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Friday, December 18, 2015

5 Things on a Friday (The last one before Christmas!!!)

Friends o' Mine,

I am so tired I can barely spell. Last night, I finally pulled out all the indoor Christmas decorations and started my usual walk of shame and inadequacy as I tried to push visions of Pinterest mantles out of my head. It turned out okay if you consider that rather than decorating with O Come All Ye Faithful playing in the background, I was listening to the sweet sounds of daggers being plunged into the heads of zombies while Kyle watched The Walking Dead. Oh, we are just so full of the spirit here in Skinner World.

Anyway, I've got to throw down some caffeine and hustle this morning because this afternoon I will be attending my very last elementary school Christmas Winter Party today. I've been told I will be working at the craft table which kinda makes me break into a sweat, so I'd appreciate your prayers. I sure don't need any ten year old girls judging my abilities with pipe cleaners and glitter. I know they won't though because at the Halloween Fall Party they were all patient and lovely while I tried to work my way around some sort of weaving activity with plastic yarn type stuff that made me want to fold myself into a ball in the reading corner.

So before I go, here are a quick five fun things for this Friday.

1.  My Favorite Preschool Craft Ever

A shout out to the preschool teachers all over the land and especially at Drew's preschool because this here was the best Christmas craft I ever did see. I think that even we craft-challenged folks could pull this off.  Paper plate, paper doily, sparkly pipe cleaner, and your own little angel's face. Arcola Christian Preschool, I'll keep this forever and ever. I HEART YOU.

2.  Texas Brunch Casserole
I try to keep some Texan in my people for Christmas even though we aren't there, so on Christmas morning we have this Tex Mex brunch casserole, tamales and cinnamon rolls. I thought I'd share this recipe with you which comes from the Austin Junior League Cookbook. This is great to serve your people any time during the holidays. It reheats well also, but there won't be any left to reheat. Deck them Halls y'all.

6 slices white bread, crust removed
1 pound ground sausage
1 onion, finely chopped
4 oz. chopped green chiles, drained
1 fresh jalapeno, chopped
4 cups Monterey Jack Cheese
6 eggs
1 rounded teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 cups half and half
Lightly butter each slice of bread and place in 9x13 buttered glass baking dish. Brown sausage with onion. Sprinkle green chiles and jalapeno over sausage. Drain and pat with paper towels. Sprinkle sausage/chile/onion evenly over bread slices. Sprinkle cheese evenly over sausage. Beat eggs. Add seasoned salt, cumin, dry mustard and half and half. Beat again. Pour over all. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until casserole is bubbly and lightly browned on top.

3.  Joanna Gaines's Jacket is On Sale!!!
I think this makes a solid three appearances by Fixer Upper's Joanna and/or Chip Gaines on 5 Things on a Friday. And I think I've only done this four times so that's either impressive or obsessive. In the words of Elf, "I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!". Earlier this week while I was wrapping gifts, I watched an episode where she was wearing this (or something very close to this) Free People Knit and Denim Jacket which is 40% off right now and comes in three different color combinations. I adore this so much.  You need a last minute gift for your Real Daughter or Real Best Friend or Real Sister or your Real Self? This just might be it. You're welcome.

4.  Be Born in Me by Francesca Battistelli
I heard this song at a concert two years ago.  Besides the fact that Francesca's Battistelli has the voice of an angel, the lyrics in the song make me weep. In the midst of the joyful anticipation of the coming of Jesus, I can't help but think about how terrified young Mary must have been. How often have I wondered as a mom or a wife or as just a person in general if I am really hearing God correctly when He calls me to something? How often do I fight and make excuses and decide that I am not good enough to answer that call in that way? Of course, the command to Mary was the very highest calling of all. And yet despite her trembling heart she knew that in this unexpected, frightening moment she had to say, "I am not brave, I'll never be.  The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy.  I'm just a girl.  Nothing more.  But I am willing.  I am yours." Oh, that this could be our response to the Lord's call this year. Oh, the way Jesus could be born in each of us. Oh, how we could change the world one heart at a time. Take a minute today to listen. You'll be blessed.

5.  The Star Wars Movie
Y'all.  I have never seen Star Wars. (Gasps all around.) I think we went to see it in 1977, but the line was too long and we probably saw Smokey and the Bandit because my mom had the hots for Burt Reynolds. Either way, I've never sat down and watched any of the Star Wars movies. It's been on in my house. I've bought the toys and the legos and the costumes and whatnot, but I don't get it. My kids think I am all kinds of lame, as does 98% of the rest of the country. If you are seeing it, I hope you get a seat near the back of the theater so that you don't wrench your neck looking up at the screen from the front row and marveling at how Harrison Ford got so old when you are positive you still have the youthful glow that you had in 1977. 

But listen, friends. The reality is going to hit you. The original Star Wars came out 38 years ago. The only thing I can say to make you feel better about that crick in your neck and the fact that your face is starting to resemble Chewbaca is that you still have a chance to get it fixed.  IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO GO TO WEDNESDAY'S POST AND COMMENT TO BE ENTERED TO WIN THE FREE GIFT CARD TO MASSAGE ENVY which you can use for a facial or a massage at one of five different Northern Virginia locations. You can enter until midnight on December 20th. The winner will be announced here on Monday, the 21st.

GO HERE AND COMMENT and may the force be with you. Happy Friday!

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