Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post of 2008!

Hi all! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are all looking forward to a blessed 2009! I have been taking a little break from the world of blogging to spend the holidays with my family...

And take down the scads of Christmas decorations...

I promise I will be back to writing more regularly soon!

In the meantime, here is my devotional for the month of January. God bless you all!

“Broken Vessels”

I am an admitted klutz. If you hand me something breakable, there is a fairly good chance I’m going to drop it or mangle it in some way. I am also cheap. I do not like to throw things away if I think they can be fixed. I am a super glue fanatic!

Every Christmas as I take ornaments out of storage, I always find that some ornaments didn’t survive the year. An angel’s wing will have broken off, or Santa’s head snapped off again. Throw them away? Never! Super glue to the rescue! Super glue has saved more items that I consider precious than I care to admit.

You and I are breakable vessels, too. We end up getting broken by our own doing or the actions of others. Every time we get broken, God gently gathers the broken fragments and places them back together. The glue He uses doesn’t drip, weaken, or wear out. God doesn’t throw us away because we are broken. Oh no! It is when we are broken that we can be most useful to Him. After all, God chose the way of brokenness for His own Son in order to save the world.

In Hebrews 11, a.k.a. “The Hall of Faith” chapter, the writer extols us to be more like our heroes of our faith--to be ones “whose weakness was turned to strength.” God used David’s brokenness to make him a stronger vessel for His use. God used Samson’s weakness to glorify Himself.

Because God is our maker, who better knows how to put us back together when we are broken? God has known us since we were created (Psalm 139:14-16). Every step of our lives, God has been with use to pick us up when we fall and patch our wounds with His grace, even when we felt that the world was ready to throw us away.

In Colossians 1:17, Paul tells us that “in Him all things hold together.” God’s grace is the glue that holds us together. If you are feeling broken today, know that God is not ready to throw you away; rather, He wants you to depend on Him for healing. He wants you to use your brokenness for His glory.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's Cooking!

Hi! If you are a regular follower to my blog, thanks for stopping by to see what I've been up to lately. If you are here by way of getting a goodie tray from me or my hubby with my blog address on it--WELCOME!

I decided that it would be a cool addition if you could have the recipes for the goodies you now have at your fingertips, so here you go! I am going to start with the goodie in the 12 o'clock position and work my way around.

1. Snowman Hat--Easy one. Melt vanilla or chocolate almond bark and dip mint or regular Oreos and large marshmallows. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

2. Coconut bonbons--See recipe at

3. Peppermint thin mints--Another easy one. Melt chocolate or vanilla almond bark. Add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract. Dip Town House crackers in bark. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

4. Play Dough Cookies--They are edible! Here's the recipe: I only used two colors for the dough and I didn't use lollipop sticks.

5. Pecan Pralines--Rich and sinful! Here's your link:

6. Buckeyes--Makes 4 dozen

1 box and 1 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks melted butter
1 1/2 cup peanut butter
12 ounces chocolate chips
1/4 cake paraffin wax

Mix powdered sugar, butter, and peanut butter until well blended. Roll into small 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper on cookie sheet; chill until hard. In the meantime, melt chocolate chips and paraffin in double boiler. Dip bottom two-thirds of each ball into chocolate mixture with a toothpick. Put onto waxed paper until cool.

7. Corn Flake Wreaths--So, they don't really LOOK like wreaths, but you gotta admit they are festive. Here's how you can do it:

8. Cookie Dough Truffles--These don't contain raw eggs, so you are good to go! Here's your recipe:

9. Dummy Fudge--Yes, it's that easy. Here it is:

I hope you enjoy your goodies. If you didn't get goodies from me, I am sorry! Enjoy these recipes!

Please let me know what you like best. I am trying to come up with a standard for next year.

Merry Christmas! Please stop by my blog again sometime!

Long lost Lianne posts again!

I know many of you have been anxiously checking in to see if I've written another thought-provoking, blogalicious post, only to be disappointed day after day...Yeah, I can't even type that with a straight face.

