Bramell, Party of Five: November 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Petit Jean Ham Winner Announcement

#Sponsored blog 

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club. Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away a smoked ham on my blog.

Congratulations to Lara U. on her big Thanksgiving win! She will be feeding her (large) family a tasty, spiral cut smoked ham for the holidays.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment and played along; there was a great response.  And thanks to Petit Jean Meats for sponsoring this great holiday giveaway.  Please go like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter.  Also, don't forget that you can shop Petit Jean Meats online for some great holiday gifts to ship to friends and family anywhere!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Night With Justin Timberlake: A Review

My review in a word? WOW!  

But, one word will not do this justice, so I will attempt to color a picture of the fantastic night I had with JT.  Well, with Lee, but you get the idea.  

I bought myself two tickets for the Tulsa show back in May, for Mother's Day.  Because dammit, I deserved it.  Then I just had to wait six months for show time.  By now, I'm totally wishing I had sprung for the lower level seats because dammit, I deserved them.  But, alas, I got the mid-price tickets and got stuck in the upper deck where for most of the night JT appeared to be about six inches tall.  But, you know what? It really didn't matter because I still enjoyed every single minute of the show.  Now, for the Top Ten recap:

1.  That dude has some energy with a capital E.  Three solid hours of singing, dancing and chatting up the crowd with only a ten-minute break.  For real, he played over 30 songs! Definitely got my money's worth and then some.

2.  I loved the Tennessee Kids, his (very big) jazz band, being on stage the whole night! I mean, who has their own jazz band? Maybe it's just the band geek in me, but it was so fun and added so much.  I'd much rather hear the horns than an auto tune synthesizer any day.

3.  Tons of dancers and backup singers.  Lots to look at and take in.  And, it wasn't half-naked trashy girls dancing.  It was fun to watch.

4.  I was relieved to see that the average age at the show was probably in the 33-35 area.  We saw very few kids and teenagers.  Lee's observation:  "This place is full of (expletive) middle-aged women!"  However, I did overhear some 30ish dudes dressed in black suits and ties talking, "Let's see how many numbers we can get tonight!"  Lame.

5.  I generally don't do well with heights and our seats would have normally made my skin crawl.  But, again, just darn happy to be there.  At one point, part of the stage lifted up in the air and moved over the top of the floor seats and all the way down to the opposite end of the arena.  Much closer to us! We could see him (and the dancers) really good for about five songs, then it moved back up to the stage.  Very cool move, though, so that everyone got a good view at least for a while.

6.  Not directly related to the show, but I wore my Ariat cowboy boots from Country Outfitter for a total of 10 hours that night and my feet never hurt.  AT. ALL.  I freaking love those boots.

7.  Favorite performance of the night:  What Goes Around Comes Around.  He played an acoustic guitar and did the song much, much slower than the normal version. There were no backup singers, dancers or any special effects; and no high falsetto.  Just pure, raw singing talent. He blew it up.  

8.  Runner-up performance of the night:  Cry Me a River.  This was the last song of the first set, before his break.  I don't think I can even describe how fantastic it was.  I didn't want it to end.

9.  The "He's Not Too Old to Dance" performance of the night:  A cover of BBD's Poison from the 90s!  He let the backup singers take the lead on most of the song so he could dance.  I mean, really dance!  Again, no words to describe the awesomeness.

10.  He opened with Pusher Love Girl and ended with Mirrors.  I included this because it's what I like to know when someone else goes to a concert that I don't.

My hubby is a trooper for hanging with me, although I'm sure he was ready to leave after about an hour.  I, on the other hand, could have stayed three more hours!  The show was over at midnight.  It took us about 30 minutes to find where we'd parked the van and get going ( was only 33 degrees with snow flurries).  I crawled in bed at 3:00am and woke to my alarm at 6:00 for an early morning work event.  

As some of you know, I'm totally spoiled on concerts.  This was the first ticket I've actually paid for in probably close to 15 years because of working in radio and still having lots of connections to help me out.  It was hard to fork out the money, but I would do it again...and pay double for the floor seats!  It was my first show at the BOK Center in Tulsa (nice place) and my first big arena show in a long time. I forgot how fun it is to dance and sing with about 20,000 other people.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Giveaway: Win a Petit Jean Ham

#Sponsored blog 

Disclaimer: I am a member of the Petit Jean Meats Blue Diamond Club. Through this affiliation, I get to try out products, and give my opinions on new products and branding for the company. My opinions are my own and honest reflections of how I feel. I was given product for this giveaway, so that I could also give away a smoked ham on my blog.

