Saturday, November 26, 2011

Turkey Day Plus Black Friday

She came, she came, Grandma T came to see us for Turkey Day! Vaughn found my mom a good deal on a flight out to see us for Thanksgiving and she jumped at the chance. YIPPIE! It has been 6 months since we have seen her. The kids have changed so much since she last saw them. Lots of hugs and kisses were giving on that first day.

We planned out the perfect feast. Here is the top item on the list, the pumpkin pie. YUMMY! Next to the turkey, this is the most important part of the dinner.

Tyson and Grandma T getting the pie ready to bake. I wish I could describe the smells in our house. They were divine. Like a little piece of heaven in my kitchen.

Vaughn had to work the night before Thanksgiving and usually he takes care of the turkey, but this year it fell to me. YIKES! Once it was all thawed I shot it full of the garlic and herb seasoning. MMMMMmmmmm... Then back in the fridge for tomorrow's cooking.

Vaughn put the fryer together and prepared to cook the turkey. we go. Dip the bird in and hope that it doesn't catch on fire. Since oil and water don't mix very well, you have to make sure the turkey is free from water or ice. Luckily for us ours was and we didn't have any early 4th of July fireworks in November. We also learned that if you place an onion in with the turkey the bird tends to cook without burning.

The side dishes, and desserts were ready, we just had to wait for the turkey to cook. Grandma T always brings games to play to keep us all entertained.

The bird is cooked. Tyson likes to be dramatic about everything these days. He didn't like the look of the turkey as it came out of the pot.

Doesn't this look like a good spread? We ate and ate and ate. The kids were introduced to sweet potatoes and they weren't very happy about them at first, but then after a bite they asked for more. I love it when they try new foods and actually like them. I am so glad they are not like I was went I was young. (I was a very picky eater)

Even though we stuffed ourselves silly, we all still had room for pumpkin pie. Ahhhh! It was delicious.

Tyson had two pieces of pie. He is growing so quickly that his stomach is getting bigger. He is like a bottomless pit most days. I cannot get enough food into him without him saying, "I am still hungry." Holy Cow. What will the teenage years be like?

After dinner we made a foam train that Grandma T had given us last year, but with all the craziness of last Christmas we never did make it. So it worked out perfect. The kids love to make things and it was even better that Grandma T was there to do it with them.

Time for a little relaxation. Once dinner was finished, and the craft made, we all settled down for a minute and then it was off to bed. The kids and Vaughn went to bed and mom and I headed out in the cold to go Black Friday Shopping. I love to shop Black Friday and get good deals. My mom has never gone and so I was going to introduce her to the wonderful world of late night shopping.

We began at Kohl's. We got there at 9:15 and they didn't open till midnight, but there was some specific items I wanted, and I wasn't going to lose them. We were the tenth person in line and after waiting in the car for the first hour, which we were parked at the front, we saw a little bench and snagged it. We sat there and talked with another lady for the next few hours and then they opened the doors. The line was back about 1/4 of a mile or more, but people who weren't in line were waiting like vultures to slip into the line. A lady slipped right in front of my mom and I was about to say something, but I was too busy thinking about running to grab what I wanted. Oh well, so she got in early. Mom went one way to pick up stuff and I ran the other, and we met in the middle. We grabbed everything we wanted and headed for the check out. We only had to wait 20 minutes. Not bad. We were in and out in 45 minutes and headed to the mall. I figured it would be absolutely crazy, but it wasn't as bad I thought it would be. We headed to the Disney store and a few clothing stores, found what we wanted and headed out to another store. Around 4 a.m. we were pooped and had purchased almost everything on our lists. We saved $600.00 between the two of us. YES! I love big savings.

It is so much fun when Grandma T comes around. We enjoyed our time and were very sad to see her go. Hopefully it isn't another 6 months before we see her again.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Little Doll

This is my little DIVA! She comes in the other morning while I am cleaning, poses by the foot of my bed and says, "Mom, can you take a picture of me?" Oh how cute! I loved it! And of course we had to take a few pictures.

Taryn is turning into quit a little girl and yet she loves to be rough and tough with her dad and brother. She is also the BIGGEST tease in the whole house. She will have her dad and Tyson up in arms within 10 minutes. I wonder what this has in store for the future?

Friday, November 11, 2011


Only comes around once in a life time: 11-11-11. I remember when I was in college the date was 01-01-01. We all thought it was so cool to be around on that monumental occasion. My kids wanted to prove to the world that they were around on this very date. Tyson is 6 and Taryn is 3. We are living in Knoxville, TN and Vaughn is in his 2nd year of residency.