Actually what happened was I got all those cool awards (see below) and just felt like I could sit on that awhile, 'cause that's how I roll.

Or maybe it's because I have been doing my best Paula Deen impression in the kitchen, Y'ALL! I'll post some pics later of what I've been up to.

I'm going to throw several random things into this post that have been going on lately:

1. A couple of nights ago I was making cookies as my husband was getting the munchkins ready for bed. They were doing "tickle missles" (I'll save the explanation of that for another post.) and just generally being silly. Out of nowhere I hear this come out of my 5 year old son's mouth:

"Say hewwo to my wittle fwiend!"

I LOST it! I was sitting on a barstool in the kitchen, which I quickly fell off of! I laughed so hard.

When the hubby came downstairs, I had to ask where Luke had heard that. Jason explained that he was shaking hands with them and saying the aforementioned quote (with l's intact), and then tickling them with his other hand. He said he quickly realized that it probably didn't sound like a good thing for the kids to be repeating, so he quickly stopped saying that. Which means, of course, that the kids probably said it at school the next day and will say it at church...

Anyhow, I asked him why he picked THAT particular movie quote to teach our kids. He looked dumbfounded. He said, "I didn't know that was from a movie." Again, I fell off the stool.

I explained to him that this quote was from Al Pacino in "Scarface" as he shoots a whole buncha people at the end of the movie. (I haven't even SEEN the film; hubby HAS.) Jason and I got a good laugh out of that.

2. I read this morning that some researchers had made a "Death Map" (good name for a heavy metal band, btw) that laid out what the most likely dangers were region by region of the U.S. for deadly weather events. This is it:

I, of course was interested to see what the ol' death map (also a good name for a downtown Birmingham, Alabama City Guide) had to say about God's Country--the Deep South.

It seems that the greatest danger here is tornadoes, followed by lightning and severe weather. Here's the confusing part. A full 50% of the death map (also a good name for the contents of all the Christmas goodies I've been making...) fatalities were attributed to "Other." If you are from the South, you know what that means:

"Hey Bubba, watch this!"

I also found this pic of a Redneck Christmas tree. It's pretty, in a sad kind of way. That is a lot of empties.

3. Okay, last thing. I flooded the bathroom yesterday. You may be asking, "Lianne, how did you flood the bathroom? Surely a pipe burst or the toilet overflowed?"


I DID IT. Really. I. did. it.


I left the water on.

Stop laughing.

I did it twice.

I said stop laughing!

I felt like SUCH an idiot. I was trying to clean the bathroom. I closed the drain, poured in Mr. Clean, turned on the water, and walked out of the bathroom. TWICE. The only really good thing to come out of it was that I had to clean out the cabinets under the sinks. That was good since I still had hair products from when I last had a perm--I think that was the early 90s. It was ridiculous. It was a very blonde day for me.

So, how are things for you? Getting it all done before Christmas??? I love comments, so do that. Or I will come "clean" your bathroom.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A "Blogwich," if you will...

I have gotten a little behind on blogging this week due to real life actually having the nerve to get in the way. Hrrrmmppphh! Because of this, I am going to have to sandwich several of my thoughts together here into one post. Here goes!

My awesome friend (despite the Auburn fandom thing) Tiffany at Alabama Redhead Adventures gave me my first award EVER! Yea! I am so excited to have gotten an award! I didn't even know these things existed...Woo! I especially feel thrilled to have gotten it from Tiff, who writes one of the most hilarious and insightful blogs out there. Thank you!!!

I am supposed to pick 7 people to share it with, but I will hold off on that until I get to know a few more folks better. It would come off a little stalkerish right now to hand it over to some stranger, I think.

