Ariel and I just started shopping for little man’s Christmas. It was on Black Friday, which is the busiest day for retail stores. We knew going in that we were going to be stressed, as neither of us like giant crowds of people. What we didn’t expect was that the overwhelming stress wasn’t going to be from the insane crowds, even if that played a big part in it, but that the feeling of panic was also going to come from a 2-year-old throwing a fit. Since we had no babysitter, we decided to take our son shopping with us. We thought it would be fine, as usually he is a really good kid! It was not fine, not even one bit! Being a two-year-old, He wanted to touch everything. He wanted the whole store for Christmas, or at least that is how he acted. The worst part was when we told him no, he did what any other 2-year-old would do, he began to kick and scream. Even if it was the hardest thing ever to do, We didn’t cave in! We held our ground, even as the cries got louder and the other customers began to stare. Furthermore, we stayed strong and finished our shopping without giving him anything….which is a lie. We gave him a toy to keep him occupied, but we put it back before we cashed out, so doesn’t that count? I would like to think so! I hate the freak out stage, mainly because I hate the stares that people give parents with screaming kids. Like “Yes, Karen. I know my son is screaming, you got a problem?” As I sat here thinking about that story, I realized that he will soon be that age where kids sneak around the house, attempting to find the presents their parents bought them. I once found a present from my parents and tried to convince my mom to give it to me early, but she didn’t! I have 67 words to tell this story, so let’s go!

Topic: Finding presents early
Word count: 67 words.

I found a present when I was 6-years-old. The present was a pair of Heely’s, (or shoes with roller blades.) After discovering them, I tried to convince my mom to let me keep them. I went as far as hiding my actual shoes, that way she had no other option but to give me the Heely’s, early. She refused and forced me to get my old shoes.

I hid my normal shoes, hoping my mom would give me the Heely’s early. The problem is that she found my daily shoes quick. She then forced me to put them on as she put the Heely’s away. I got the Heely’s on Christmas morning and spent hours playing on them, but that was about it. After the newness rubbed off, I was stuck there with shoes that were very dangerous, asking myself the question, “Why do Heely’s even exist?” They are just normal shoes that make walking more difficult. Why do shoes need wheels? I never discovered why, but I soon went back to my original shoes. It is crazy to think that I had more fun finding the Heely’s than I did once I had them! If lil man is anything like me, then I will also have to deal with him sneaking around the house to attempt to find his presents. Though that sounds horrifying, I doubt that is as horrifying as him screaming bloody murder while random strangers walked by our cart! I would much rather deal with a sneaky kid than a kid that throws a fit when he isn’t allowed to have every toy that he passes by! I know it will get better with age, and we just have to be the parents that say no, but it’s so hard!! I hope you enjoyed this very short story…I hope you have a great day and until next time…bye!!

This is why you can’t trust little kids with your phone. This was in my drafts after lil man had my phone. Either way, I think lil man wants all of you to watch a YouTube video! Enjoy 🙂

Record before this week: 89-59

Record after Thanksgiving: 91-60 (loses for Thanksgiving will be discussed in next weeks predictions)

This week is a bit weird, as we had 3 Thursday games. Not only that, but it was also Thanksgiving. The picks for that day were alright, as I went 2-1. I should have went 3-0, but the Patriots just couldn’t hold off the Vikings’ passing game. I mentioned that they needed to stop Jefferson (and company) in order to win, which they couldn’t. So with that loss I am unable to go undefeated this week so I’ll skip begging the football Gods, it’s not like it has helped anyways. We got into the rest of this week with a 2-1 record for the week and 91-60 for the season. My goal is to get to 100 wins today, which I think is going to happen with today’s easy predictable games. But before we get into that, let us first take a look at my losses from last week. I went 9-5 last week. Here are the picks I got wrong:


First off, I was incorrect when I assumed the Giants were going to get back on track. I assumed the Lions, who were on a win streak, would lose steam and lose to a Giants team that start the season so good.  This wasn’t the case. The Lions continued to hand out loses to teams they shouldn’t have won to. They did lose on Thanksgiving, snapping that win streak, but the win against the Giants was impressive. It also makes me question what is going on with the Giants, who have lost 2 in a row. Luckily, they get an extended break since they played on Thursday. We will see.


