Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!!

I hope you have had a fun Halloween today. Last night I went to Wal-Mart and bought ten huge bags of candy. Steve even tried to convince me to put some back. But I told him to remember how many kids we have in our neighborhood and I kept all the bags in my cart. Well.....good thing I did!! You would not BELIEVE how many kids we had come to our door tonight! I would say at least 100, if not more! The doorbell just rang and rang and rang. I ran out of every single bit of my candy except on tiny bag of M&M's.

When I was just about out of candy, I turned off my front porch light and went upstairs to watch the Tennessee vs. South Carolina game with Steve, Ashley, and John. Then I heard the doorbell ring again. I came downstiars and heard lots of kids saying, "Mrs. Maddox, Mrs. Maddox, open the door!!!" I turned the light back on and opened the door and this is what I saw!

It was lots of kids from my class with their little sisters and brothers! They were all so cute and luckily I still had enough candy to give them. It actually rained here tonight. I have never seen it rain on Halloween in my whole life!! But it didn't stop the fun. The kids acted like it was a perfectly beautiful night for trick-or-treating!

So.... it's only 2 WEEKS until the wedding!! Ashley and I went out early today and got the last things checked off her list. We picked up her wedding portrait yesterday and got it framed today. I wish you could see how BEAUTIFUL it is!! I know exactly where I'm going to hang it in my living room. I will show it to you in 2 weeks along with lots of other fun pictures. :)

Tomorrow three of my good friends are giving Ashley a pantry and kitchen tools shower. I know she is going to love getting stocked up on all those things. She and John have moved alot of their things over to their new apartment and are starting to get everything in order. They bought a TV today and washed and put away all their dishes. They are having so much fun fixing everything up!

While we were out today running errands, we found the cutest ballet flats by Lindsay Phillips. Have you seen these??

What's so cool about them is that you can buy tons of different little snaps for the front that are exchangable. So you can make your shoes look totally different to match whatever you're wearing!

I loved them!!

Who is excited about turning your clocks back tonight??? I love getting that extra hour of sleep! Hope you have a great night!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

That's Life

Life is just full of the good and the bad, isn't it? Everyday we get a little of both and I guess that's what makes it LIFE! So here is my good and bad list for today....

Let's start with the bad news then end on a positive note!

*I feel so bad because I accidentally sent several wedding invitations to the wrong addresses! These were good friends of mine at church and I guess we just used our church directory and accidentally sent them to the wrong place since these friends have now moved. But I had no idea that this had happened because the invitations were never returned to me (our return address was just embossed on the back!) Then I sent these same friends a shower invitation and the shower invitations were returned. That's how I realized my mistake. I was sitting here wondering why I hadn't gotten their responses and all along it was MY fault!! Uuugghh!!!

*It has literally been pouring buckets all day long. You know I teach out in a mobile unit, right?? Don't you know how much fun it is to trapse through the pouring down rain with 24 kids behind me all getting soaking wet?? Goodness...

*Two of my good from my church and one of my best friends growing up... are about to die from cancer. They are both in their final days and they both have children at home and it is just so sad for their families. I hate thinking about it. I am praying for God to wrap his arms around all of them during these last few days. He is going to be welcoming them home soon! onto some happier things!

*My blogging friend Lisa gave me this sweet award today.

Thank you so much, Lisa! I will try to pass it along soon!

*Steve told me today he was going to get me someone to clean the house for me two times this month since I am so busy! Wooohoo!! I love me a clean house!!

*I am taking four days off right around the wedding and I can't wait to spend fun time with Ashley and my family. :)

*I saw the CUTEST thing on YouTube today. Can you BELIEVE how this little girl prays??? Wow...someone has been teaching her how to pray in a mighty way. I smiled the whole time I was watching this. It was amazing to me! I think she might could just get up and preach on Sunday morning!

*We have a short week this week because of Parent-Teacher conferences, so basically tomorrow is Friday for me!! Yay!

Hope you're having a good week, too!

Monday, October 26, 2009

And The Award Goes To....

And the award for worst blogger of the fall of 2009 goes to....ME! So sorry. I've just been spinning like a top lately with school and the wedding and going out of town, etc. And then when I do have a minute, I'm not sure I want to spend it on the computer! You know what I mean, right???

So...just to catch you up really quickly....

All the sweet friends at Steve's office gave Ashley a shower this weekend and it was so much fun getting together with them all. They are so generous and kind to remember her. I feel so blessed to have such good friends!

Unfortunately I didn't take many pictures. I was just too busy talking and catching up. But here is one of John and Ashley opening their gifts.

On another note, John's grandfather is doing better and maybe even (keep your fingers crossed) may be able to come to the wedding???!! We are hoping that could happen but we just don't know. He DID get moved out of critical care and into a regular room!