Similarly, my incredible friend, Temple at Cookies mean God loves you! (who I have known since we both had BIG, BIG HAIR and I think is a MAGNIFICENT and hysterical writer,) and my new friend and fellow Alabama fan, Valerie (RTR!) at It's a Wonderful Life,have both bestowed honors/tags upon me:

According to these gals, I am supposed to share 10 honest random things and 7 random/weird things about myself, so I think I am going to try to at least maim two flying creatures with the single rock. Oh, and I am supposed to tag 7 others to do this too, but again, fear of restraining orders holds me back.

In no particular order, here are the random/honest/weird facts:

1. When I go into my closet, I have to turn on the light. Even if I am just putting on a pair of shoes or hanging up a jacket, I have to turn it on and immediately turn it back off. I am not afraid of the dark...well, not too badly, but I think it's the OCD taking over. What's worse is that it makes me mad that I do it.

2. I cannot go to sleep at night without chapstick, preferably Burt's Bees variety, on my lips. I love the stuff. I am guessing they put crack in it because when I don't use it, my lips get dts and become horribly chapped. I am jonesing for some right now.

3. I hate to shake hands. I really do. I see you picking your nose in your car at the red light. Yes, I do. Now you want to shake my hand? I think not! But I do it at church anyway. Begrudgingly.

4. My husband proposed to me in a gondola in Venice, Italy. Romantic, right? All I could think about was, "Get up! Get up! You're gonna flip the boat over!" And I said "Yes." Not that I could've said "no," for all the trouble he went through! Oh, and if you were the Americans taking the pictures from the bridge and chanting, "Say yes, say yes," could you send me a copy of the pics? Thanks.

5. I hate lizards. I mean HATE 'em--but seemingly, they love me. One jumped down the top of my bathing suit when I was 16. One had a three day adventure in my house last Christmas, which you can read about here. Last week, ANOTHER one got in the house and hid amongst Christmas decorations. He was trying to be all chameleon-y and stuff.

6. I absolutely despise glitter. (No, not the Mariah Carey movie, although I'm sure that I would hate it if I watched it.) It is made up of ground-up evil and the souls of serial killers. I have a blog already written in my head about it. It will be posted later as a big time rant.

7. I hate to dust. I honestly believe in the "dust to dust" philosophy, and I'm pretty sure someone died or is about to be born on my bookshelves.

8. I was a Girl Scout for the cookies. No other reason. Just for the cookies. Man, I love cookies.

9. I nearly amputated my right index finger when I was 4. I stuck it in the chain of an exercise bicycle and leaned on the pedal. Strangely, they don't make exercise bicycles with exposed chains anymore. I should've sued.

10. I was the 5th grade spelling bee champion at Winfield Elementary School. I went on the the regional contest and misspelled "noisy." (i.e., I spelled it "noisey.") I will always remember how to spell "noisy," even if the cookies cause me to have a stroke, that will stay with me.

If you feel compelled to share some random facts about yourself after reading mine, let me know! Maybe I'll give you an award!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Stomach Virus, BEGONE!

I awoke this morning to a beautiful, sunny day. Ah, yes, the Christmas decorations are up, the kids spent the night at my parents' home, and we had a fantastic Saturday night at the Casting Crowns Christmas concert. Yes, life is good.
"Oh, good morning, husband. What? Luke is sick? Puking all night at Mom's house? Noooo!"

So, I showered, skipped church, schlepped on some jeans and decided to do without make-up. (Sorry, world.) I drove over to mom's house, a.k.a. Grandmama's Hospital, and found a very sick little man laying on the sofa.

Me: Good morning, Luke. I'm so sorry that you are sick.

Luke: I throwed up all night.

Me: I know. How do you feel now?

Luke: My head hurts, my tummy hurts, and my body hurts all over.

Me: Oh, baby. I'm sorry. Do you want something to drink?

Luke: Yes. And I counted to 1,119 one day at school.

Me: What?

Luke: I counted to 1,119 in my class, but I didn't do it out loud.

Me: When was this? Were you supposed to be working?

Luke: It was one day at kindergarten. I was counting and working at the same time.

That's my Luke.