Virginia Fun

The Jackson crew took a needed, quick, fast mini-vacation to Virginia Beach, Virginia.
This is our cheerful kiddos at the beginning of the trip. Little did they know that they would be in the car for 8+ hours. Yeah! This cheerfulness didn't last long.
Vaughn got a shot of me telling the kids, for the umpteenth time, that we still had several hours to go. Halfway to Virginia Beach we had some car trouble, so we stopped in Roanoke, VA at an Auto Zone and had to get the battery checked. 45 minutes later, and a new battery, we were on the road again. Thank goodness we didn't break down in the middle of nowhere. That is usually our luck, but we were spared the adventure of being stranded, and I was okay with that. We saw several funny town names, Troutville, Fisherville, you would think they ran out of names and just started adding "ville" to anything that sounded good. HA HA HA. I loved it!
After many long hours we finally got through the cut-throat traffic of Richmond, VA, and into Virginia Beach and this cool tunnel. That evening we ate at the closest place available to us, Denny's, and then crashed in our lovely motel room. AHHH! It was nice to sleep.
We were up early the next day. When you only have a few days to have a vacation, you get your butt out of bed and head sight seeing. We headed down to the pier to see the battleship Wisconsin. They had a chalk wall, that anyone could write on, which was for the boys and girls in the armed forces. I am a BIG patriot, and I take any opportunity to tell our soldiers how much they are appreciated.
Here is the ship, well...part of it.
They retired the battleship Wisconsin after several tours and now it is a floating museum. It was enormous. I was shocked that something that huge could float. Tyson loved the BIG guns that were attached all around the decks.
The chains were as big as Taryn. Sheeze! Had to be big to hold down that BIG ship!
I always have loved listening to my grandpa's stories about WWII and how he was in a battleship on route to the Philippines. Looking at this ship in person, made all those stories come to life.
Just totally awesome looking.
There were all kinds of plaques around the pier surrounding the battleship, telling about the many parts of the ship. Tyson really liked hearing about the "Quad 40 Mount" guns and how it took several guys to arm, shoot and reload them.
Here is a picture of the guns. My dad would have thought they were cool. I was amazed.
"Wisconsin Square" is what they call the place where the battleship is settled.
Nice family photo.
Since we were by the sea, there were tons of mermaids all around as decorations. Taryn thought they were pretty and wanted to get pictures by all of them.
Another mermaid.
My three angels. They tried to lift the 3000 pound anchor of the "Wisconsin". Look at the strain in those cheeks.
Tyson and Taryn left trying to lift it and decided to lay on the anchor and bask in the sun.
My two sweethearts and a mermaid.
Taryn loved the mermaids. She found this one in a little lunch shop. It was made out of styrofoam.
"I am the king of the world!"
They had a lot of ships in the harbor that they were dismantling or fixing, we couldn't ever tell.
Next, we headed to the beach. Tyson can't remember living on St. Maarten for 2 years, and Taryn has never seen the beach, so when they got there they begged to wade in the water.
They were so excited to put their toes in the sand and surf.Photo by the beach.
And here is the two munchkins before the crash of the waves. See the oncoming took Taryn out!
You can't see it from this picture, but she was soaked. The wave took her feet from under her and she face planted it into the sand and sea water. I thought she would freak out, but it was just the opposite. She loved it. She was covered in sand and didn't care. She wanted to keep playing, even though the water was cold.
Still playing in the cold water and loving every minute of it.
They didn't want to leave and it was hard to make them. We have decided that we need to come back to Virginia Beach when it is warm and let them play all day in the sand and surf. I know they would love it. Since Taryn completely soaked and sanded her only jacket, we had to find a Target to purchase a new one. We then went to McDonald's for some needed lunch. The kids love McDonald's but we don't go very often, so it is a treat when they get to go. They savored every minute of it. That night was dinner at the Macaroni Grill, which is always delicious. After we had stuffed ourselves, it was time to sleep. We had crammed so much into the past two days and we still had one to go.
Early Wednesday Morning we stumbled onto this man made hill and park called "Mount Trashmore." It was literately a landfill that they had turned into a park. OH Heavens!
This was the hill and people were running up and down it, walking around it and working out on its six sets of stairs.
On the top it actually had a nice view for a landfill.
The kids running on top of the landfill, Mount Trashmore.
Nice view from the top.
Dad and daughter, too cute!
There was this amazing park for the kids to play on and since I knew we had a long drive ahead of us, I let them play for a good hour on all the fun playground equipment.
My two loves!!!
King of the hill.
This is my favorite picture. It is times like this that we cherish. Our year has been full of many ups and downs and this vacation was an escape from all of that. It was so nice to just be a family without all of life's interference. The long 8 hour drive wasn't as bad as we thought it was going to be, but waking up for school the next morning after getting home at midnight wasn't pretty.