Wednesday, December 19, 2007
1. My third Christmas is one of my earliest memories. I received my E. T. stocking and doll as well as my loveseat and a couple of books. Walking down the stairs and finding an E. T. stocking stuffed with all kinds of fruit, candy and nuts was the highlight of the season for me that year.
2. My dad telling us to put socks on our feet so we didn’t catch a cold
3. Molly, our cousin Stephanie, and I would all get matching nightgowns at my Mawmaw Smith’s house. After shooting fireworks, we would all three put them on, take a picture and wear them home where our fathers carried our sleeping bodies into our respective houses.
4. Kirsten and Amy’s plate of goodies that they made for us every year of college. They spent all day cooking goodies for us so that we could have something good to eat in the dorm.
5. A tin of Mrs. Carolyn’s Scrabble
6. Christmas day growing up we would go to Mimi and Grandaddy’s house where Santa always left us a stocking (or brown paper bag in later years) full of more goodies! Santa always put small toys in those stockings!
7. Running up my phone bill helping Jonathan pick out Christmas presents for his family so that year they wouldn’t get a t-shirt from whichever random town he was living in at the time.
8. My mother always makes bachelor’s brunch on Christmas morning. It’s the only time of the year she makes it…and I love it!
9. Christmas in the Cotton Patch!
10. Similarly, the golf club Christmas parties at rotating houses followed by going to Christmas in the Cotton Patch (and of course the year that somebody bumped their car door into Daddy’s brand new van).
11. Sleeping with Molly on Christmas Eve so that we could be closer to downstairs and could run down to see our presents as soon as we were allowed. We would giggle all night long before waking Jeff up at about 4 to begin rotating who would ask if it was time yet!
12. Calling Mr. Vance about a week or a week and a half before Christmas to see if he could scrounge around to find us a decent Christmas tree!
13. My mother’s strength on the Christmas after Daddy died. Our happiness was more important to her than all of our loss, and she did everything she could to make that Christmas as good as it could be. We all over-spent on gifts that year thinking that more stuff would lessen the hurt. Unlike ever before, that Christmas I learned how little presents had to do with the meaning and joy of Christmas.
14. Swapping ornaments with the golf club
15. My Mawmaw Smith’s yellow cake with Chocolate icing and my Pawpaw’s buck dance that seemed to be staples of Christmas Eve.
16. This year when I asked Charlie what he wanted from Santa, he replied, “An orange Spongebob and cupcakes.” We walked through the fact that an orange Spongebob doesn’t exist. He said Santa was magic, and he could make it happen. Then I asked him if he told Santa to let Mrs. Clause know he wanted cupcakes. He looked at me with the sweetest grin and said, “Yibby, I don’t need Mrs. Clause. You can make them for me!”
17. Buying the perfect paper and ribbons so that whoever opened a gift from me knew that it came not from my wallet but from my heart and time. I want my gifts to be pretty!
18. One of my recent favorites has been baking with my mother
19. Running into DiAnne around midnight at Walmart at some point before Christmas day
20. My parents sitting in the den with only the Christmas tree lights on listening to records, and my dad using my leg as a guitar as I sat in his lap.
21. My great-grand parents, Mawmaw and Pawpaw Dewey, coming to Mimi and Grandaddy’s house for Christmas day
22. Spending Christmas Eve lunch at Mimi and Grandaddy’s watching As the World Turns and waiting on mom and dad to finish up last minute Christmas shopping, wrapping or assembling.
23. The year it snowed on Christmas Eve and plans had to be changed. We ended up doing Christmas at Mawmaw’s and Pawpaw’s a week later. Jeff Cunningham came and brought his guitar. Our whole family sat around singing Christmas Carols, oldies, and a little Merle.
24. Last year Charlie walked into a den strewn with toys only to look around and say, “Where’s my Spongebob cake?!”
25. As a child I looked forward to getting Effinbee dolls from Mimi and State tshirts or other memorabilia from Aunt Kathy
26. Jeff’s pure excitement on Charlie’s first Christmas. For the first time in about a decade, Jeff was no longer the only man in the family. It didn’t matter to him that Charlie was only 16 days old!