Then he threw up two more times, one of which I was not so fortunate to be out of his area of aim expertise. Oops.

Everybody say a prayer that nobody (and I mean NOBODY) else gets this virus. Little man had a fever of 102.6 at 1:00 this afternoon. After the advil, his fever broke and he ate a flour tortilla. I am hopeful this was just a 24 hour thing that was limited to people who are mathematical geniuses with Jeff Foxworthy-worthy accents.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Fun with the Security System

*Periodically I will post a blog that is from my women's ministry newsletter. Yes, they let me be in charge of that. God loves us all, no doubt. If He can use me, He can use anyone!*

We have a security system at our home. We have it for peace of mind, not for fear of our neighborhood or community. We didn't have one in our last home in Trussville, not that it was in the 'hood either, but I always wished we had one. Every time I heard a pop or a crack (or any random sound at all) in the middle of the night, I knew, KNEW that Jack the Ripper had found me and that I was as good as dead. Because of the fear that Jack would follow me to Winfield, we decided that we would put one in when we built this house.

I guess the security system gives me some false sense of security. After all, it's not always on, and if somebody really, really wanted to get in, an alarm probably wouldn't stop them. Not only that, but just today the alarm started going off, even though it wasn't even in the armed position. I called the alarm company to find out why it had gone off. They told me that it went off because it had "lost communication through the phone line for at least 30 seconds." Well, that makes my heart attack totally worth it.

Isn't it wonderful to know that we never lose our security with God? Communication with God is constant--if we let it be. God's watchful care is never turned off, and we can never get so far from Him that He can't protect us. His Spirit is continually with us and watching over us. There is no false sense of security with Him. It is real and unfailing.

Paul understood God's protection as he wrote in Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." There is nothing that can take us out of God's hand or make Him stop loving us. We can be confident in this promise.

There is no security system on this earth that can protect us from every hurtful, harmful danger, even to the point of death. Bad things will happen to us in this life, no matter what kind of secure fortress we try to build around us. The key is to make sure that when evil does make its way into our safe havens, we are armed with God's Word to deliver us through the trials of life. If we rely on the grace and keeping power of God in our salvation, we are assured eternal security.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Now say it again with less accent!

This is Luke.

He is my 5-year-old son. He is ridiculously smart. I know as a mom, I am legally obligated to tell you that, even if he had the i.q. of a sweet potato, but really he is incredibly bright.

He's been doing addition, subtraction, and multiplication since he was 4. He has recently added to the mix some division, algebra, and square roots. (Can you understand how much trouble I am in as a bearer of a Bachelor of Arts, English major degree? Math is sooo beyond me.) But that's not what I'm writing about today.

Luke started kindergarten this year. That was a big life change for him, but something else has changed as well. His accent has gone so far off the deep end, that we make him say stuff just for the chance to laugh at him. He's always had a little bit of an accent. Being a Southern boy by the grace of God, he has that certain twang. That twang is now more resounding, like a gong.

I don't know if it's a thing like Madonna going to England and suddenly becoming British or what, but I am beginning to think that his teacher or his friends MUST have that Larry the Cable Guy accent because I know that he isn't hearing it at home. His big sister, Emma (who is 8 and knows everything there is to know about everything, thankyouverymuch), has even noticed it and points it out--in that certain "loving" way that only a big sister can muster.

Now anyone that knows me is aware of how far I've come from my first days at BSC. I was not all that far removed from Ellie Mae Clampett as far as accent goes.
(I.E., My speech at high school graduation was immortalized on videotape for my embarrassment. It begins, "Waaay, the clayuss of nun-teen-hundred-and nun-ty-thray are beganning our jurr-neee into tha fuu-cher." Forrest Gump would've been proud.) I have hope that Luke will also one day be able to speak to people from north of the Mason-Dixon without a translator.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Top 10 Christmas songs that AREN'T

I know I probably shouldn't, but I've been listening to Christmas music for about a week and a half now. I am feeling SO festive and merry, so it seems to be working! This is the least grinchy I've felt in a while...