Last night I took dinner over to John's parents just because they have been under so much stress traveling back and forth to the hospital over the past few weeks. I felt like they could use a good homecooked meal. So I made one of my favorite recipes that a friend of mine made for us one night when she had us over for dinner. It is marinated pork tenderloin with an apricot glaze and it is really easy and so yummy, too. I thought I would share this recipe with you since the holidays are coming up. It is one of those things you can "dress up" or "dress down".

Marinated Pork Tenderloin with Apricot Glaze

1 T. dry mustard
2 t. dried whole thyme
1/2 c. soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. groung ginger
1 4-5 pound tenderloin

1 10 oz. jar apricot preserves
1 T. soy sauce
2 T. dry sherry

Combine ingredients for marinade and put in plastic bag. Place roast in bag and marinate in refrigerator at least 3-4 hours or as long as two days, turning often.

Preheat oven to 325. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Bake until meat thermometer reads 155...about one hour.

Glaze: Cook ingredients over low heat until preserves melt. Serve over tenderloin.

*We grill our pork tenderloin, but I'm sure baking is just as good!

And, before I go, I just want to leave you with something to encourage you. Sugar Pie Farmhouse is one of my very favorite blogs and I love sharing it with my blogging friends.

Every time I visit I always leave feeling like I've just sat down at my mom's or my grandmother's kitchen table and shared a cup of coffee over girl talk. If you need a dose of that today, you should stop by! I promise you will be blessed! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Few Of My Favorite Things

My friend Heather had some fun questions on her blog today and since I haven't done one of these in forever, I decided to play along! You are welcome to join the fun if you would like! :)

1. What is your favorite thing to snack on while blogging?
My favorite thing to snack on period is chips and salsa....anytime!! :)

2. What is one thing you wouldn't want to live without?
Hmmm....that's really hard to choose one! I love music and it lifts my spirits so much, so maybe that. Or my camera since I love to take pictures!

3. Beach, Mountains, or Farm? Where would you live if you had a choice?
It's funny because we have just been talking about this. Steve wishes we could have a mountain house on a lake and that WOULD be fun! But I think I would rather have a house in sunny Florida! I love it there!

4. What is your least favorite household chore? question. And I never could get on top of it until recently. Kids gone off to college does have it's perks!!

5. Who do people say you remind them of?
No one that I can really think of. Steve has told me that he thinks I look like Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond, though! haha

6. Prefer parties and socializing or staying home with the fam?
I love both of these things. I love hanging out with my family the most, but I need to get out and socialize every now and then, too! I love getting together with friends!

7. What is your all time favorite movie?
Places In The Heart! I just love this movie and could watch it over and over again.

My next runner up is Forrest Gump. :)

8. Do you sleep in your make up or remove it like a good girl every night?
I am such a creature of habit. I have the same routine every night...wash my face, brush my teeth, lots of lotion on my hands, arms, and legs, and I have to have my Mentholatum on my lips! Haha! My grandmother got me hooked on that. But if I don't do this routine, I can't sleep!

9. Do you have a hidden talent or a deep desire to learn something something you've never had a chance to learn? What is it?
I already know how to sew, but I really want to learn how to quilt one day! And I know how to crochet, but I need to remember how to knit!

10. What is one strange thing that you're really good at?
Well....let's see....nothing that I can really think of except that I can pick up things with my feet! :)

11. What first attracted you to your spouse?
Lots of things! He was so cute and had a great personality and was always so upbeat and fun. We just hit it off immediately and we never ran out of things to talk about. And he made me laugh!

12. What is something you love to smell?
I love to smell vanilla

and rain

and babies

and fresh cut grass

and Christmas trees

and cinnamon many things!

13. Tell something about you that you know irritates people.
Well, my family is always frustrated because they say I never answer my phone. That's probably true. I always have it on silent at school, then I forget to turn it back on!

14. When you have extra money, what's the first thing you think to do with it?
Buy some clothes or go out to dinner!

15. Are you a silent laugher or a loud laugher?
I think I mostly laugh out loud. I have to be laughing pretty hard to go silent!

16. Where is your favorite place to shop?
I love Ann Taylor Loft and Forever 21 and Victoria's Secret online (their clothes!)

17. What's one thing you would do more often if you had more time?

and read!

I miss doing those things so much sometimes.

18. Are you a big spender or frugal?
Well, I'm definitely not frugal, but I don't consider myself a big spender either. I would say somewhere in the middle.

19. Who is your favorite character of all time (from a movie or book...can't be real)?
Hmmm....this one is hard. I don't think I can think of one!