27. When Jonathan was living in California, I always looked forward to the day after Christmas because JD would be in Jackson and I would be out of school. For a whole week we could hang out, watch movies, wish Happy Kwanza to people, and catch up.
28. My mother made our stockings out of a quilt MawMaw Dewey made from Pawpaw Dewey’s old suits. I love the heritage of them, but I also love how Momma made each one unique and contemporary with our names and different trim.
29. As we got older, gift opening no longer became a free for all. Instead we open one present at a time in a circle, and we all clap and praise the gift and its giver! It gives us a chance to take it all in, and it takes HOURS for us to open presents. It ends up being a good excuse to all sit in a circle, laugh, cry, cheer, and tell funny stories.
30. Every year Molly and I go nuts buying for each other. The benefit of being best friends with your sister is that you know them all too well. So, you always see something that they would want or love. Molly and I never have to tell each other what we want. What we want is what the other finds and thinks, “She’s GOT to have that!”
31. Going to look at Christmas lights with my friends. On different years, Amy, Kirsten, Travis, Heather, Wes and Jonathan and I would round up and make fun of the various displays of lights, blowups, and wooden figurines. There was always that one house past the Devore’s and the one house that took us forever to find every year that was so respectable it made the Griswolds look like the Grinch!
32. Singing "Merry Christmas from the Family" with Molly! We usually get in the car for a Walmart run and sing as loud as we can through every single word of the song emphasizing our favorite parts with fist pumps and extra loud yells! Every year…without fail, Molly tells me the story about Scott Branning loving Robert Earl Keene.
33. Going to Jeff’s house for breakfast in our pajamas Christmas morning. What started out as a compromise for all grandparents has turned into a wonderful gathering of our family and Lauren’s.
34. Last year I had a 24-hour stomach bug on Christmas Eve, and Molly made me wear a dental mask so that I didn’t infect the rest of the family. She and Momma wouldn’t let me come down and be with them until I wore the mask, and then after four hours of me wearing a mask in order to be with them, Molly tells me she was just kidding about the mask all along!
35. Aunt Kathy reminding me every Christmas, while I’m handing out the plethora of presents, that as the youngest she spent her whole life doing it until I came along.
36. I always wait for the annual Christmas call from Kirsten. For the last ten years, Kirsten has always called on Christmas day. No matter where she’s lived, she’s called. The years it was from Tanzania or Israel, the whole family would stop what they were doing while my mom yelled, “IT’S KIRSTEN FROM [Insert country]!!!” They all sat around and talked about the latest news they had heard from Kirsten while we caught up on the phone. My whole family awaits Kirsten’s Christmas call.
37. Likewise, but not always as from afar is John Hugh’s Christmas morning call. Every year of our lives John Hugh has called to wish the Crews family a Merry Christmas and to talk to Jeff. It doesn’t matter that Jeff no longer lives at Momma’s. John Hugh still calls Momma’s house every Christmas Morning. We wait on it much like we awaited Santa Clause!
38. Christmas afternoon naps after the food has been eaten and the presents have been opened.
39. Jeff and I used to watch The Nightmare Before Christmas every Thanksgiving, and I always wrap presents to the latest version of Miracle on 34th Street
40. 24 Hours of A Christmas Story!!
None of these things have anything directly to do with the birth of Jesus – no more so than blowing out candles on February 2nd has to do with my birth. However, each of them reminds me of immense amounts of joy and love – the love of family and friends, and the love that caused God to send His Son, Jesus, to earth. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season! Enjoy this Christmas week knowing that it’s not necessarily the day but the moments that make Christmas special.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Sausage and Cheese Muffins
2 Cups of Bisquick
1 pound sausage
1 can Cheddar Cheese Soup
Cook and drain the sausage (in manner of ground beef). Mix together two cups of Bisquick, the can of Cheddar Cheese Soup, a half a can of water (fill the cheese soup can half way). Once that is mixed, add cooked and drained sausage. Add as much shredded cheese as you want! You can also top the muffins with cheddar.