Next, The Bears lost to the Falcons. The Falcons have been inconsistent, whereas the Bears (behind Fields) had been electric the last few weeks. Fields got injured late in the game and my Team lost to the Falcons. The Bears are now without Fields for this week, which will definitely not help them against a good Jets team, who just named Matt White their new starting Quarterback. The Bears are now in position for a great draft pick, so it would be beneficial to lose out the rest of the season, possibly benching Fields if that non-throwing shoulder is still sore.

After that, The Patriots beat the Jets in the last seconds of the game. The Patriots don’t have a problem beating the Jets and I should have picked the Patriots. The Patriots are a sleeper playoff team that everyone needs to watch out for, but I think this came down to Zach Wilson’s poor performance. Either way, I got that pick wrong and I knew it the second the game started.


Next, The Raiders beat the Broncos. If I’m correct, this game went to overtime and DeVante Adams caught a TD to seal the game. I’m not sure, as both teams have been underperforming and boring to watch. Neither team will be in the playoffs, even though they were both projected to be in that position. I’m just saying, it was hard to pick this game since both teams are awful. I’ll take my L and move on.


Finally, The Dallas Cowboys won big against the Vikings, who have the second best record, in the NFL, this season. The problem with the Vikings is that they struggle against winning teams. They have only beat 3 teams with a winning record and have either struggled to beat them or have lost to them. I think the Vikings are a fraud team that will get knocked out early in the playoffs. You heard it here first, they will lose their first playoff game.

And now, we get to see what games will be played this week. As I said before, I hope to get to 100 wins, meaning I need to win 9 of the 13 games played today and tomorrow. I think it’s very possible, but we won’t know until the coin is flipped at noon. How do you think my picks will do? If you want to play along then comment your picks below! I hope you have a great day and until next time…. bye!:)

My picks:

Sunday Day Games
Buccaneers @ Browns: Buccaneers
Bengals @ Titans: Titans
Texans @ Dolphins: Dolphins
Bears @ Jets: Jets
Falcons @ Commanders: Commanders
Broncos @ Panthers: Panthers
Ravens @ Jaguars: Ravens
Chargers @ Cardinals: Chargers
Raiders @ Seahawks: Seahawks
Rams @ Chiefs: Chiefs
Saints @ 49ers: 49ers

Sunday Night Football
Packers @ Eagles: Eagles (23-16)

Monday Night Football
Steelers @ Colts: Colts (19-10)

P.s.

Today, after almost a month, Prompt Sundays will be returning! Stay tuned for that! 🙂

Amen to this!

Posted: November 26, 2022 in Snippets
Tags: , , , , ,
Amen

As we get ready for 2023, I would love to know what topics you would like covered in future series! I am now planning the whole year and would love to hear your suggestions, so comment below! We are back on the normal schedule until December 12th, when we will start “12 days of Christmas.”

It started very early in the morning, with the wife nudging me awake. I had fallen asleep in my comfy chair, in the living room, the previous night. I was trying to get some writing done, but the prep prior got me very tired. It was now 6 a.m. We had 6 hours to get everything ready before the feast. Luckily, we got a lot done the night before, all we had left was the turkey, cornbread casserole and mac n’ cheese, which all would take less than 5 hours to complete. After an early morning argument about what butter we typically use in our household, we got the turkey in the oven. I hooked up my fancy digital thermometer to the turkey. This would ensure that I didn’t have to open the oven at all, unless it was to put other foods in the oven. With it reading under 100*F, we knew that we had about 4.5 to 5.5 hours before the turkey was done, which would be perfect timing for the lunch to start! We got all of the food ready and waited for the turkey to reach the temperature of 165*F in order to take it out. But, like a good Hallmark movie, there had to be a problem!

The problem we ran into this year was we didn’t have a turkey baster. Now, this usually isn’t a huge deal, as we use a turkey bag which catches all of the juices. The issue was the dang wing punchered a hole into the turkey bag, allowing the juices to fill the pan it was in. The delicious juices (which I learned later in the morning are not freaking good) were now boiling in the pan below the turkey and starting to run over onto the ovens heating element. I heard the sizzling of juices touching the element and knew if I didn’t act fast that this could catch a fire! I blew up a green bean casserole (Do you want to hear that story? Let me know) a few years ago, so I didn’t want to be the reason another delicate dish was ruined! I acted quickly and got a glass pan and put it directly below the turkey pan. With tongs, I bent the turkey pan to where the juices began to pour out into the glass pan. I wasn’t able to get all of the juice, but I was able to stop it from boiling over! I later dropped some of the boiling juices onto my toes and almost lost the whole turkey, but we will refrain from talking about that!