So, I've been noticing that there are a certain number of Christmas songs that turn my stomach and make me want to jump off a bridge, if only just a little. In my opinion, they are Christmas songs that don't deserve to be Christmas songs. They are (in no particular order):

10. "A Wonderful Christmas Time"--Paul McCartney--I'll say this first. I am NOT a Beatles fan, so maybe if ANYONE else on planet Earth sang this, I might like it better, but with lyrics like these, I am not sure: "Ding, dong, ding, dong Ding, dong, ding, dong The mood is right The spirits up We're here tonight And that's enough Simply having a wonderful Christmas time ..." No, Paul, that's not going to be enough.

9. "Please, Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)"--John Denver--Admittedly, I've never heard this one, but it deserved an honorable mention just for the title alone.

8. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"--Band Aid--Now everyone in 1984 was feeling the love for the starving
people in Africa. Heck, if they'd asked me to join in and sing with them and hold hands across the nation and wear jelly shoes, I would've. But that was in 1984. I still appreciate many of the artists that performed on this song (Read: Bono), but I get depressed listening to it. I quote, "Thank God it's them instead of you." That makes me hungry for some figgy pudding.

7. "River"--Joni Mitchell--She wishes she had a river to skate on, long enough
so she could fly. I wish she could've skated or flew back to wherever it is she came from before she released this monstrosity. I get majorly grouchy when this sap-filled, whiny ballad slides out of the speakers.

6. "
Happy Christmas (War is Over)"--John Lennon/Yoko Ono--ANOTHER Beatles Christmas song. ACK. Might've been better without Yoko.

5. "Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer"--Elmo and Patsy--Now, I know I am going to be ostracized and
possibly removed from my family for this one. Seriously, though, how am I supposed to explain to my kids that in this song Grandma is a homicide victim on top of the fact that Santa's her killer and she's a drunk?!? It's got a good beat, but the message is horrible to dance to.

4. "This Christmas"--Macy Gray--Now, I really didn't like this song before she got
a hold of it, since it had too
much of a Marvin Gaye/Barry White kind of feel to it. THAT is not what Christmas makes me think about... But when Macy Gray butchered it....oh...I need antacid. And she needs a lozenge. When she croaks out the line about "we're caroling, thru the niiiiiii--hiiiiiite," I die a little inside thinking about her poor neighbors.

3. "Last Christmas"--George Michael--I've never noticed I had a problem with both "This" and "Last" Christmases before...anyhow, I actually DO like this song. My problem is with the singer, not the song. I enjoy the lyrics: "Last Christmas, I gave you my heart, But the very next day, You gave it away." How can you NOT like a song about re-gifting? I digress. George Michael is to Christmas music what Amy Winehouse is to Rehab. It just doesn't work.

2. "Christmas to Remember"--Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers--Personally, I would like to forget this one was ever written. It's so twangy and sappy that it gives me cavities. I warn you, the lyrics will put it in your head if you've heard it more than once:

"You've made this a Christmas to remember
Springtime feelings in the middle of December
Strangers meet and willingly surrender
Oh, oh, what a Christmas to remember.

Almost went to Aspen but something told me no
I considered Mammoth but there wasn't enough snow
And I even thought of Gatlinburg but that seemed so far to go
So I headed up to Tahoe for a Christmas on the slopes.

And I had fantasized about Christmas in this way
Curled up by a fireplace in a Tahoe ski chalet
With a fast talking lover with some slow burning wood
But even in my wildest dreams it never got this good.

And you've made this a Christmas to remember
Springtime feelins in the middle of December
Change the radio and I'll turn the lights down dimmer
Oh, oh, what a Christmas to remember.

Strangers when we met lovers as we leave
Christmas to remember too good to believe
Don't know how it went but I know we'll meet again
We'll come blowin' back to somewhere
Like some wild restless winter's wind.