Bake in greased muffin tins (or use muffin cups) in 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (or until golden)
Be prepared that these muffins do not really rise. You are going to want to fill the muffin tin as full as you want the muffin to be.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
"Down by the River....Down by the banks of the River Charles..."
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
In the interview with Buck and Mark, Dirk talked about his lack of understanding for why people consider him to be great just because he plays a game. To begin with, he plays AA ball...he's not even a star baseball player. He compared himself to doctors and teachers and explained that he and his job are not the types that should be idolized. As you can read in the column, in many ways his mind has changed about that. The interview, and the article after I read it, made me think a lot. I'm a 28 year old grad student who teaches freshman composition. It's a job that has taken a lot of hard work to get to, but it's no glorious job. I don't feel I'm changing the world by helping my students avoid comma splices and work on organization. But the column made me realize that world changing things aren't the point; life changing moments are way more important. I found myself asking whether or not I drown out the voices of those wanting my attention? Do I look at the faces that are not wanting more from me than a smile or a hello when something that simple would change their day? How about you? Do you intentionally avoid people? Maybe this article will help you stop (as it did me) and ask yourself why you do it. I have a feeling that once you stop and think about it, you will find your reasons are hollow. It doesn't have to be a terminally ill kid, although it may be; it could be the woman checking you out at the grocery store, the person in the cubicle next to you, or that student with serious comma splicing problems.
Also, at the bottom of the column, you will find Dirk's email address. I encourage you to write him if you feel so led.
Monday, August 20, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Today I began to work on my part of the reunion planning. I had a few hours and decided I would get started on the write up for the newspapers. This task which I thought would take about 30 minutes took up the vast majority of my day. It required calling one person who told me one fifth of the answer then calling another who gave me another part. I talked to more friends from high school today than I have in the past three months combined. I love the fact that I am getting to talk to these friends with whom I've lost touch. I love the fact that our reunion is going to be awesome. And I especially love the fact that there are so many of us passionate about it being an awesome reunion. I just think it would be easier if next time we choose a head chief with a type A wife. As it stands now we have a single chief, two single girls (one who lives out of state...me of course), a married guy (who lives in Virginia) and various other fringe helpers who live all over the place. It's a bit chaotic. However, nothing had been done to plan the reunion in May, and we all thought it would be in the summer. So the fact that we are having a reunion at all is a good thing. :) We never were the most responsible of classes. I'm talking about a class that passed this as the class motto: Beer is great, sex is heaven, we're the class of 97. In fact, that very well may be on a banner somewhere during the reunion.
My official task is as one of three in charge of the Saturday afternoon picnic. We are serving lunch and hanging out. People are bringing the kids. If you have any ideas about a fun mixer type game or something, feel free to let me know. We've thought about s guess the occupation type of game, but we really want something more fun and involving. Seriously, any advice or input would be greatly appreciated! We're expecting around 60 at the picnic, and we want it to be lots of fun!
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I came home to NA today, and when I got here everybody was down for their afternoon naps…including Mama. I had an eye doctor’s appointment, so I came in and dropped stuff off before heading back out. When I came back from the doctor, Mama was up, but the kids were still in bed. I went up to my bedroom to catch up with a conference call for work. When I walked in, Anderson was sitting in his swing kicking and cooing. When he saw me he started laughing! It was so adorable. I picked him up and carried him downstairs where everybody else was awake. I handed him off to mom and came back upstairs. I checked in on Charlie who was not awake but was moving around a bit. I knew that he would be up very soon. I closed the door, went in my room (leaving the door open to see him when he got up) and logged on to the conference call. A few minutes later, I heard something in the other room, but I hadn’t heard Charlie’s door open. I went to look, and his door was open. So, I stepped farther out into the hall and saw him walk out of Mama’s room. He looked at me, grunted a uhhhh (of unhappiness), and then stepped back in Mama’s room and closed the door without saying a word. A few minutes later I saw him peeking out of the door. I made some silly faces at him and waved with silly waves. He just stared at me. So, I got up and walked into the hall. As soon as I got there, he grunted the “uhhhhhh!” and closed the door again. It was the funniest thing ever. I haven’t seen him in about a month, and he shuts the door on me. He’s so sour/sweet! He just woke up from his naps. These tend to be sour moments for anybody who isn’t Trishie (who is always who he wants immediately upon waking). What’s great about Charlie is that sometimes when he’s sour it’s often hilarious or adorable! Lauren finally came and took him downstairs to get him to fully wake up. I kept thinking he would come back up and be playful…but that was thirty minutes ago. This is where coming home with gifts gives me the upper hand.