As you may already know, the Bramells are big fans of Petit Jean Meats products; you name it: ham, sausage, bacon, hot dogs...all of it!  That's why I'm so glad to be able to do another Petit Jean ham giveaway on my blog this week, just in time for the holidays.
I will tell you that I'm cooking our Smoked Ham (bone-in) for our Black Friday meal this year.  Well, my mama will be cooking it this time, but that's a story to share when the time comes!  I prefer the bone-in smoked hams because you can make two delicious meals with it ; I made the best pot of white beans after Easter using the bone from our Easter ham. 
Here is my post on our Easter HamI used Trisha Yearwood's recipe for glaze and it was fantastic.  I'm going to suggest to mom that she use it, but she might have her own ideas.
So, who wants to win a FREE Petit Jean Ham?  Just comment below with your name and email address to get yourself in the drawing.  Let me know:  Would you choose a smoked bone-in ham or spiral sliced one?  Regular or Peppered?   
Don't forget you can shop online at Petit Jean Meats website.  They have amazing gift baskets and bundle packs that make holiday shopping a breeze. They can ship your gifts for you, too!
Deadline to enter this giveaway will be Sunday, November 24 at noon.  

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Big Sis = Trouble

Yesterday Big Sis came home from school with a doozy of a story. Lee called me at work to see if I had heard anything about "this crazy story" she was telling him.

She was very matter-of-fact in her rendition of the details that her teacher said she didn't have to come to school today.  In fact, she swore that her teacher told her to stay home.  Now, I had heard nothing of this.  Big Sis explained that all of the kids in her class had been assigned a classroom "job," and that hers was to be on vacation and take the next day off. Now, that's some clever homework! I want that assignment!

For the next few hours, she kept insisting that she was correct in her understanding of the assignment.  So, being the high-tech and connected mom that I am, I sent her teacher a text to get the scoop.  She replied to my text immediately with several "LOLs and HAHAHA's."  Apparently, Big Sis got some of the info correct, but not all of it.  With 20 kids in her class, there were only jobs for half of them (line leader, pencil sharpener, door holder, etc). Big Sis didn't get assigned a job this week; therefore, she was on "vacation," and would get her turn at a job next week.  

So, we figure that my kid is either very literal in her comprehension of things, or worse, she's got a little Bueller in her.  If she's already trying to skip school in the first grade, at least we'll know to watch her close in high school!  I'm sure she takes after her dad. Bueller?  Bueller?  

Monday, November 11, 2013

Super Halloween

As we've done for the past two years, we went with yet another group theme for the kids' Halloween costumes. I swear I'm going to do this until they are too old to let me get away with it! I love it!  Going with a group theme just makes the whole process so much simpler.

This year they were all super heroes.  Even with a theme, they all chose their individual costumes.  The past two years, I was able to make most of the costumes handmade, but this year I just couldn't swing it.  But I'm certainly not disappointed.

Boy Twin, the little Web Slinger, in action.

Super Twins!  Sis is "Miss America," who we found out was a comic character in the early '40's.  Her super power was levitation, which is pretty cool.  

Edit: Husband has informed me that I got it wrong on Girl Twin's costume.  She is, in fact, "American Dream," who is the daughter of Captain America.  Her powers are super strength and a proficiency in martial arts.  In my defense, I did look at a "Miss America" costume for her, and it was eerily similar.  There.

And, of course, our Wonder Woman!  She was working it, for sure.

I had to work at Malloween on Halloween, so I made sure that Grammy could come help dad out to get all the monkeys dressed and ready to go. Since it was cold and rainy, they went to dinner in costume, then headed up to the mall to get some loot there. Thankfully, they weren't too worried about getting a lot of candy...they were just happy to wear their costumes.  

Here are some memories from Halloween 2011 and 2012.  And yes, I already have  a theme picked for next year, so get ready!

Seriously, this is the best photo I got from 2011.

Halloween 2012 rocked! My favorite so far.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Down on the Farm

A couple of Saturdays ago, we made our annual trip to the corn maze and pumpkin patch.  There is no shortage of fall activities and/or pumpkin patches around here.  Over the years, I think we've tried out three or four different places.  We've always been a big fan of McGarrah's Farm in Pea Ridge, but since this new one opened up closer to home, it's our choice.  It's just a little easier for us, and I'll do anything when it's easier for us.

Last year and again this year, we went to Farmland Adventures to have some fun celebrating the arrival of Fall.  There's a big corn maze, pony rides, a tractor hay ride and feeding cows and a small petting zoo.

I didn't get any photos of us in the actual corn maze because I was toting one kid or another on my back most of the time.  What a workout!  I had to bring the little ones out through the short cut so Big Sis and Lee could finish the big maze. 

Here are some pics of our fun (but cloudy) day on the farm.

Here is last year's post about this adventure.  I like to look back and compare. The twins were too little to ride the ponies last year, but they sure enjoyed watching Big Sis ride. Never mind that Big Sis wore the same shirt for both trips...oops.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Big Sis Bragging

It's time for some more bragging on our big girl.  The first report card of the year came home last week, and we couldn't be more proud of her.  She got an E (the best) in Reading and all S's in the other subjects.  She does need to work on her handwriting a little bit (S-) and work on keeping her desk area cleaner.  If we were grading her cleanliness at home, she would get an S- or worse.
She's not had any behavior problems this year and she's doing great socially.  The teacher had nothing but great things to say about her progress!
I'm really the most excited about her reading. Like me, she loves to read! Yay!  I love that she really tries hard and sounds out the words that stump her. She is determined and very interested in learning.
Here is a photo of her reading to me a couple of weeks ago before bed.  I am so super proud of Big Sis.  She's kicking 1st grade's butt.

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