You've made this a Christmas to remember
Springtime feelins in the middle of December
'Neath the mistletoe you kissed me warm and tender
Oh, oh, what a Christmas to remember.

We loved and laughed and played and joked
Sang Christmas songs and talked to folks
Sleighed the fields and skied the slopes then to the lodge for dinner
But now it's time for us to go as our hearts melt like chimney snow
There's just one thing I want to know can we do this next winter?"

Just go back to the "Islands in the Stream," Dolly and Kenny. Please.

1. "Same Old Lang Syne"--Dan Fogelberg--Technically, this IS, in my humble opinion, the WORST SONG EVER to pose as a Christmas song. Title doesn't ring a bell? Well, the words will. Try to think of them in the whiniest voice ever heard. Here are all the lyrics, in their shameful glory:

"Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve

She didn't recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried

We took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation dragged

Went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

She said she'd married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn't like to lie

I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I
Saw doubt or gratitude

She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was hell

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how

We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another 'auld lang syne'

The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away

Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain"

Okay, the first thing that makes my skin flee from my frame is him calling his ex-girlfriend his "lover." WHO SAYS THAT? No one other than that guy on the "SNL" skit! (You know the one, right?)

Maybe people who live in colonies and listen to John Lennon/Yoko Ono music and hope to find a river to skate away on, but not normal folks! Next, Christmas music is about holly, tinsel, snowmen, Baby Jesus, chestnuts, Rudolph, Santa, Mary, hippopotamusesesesesessss, and missing front teeth.

Christmas music is categorically NOT about stalking an ex-girlfriend next to the Eggo waffles; loveless marriages; they do not reference liquor stores, bars, or beer;
they do not have a word in it that you don't let your kids say! This is not a Christmas song!!!! Who decided that it was? Oh, I know...the same guy that thought that "Born in the U.S.A." was a patriotic song. I get it. A dumb guy.

Rant complete. Feel free to defend your favorite. :D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Old pants ARE the enemy.

Not long ago I put on a pair of jeans that had been put in storage before my daughter, Emma, was born (probably since I got married in 1999--love does strange things to your waistline). Anyhow, since I've lost weight this year, I thought, "Hey, more clothes. That's always good!" So I get them out, look at the label which reads "Lerner New York." Hmmm...they haven't been Lerner New York since I was in college(1993-97), so these were honest-to-goodness college jeans! Yes!!!

So I put them on.

Apparently we were only about 1 step up from stonewashing/acid-washing jeans in 1996-97.

Bon Jovi would've approved of these jeans. The color was monstrous.
It was not a shade even found in the 96 crayon Crayola box that my children own.

Oh, it's all well and good that they fit, but who wants to look like they stepped out of a Dave Matthews video, really? Oh well.

I suppose this means I must shop for new jeans. Woe is me.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Ooh, aah. This is what a blog looks like. Hmm...okay so we need stuff here. White space scares me.

Okay, so I'll start with the name I chose for the blog, "Socks are NOT the enemy." For some reason, my chihuahua, Tootie, finds socks on my feet-or anyone else's for that matter--to be extremely offensive. Upon first sight of socks, she goes nuts. She starts biting, pouncing, chasing, and generally, just makes herself a nuisance to my socks.

Now, if said socks were inside a shoe, all would be good. It's the ones that have escaped the relative safety of the shoe that are a direct threat to all she holds dear. Socks lying harmlessly on stairs are in no way perceived as a terrorist action in her opinion.

Now, I have a total and utter fear of feet. Feet are gross, nasty, sweaty, stinky, and dirty. I don't think Tootie has a problem with feet. To me, socky feet are equally as disgusting as non-socky feet, so I don't know what the difference is to her.

Granted, I could probably stick her inside some of my husband's socks, and she'd never find her way out. Maybe that's what she's doing. Maybe she is trying to free some of her fellow countrymen from their wriggling, stinky death bags. Or maybe she's just psycho. Whatever.