20. Would you want to be famous?
No...I really never would. It would be fun to rich, but I would never want cameras following me everywhere!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

East Carolina Homecoming

So....Saturday morning we woke up and drove to Greenville to ECU. Laura and Lindy had already driven up the night before after they left the State Fair. When we got there we got some Bojangles chicken and tailgated and Mark drove up from Raleigh to join us.

I have to say that East Carolina fans know how to tailgate! They were everywhere and there were even bands playing! Somebody was having a barbeque and they had the head of a real pig stuck on the fence next to their tailgate! It was pretty crazy.

The game was so much fun. ECU's mascot is the Pirates and they start the game with a scene from Pirates of the Carribean on the big screen. Everyone was so excited and they all know lots of cheers and chants. Since they are the Pirates, everyone says, "Aaaarrrgh!" if something good happens.

We had lots of fun at the game and afterwards, Lindy showed us all around campus. None of my other kids had ever been there and they were all really surprised at how pretty everything is. They all were very impressed!

Mark had to leave to go back to Raleigh, but the rest of us went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant for dinner. Then Steve and Ashley and I came back to the hotel and got our pajamas on and watched the South Carolina vs. Alabama game. I was sooooo tired. I don't think I made it through five minutes of the game before I fell asleep! I think it was best that I missed it anyway! :) South Carolina lost!

Sunday was a long day of driving back to Charlotte. It is always hard to come back after a fun weekend, but we were glad we went.

I wanted to ask you all to pray for us. Ashley's fiancee, John's grandfather was in a car accident about a week ago and broke his ribs and also had some brain injuries. Here he is in the middle between my dad and Steve's dad.

He is still in the hospital and things are not going well. He is such a sweet, sweet man and John loves him so much. He was in great health and was really looking forward to seeing his grandson get married! Now it is only a little over three weeks until the wedding and it is so hard to be excited and get ready when someone you love is so sick. John's mom and grandmother have been at the hospital every day and they are so worried and exhausted! Please pray for Papou! Thank you all my blogging friends!

Monday, October 19, 2009

North Carolina State Fair

It was another busy weekend for the Maddox family. We left Friday afternoon and drove to Raleigh for the night (on our way to ECU) so we could go to the North Carolina State Fair. We went to the State Fair almost every year when our kids were little, but it has been a while since we've been. It was very cold and windy, but we had a lot of fun! :) You can see how cold we are here. Our noses were red and I had my coat zipped up as high as it would go! :)

We rode the big know the one you sit in a sack and ride? I don't think I've ridden on one of those since I was a really little girl!

We got to see so many precious animals. Seriously...we saw the most adorable baby pigs you've EVER seen. There were about 10 of them and they were all rooting around on the big mama pig. I couldn't help but think how sore she must be! Plus there were cute little donkeys and cows. Seeing the animals is one of my favorite parts!

I also love all the vegetables that they grow...HUGE pumpkins and watermelons that weighed over 200 pounds

and all kinds of garden goodies.

Plus I love looking at all the quilts and handiwork that people enter into the fair. There are so many talented people out there!

But, I have to say the fair food is NOT the healthiest way to go. These are just a few of the CRAZY things we saw at the fair. Can you BELIEVE they actually sell this stuff?? Bacon dipped in chocolate?? What on earth!?

Yuck!! This is NOT what we ate! We had some good chicken and barbeque! :)

The next day we drove on to Greenville for the game, but I have to get to bed tonight, so I will tell you all about that part tomorrow!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Smoky Mountain Sunday

Saturday night we all slept so great and we woke up Sunday feeling good and ready for a fun day in Boone and Blowing Rock! Our first stop was Boone Bagelry where we met Mark for breakfast before he headed back to Raleigh.

That place was packed!! It is definitely a morning hotspot. And it was delicious!

After we said goodbye to Mark, we headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Julian Price Park. It was still a little overcast so the views weren't as good as they usually are, but we still had fun. Steve brought the football. Poor guy...he has all these girls and if Mark's not there, he tries to get us all to toss the football or make teams and play and it just doesn't work. haha He's a good sport about it though.

Laura and Lindy had fun just goofing around...

Steve did teach Laura and Lindy and Ashley how to skip rocks! We laughed so hard because Ashley never could get the hang of it. haha

After we left the Parkway, we drove back to Blowing Rock just to browse around. They have the cutest little shops and it is totally decked out for fall!

We were so excited because one of our very favorite places to eat in Blowing Rock, Cheeseburger In Paradise, went out of business a few years ago, but it is back now! So, of course, we had to eat there for lunch before we headed back home to Charlotte.

Today it was back to reality. Steve was back to work and Ashley and I were back to school. Lindy is still here so she spent the day with her roommate Chelsea who is also from here. Chelsea's mom is a hair dresser. Lindy has been wanting to dye her hair for a while now so today Chelsea's mom dyed it brown for her!

I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I think it looks cute on her!