While I was home I bought a webcam for my mother. She often keeps Charlie and Anderson. Sometimes she'll call me and try to tell me about what they are wearing, what they are doing, or the new cute phrase for the day. I decided that she needed to be able to show me some of these things. Here is Charlie singing Mrs. Suzy. However, we changed it to Miss Lucy because his dog Lucy is having puppies. Enjoy!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
On a side note: with this email from chowdaheadz came a 15 percent off coupon. Great...I ordered stuff from there yesterday! Ahhhh, the bad luck...
*disclaimer: I love Chowdaheadz.com and think it's one of the best places to get great Red Sox stuff. I spend entirely too much money at chowdaheadz and born into it (the parent company) yearly.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Today I visited Miss Welty's house. I had driven by her house in nostalgia on my way to her lying in state after she died. There were flowers lying on the front steps where her many fans had come to pay their respects. Today was the first time I placed my feet on the worn path of her home. As I entered the house and the door closed behind me chills ran over me. I was overly pleased to see that the museum curators left books lying on the couch and various chairs. Every picture of Eudora Welty that I've seen showed in the background books covering any surface possible. I wanted to sit in the chair from which she gave many an interview, and I wanted to drink tea while looking out over her garden. As a tourist, the guides refused me both of those pleasures, but they provided many more. I stood and looked over at the desk where she wrote daily. I saw the cubby-holed dresser where Welty placed correspondences and that inspired Laurel to pull out her mother's old letters in the Optimist's Daughter. I heard the stories I've read or heard thousands of times about how witty and clever and charming Welty was. I imagined myself walking in as a friend of Welty's, sitting on the couch next to her favorite chair while she offered me a glass of Makers. I put myself in the shoes of women I inspire to be like --those who came before me in my field -- and had the chance to not only meet but get to know Miss Welty.
Today's journey to the intimate world of Welty only intensified my love for her. I am resigned to the fact that I'll never be able to write like her -- for few can. I'm content spending my life getting to know better the woman who so beautifully and truthfully portrayed this place that I too call home. Her writing never ceases to speak to me, motivate me, move me, or impress me, and her life never ceases to inspire me. There are several reasons why people study certain writers, and there are many reasons why I chose Welty. Yet for me, at the heart of every reason lies that bond that began upon first reading "Why I Live at the P. O." and continues to grow stronger with every encounter I have with Miss Welty.
Crewsism: It's a term I came up with while doing graduate work at Mississippi College. It basically describes a moment or experience that is typical of things that happen to me. They are often hilarious and/or bizarre. They are always things that would only happen to me. I decided to name the blog this because I found it fitting. I may be changing the name as we go, but we'll stick with this for now.
As the page says, this will be a place where I post funny stories that occur in the day to day activities of my fairly sedentary life. I'll include stories about teaching, writing, thinking. There will be times when I will post more philosophical pieces. As always, please feel free to share in the comments section. Other things to know about me are: I'm an avid Red Sox fan and hard core lover of all things Mississippi. My family and friends are the most amazing people in the world. I have an intense faith in God and a desire to grow closer to Him each day. He carries me more than I realize, and I love that. I hope you enjoy your time here. I'm sure I'll enjoy sharing my Crewsisms.