We got all of the food ready by noon, but we weren’t able to begin eating until close to 1 p.m. due to family members being late to the dang dinner. Now, it’s not a huge deal that they were late, because it gave us all the time to sit around and talk about life. It also gave Ariel and I more time to cool down after slaving in the kitchen for over 10 hours in two days. After the family members arrived, we all sat at the kitchen table and ate the food. Conversation, humor, and an occasional burp filled the air as we enjoyed the presence of each other!

This year was great. The turkey was the best it has ever been, the cornbread casserole was delicious, and the buffalo turkey dip mac and cheese was a hit once more. I mean all of the food was amazing, but those were the 3 dishes that I loved the most! I really enjoyed having the family over for Thanksgiving, it was nice to go around the table and hear what everyone was thankful for. I was going to include what they were thankful for, but I kind of forgot, so instead of qouting them, I am going to include what I think they are thankful for:

Knia- The Lord. She loves her some Jesus
Big Sexy- CoD, family, and big booties
Ariel- Lil man, me, family, and hair dye
My dad- Everything
Mother in law- That she will soon be able to walk without a limp! Thank God for hip surgeries! Oh…and lil man
Father-in-law- For his robot wife that somehow still deals with him, lil man, and of course JESUS.
Father-in-laws wife- For spare parts, family and technology.
me- Well, I’m thankful for everything, but mostly lil man, my wife, family, and my blogging family!

Overall, the day was great. We have always hosted and will do in the future years, but it will no longer be in this house since we will most likely be in a house by this time next year! This was our last thanksgiving in this house, a home we have hosted in for almost 9 years! It has been great to have it in this house, but we are also thankful that we will no longer be in this apartment! We are so ready to buy a house!!! Either way, the food was great, it was great to see family, and the nap after eating was the best sleep I have had in years. If you celebrated Thanksgiving I would love to hear about it in the comment section. I love each and every single one of you. I hope you have a great day and until next time…BYE:)

Enjoy some photos:

Thanksgiving is a day when we should reflect on the things that make us happy. I was able to step back and look at all the wonderful things I have, and it amazed me how much stuff I have to be thankful for. As many may know, I can allow my depression to cloud up my perception of life. It will trick me into thinking that I don’t have anything to be thankful for, when in reality I have so much to be thankful for. I have a good paying job, more employment opportunities coming up, a wonderful family and so much more. My life is pretty remarkable. When I stepped back and saw how much I had, I decided to pass off some of my blessing onto strangers. This post was supposed to be Day 13’s challenge, but we went home directly after work, so I didn’t have an opportunity to do anything nice for a stranger. Instead of passing up the challenge, I decided to push it back and see if anything special moments would come.
For simple reasons, Ariel and I have been going straight home after work. We are trying to save as much money as we possibly can, so we can get Christmas gifts, and so we can get a house. Before this, we had a spending problem that would usually cost us a lot of money, money we could have saved and got out of this falling apart apartment. We now have our goals set and have done everything, in our power, to stay focused on reaching those goals. The concern is, if we are going straight home, how was I going to do something pleasant for someone? Well, even with our new goals, I was still able to help a few people in need. It was a couple of monetary gifts that made me feel happy, but it wasn’t satisfying enough to write about. That moment of joy didn’t come until a couple of days before Thanksgiving, and guess what? We didn’t even have to go anywhere to give such a blessing. The blessing was given to someone that we work with.
Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on what you have, but what if you didn’t have something? What if you were missing a key thing that would make everyone around you happy on a holiday? This was the case for someone that we work with. She recently moved into a new house, after months of searching for a new place to live. She is very mature for her age and has recently stepped up to ensure that her family isn’t on the streets, since her mom doesn’t make enough to get them a house to live in. I make sure to applaud her maturity when I talk to her because someone her age shouldn’t be taken care of her brother and mom. I will cease to talk more about that, as it is truly none of my business! With life not being easy on her recently, I was broken when she told me that their stove went out and that their landlord isn’t doing anything about it. Without a stove, they were going to be without a Thanksgiving dinner. I could tell that she was destroyed inside and that she felt like she let her family down, even if that’s not the case. She is only 19-years-old, she shouldn’t feel the burden of this at that age. This is when Ariel and I knew we needed to help in every way possible. Ariel and I usually get two turkeys. We tend to get the biggest one possible (often 24 pounds) that we cook inside a turkey oven bag, and we get a small one (14 pounds, typically) that we cook inside our roaster. This ensures that everyone gets a good amount of turkey and that we get a lot of left over turkey. For some reason, we decided against the smaller turkey this year and said we were not expecting leftovers. Now we had a roaster that I got out of the storage, but nothing to cook inside of it. It was on the day I was planning to put it away that we learned of our co-worker’s dilemma. We quickly offered up our roaster to her. Her face was in complete shock (and relief) when she heard this. She quickly said, “thank you” and we gave her the roaster. She was now able to make a turkey for her families thanksgiving meal. Side note, we also offered to cook sides for her, but she said it was only the broken oven.
It felt spectacular to see one of my favorite co-workers so relieved and happy, especially after the year she has had. It was all because of a feeling that we had. Ariel and I have always had a second turkey. We always put one in the oven and one in the roaster, but we just felt like that was going to generate too many leftovers, so we decided to stick with one. This small decision gave us the chance to bless someone with a roaster! The cool part is that we still have enough turkey to last us a week. Basically, everything turned out well in the end. Our co-worker was able to have a turkey on Thanksgiving (I would have made it in my damn kitchen if I needed to) and we got to feel good about helping someone in need, it was a win-win for everyone involved! I have now completed the 21-day gratitude challenge and can say (with confidence) that this challenge has helped me get into the holiday spirit! I hated this challenge at times, but overall, it showed me how much I have to be grateful for. Furthermore, I’m in no way lacking in my life. Not only that, but I have a great family, a good job, and a roof over my head, which is more than most have, so what do I have to complain about? Nothing….the answer is nothing! We all need to step back and reflect on all we have the next time we are griping about life, I bet you’ll see how silly you’re being! All I know is that I am now ready for Christmas!!! I hope you have enjoyed this series! I’m announcing the new schedule soon but, until December 13th, we will be on regular posting (Creative writing, 4pc, feel good Friday, Prompt Sundays). I hope you have a great day and until next time….bye!!:)

I will post a full prediction later today. I still have a lot of prep left for the Thanksgiving dinner, and I need to focus on that! So here are the 3 games for Today. Like I said, I will have a full prediction up later today! Thanks for viewing 🙂 I hope you have a great Thanksgiving:)

Thanksgiving games:
Bills @ Lions: Bills.

Note: I believe this is the Bills game to get back on track. After not scoring a second half touchdown since week 6, the Bills get to face a defense that is 32nd overall. If they can’t get back on track in this game then I don’t think they are a Superbowl contending team.

Giants @ Cowboys: Cowboys.

Note: Giants have a pretty weak run defense and they happen to play a team that has been red hot when handing the ball to Pollard. I think if the Cowboys can get the run game going then they won’t have a problem giving the Giants their 4th loss of the season, especially with Dallas’ great defense.

Patriots @ Vikings: Patriots
Note: I know the Vikings have the second best record in the league, but they are facing a weird Patriots team that has been inconsistent. The thing is, even with their inconsistently, they have one of the best (if not the best) pass defenses this season. If they can shut down Kirk Cousins then they have a good chance of winning this game. The Vikings also have struggled against teams with winning records, so we will see!

How do you think today will go? Who do you think will get the Turkey leg and who do you think will leave feeling stuffed? I think we have one of the best Thanksgiving line ups in a long time, which will great to watch when you’re trying to avoid Aunt Susan’s rant about how the pies aren’t big enough. I hope you have a great Thanksgiving! Who do you have winning? I would love to know in the comment section! Either way, have a great day and until next time..bye 🙂

