his cast. Of course Drew signed that too. Good guy then, good guy now.
And after the signing was done, it was time to get down to business.

Pre-game chant.
Pre-game handshake from coach Payton.

The opposition.
San Francisco's number 41, Raymond Ventrone, came over to the Saints sidelines to visit with Steve Gleason, who you can just see to Ventrone's left.
Steve Gleason will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina. Steve played for the Saints from 2000-2008. In 2011, he was diagnosed with ALS. Steve, along with his family and friends, started Team Gleason, No White Flags, to promote awareness of ALS. He is an inspiration to his team as he continues to pursue life despite his diagnosis, and works to challenge scientists and researchers to discover new treatments and a cure for ALS.
Soon it was time for the coin toss.
And the WHO DAT chant, led by Parys Haralson.
When the game started, Steve Gleason moved to the section right next to us.
Coach Payton comes back to the bench after an injury to Jabari Greer.
Rob Ryan had to get the defense together to make the necessary adjustments with Greer out.

Huddle up.
Jimmy Graham.
Receivers discussing the game plan.
Drew watches the action on the jumbo-tron.
That's Coach Jim Harbaugh over there in the black shirt. We have a football from his days as a Colt, where he signed his name and wrote 'Captain Comeback' underneath it.
Drew and Pete make a plan.
That's Colt McCoy over there on the far sideline. He's the backup/clipboard holder. :)
When a big bad outside linebacker clotheslined Drew Brees, the refs had to take a minute to sort things out. The crowd, of course, was outraged. You can't do that to our quarterback!
The game came down to the wire, which prevented me from taking more photos. (You can be thankful for a close game.) In the end, the Saints scored on a last second field goat by Garrett Hartley to win the game. Yes, I do believe in kickers. I do believe in kickers.
Post game handshakes all around.
These three young ladies, who sat in front of us, were happy with the victory.
Marques Colston became the all-time Saints receiving yardage leader during the game. Who Dat Marques!
And Sir Saint had some Who Dat love for Hartley after that big kick.
Saints win!!!
After the game, we went back down to the Bunker Club lounge for a bit. This couple came rushing over to ask Jim where he found those pants?! See what I mean? Turns out they are the parents of the Saints punter, Thomas Morstead. We had a nice visit with them, and assured Mr. Morstead that he would look quite dashing in a pair of pants like Jim's. :)
Walking back to the hotel, we passed this Jimmy John's. You know who brought Jimmy John's to NOLA, don't you?
Bourbon Street after the game.
We had dinner at Arnaud's, complete with Bananas Foster.
Monday morning, we did a little more shopping in the French Quarter. For $650, you can have this paper mache replica of Drew Brees.
Some beautiful ironwork.
St. Louis Cathedral.
So pretty.

And a selfie of us before heading back to the hotel and home.
We had a great time, as demonstrated by Jim's Who Dat snooze on the way to the airport. Good-bye for now, NOLA.