I have talked about my family a lot during this challenge. I mean, I had to give myself a rule that I couldn’t talk about my wife and child one day. Furthermore, I have shared my family, a lot, that’s because I love my family. Besides, I might not get along with a lot of them, but I still love them with all of my heart. This could be because we all lived so close to each other growing up. I grew up in a small town of like 1,500 people. I swear you could run from one side of the town to the next in less than an hour. That is how small the town is, so when I say we lived close to each other, I am talking a 10-minute walk, if even that. It was nice to have family around all the time, but what was even cooler was that we lived next to 2 of our family members. It was my grandma, us, then my uncle Junior. We all lived on the same block and could open our window to talk if we so desired to. It was a gift and a curse, though. Yeah, it was delightful to always know your family was around, but if I made too much noise and woke up my grandma (she was an overnight nurse) then she had the actual right to beat my butt. I never actually woke her up, even though a couple of off-line balls tested how heavy of a sleeper she was. I only hit her house a few times before I decided that I no longer wanted to test fate, instead I took my fun to the open lot next to our house. Furthermore, I didn’t like to stay home, but there wasn’t much to do around a town that didn’t even have a McDonald’s, so I started going to my uncle Junior’s house.

Now, my uncle Junior’s house was nothing special. It didn’t have a video game system, toys, or even a working DVD player. My uncle, which is actually my great uncle, was a basic old man who drank a lot. All he needed to be happy was his kitchen table, a T.V. to watch western movies, and his beer. Other than that, he was fine. He was a simple soul that was good at conversing. When I was bored, I would go to my uncle’s house to talk to him, and that’s what we would do. We would sit around his kitchen table and talk about stuff that I knew nothing about, while a good ole John Wayne film played in the background. Now, it was hard to understand him sometimes, which was dependent on the amount of beer he had drank before I got there, so I would usually nod in agreement. He would somehow know that I didn’t understand him and would then ask, “Does that make sense?” Depending on the topic, I would frequently nod again, so he would continue. This only happened every once in a while, so it was never an actual problem. I mean, typically the conversation was about the movie that was playing behind him on the T.V., but sporadically, he would hit me with good life advice. It is to no surprise that I learned a lot while talking to a man who started working when he was 16 and was well into his 60s at this point. The conversations were always funny and enjoyable, but there was something that made these visits so much better; his can crusher.

Yes, I am getting actually excited about a manual can crusher, it was cool! As I mentioned before, my uncle was a heavy drinker. He would drink all day and all night. He has been like that since his early 20s, but the beer never influenced his decision-making. Not only that, but he would never show signs of aggression or anything like that with me around. If anything, he would turn me into his beer can crushing slave. Allow me to explain, After he would drink a beer he would hand me the beer can. It was now my job to go to the can crusher, mounted on his kitchen wall, and crush the can. After the can was crushed, I then had the job of putting it into recycling before grabbing him a new one. It was a simple task, but it made me feel so empowered. Here I was crushing a beer can, feeling like I was the king of the dang world. I don’t understand why I loved it so much, looking back, but young Blake loved it so, power to him. After he opened up a new beer, I would always (I always mean) ask him for a drink. It was an ongoing joke because he would always say “Yes…but first, I need your license, bud” We would laugh, and then he would tell another story about his life, drink his beer, hand me the can and I would crush it. Wash, rinse, repeat. It was like this every time I went over there, until I turned 21. After my 21st birthday, I went to his house with a 6 pack and I gave him my license. We then sat around his table and drank a few beers together until I realized that he was a fish that lived off beer and that I wouldn’t be driving home if I continued. We sat around and talked for hours until finally, I decided to leave.

I have seen him a few times since that day, but each visit has been fast. The truth is, I really have seen many of my family members in a while. I know I need to! It’s just anytime we plan to go see the family something happens that prevents us from doing so, which I know is a lousy excuse. Family is important to me and I need to start treating them like they are. Sadly, My uncle Junior is sick, and we don’t know how long he has. My dad informs of his condition a lot, as he helps take care of him, and each time it seems that he gets worse. I would hate to see him go, especially since I have seen him very little over the last few years, but I know it’s the natural course of life. All I can do is make time to go see him, enjoy his company, and bring him a beer like the good times. My uncle Junior is hands down my favorite family member and someone I need to go see more. He is something of my family that I wish I could spend more time with, which answers day 19 of the “21-day challenge.” Tell me in the comments; who is your favorite family member? I would love to know! I hope you have a great day! Until next time…bye!:)

I found these photos online and thought some of you would like them! I own no rights to the photos.

Also did you know that Butterball has a calculator to tell you how much Turkey you’ll need? Check it out here. I hope these photos help! As I said, I saw them on the web and thought someone could use them!