You have reached the blog of Keith Elder. Thank you for visiting! Feel free to click the twitter icon to the right and follow me on twitter.

Christmas 2006 – Who got what and pictures

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Family, XBOX 360 | Posted on 01-01-2007


Christmas 2006 001Friday before Christmas Ellen and I drove up to Corinth to my Mom’s house.  Corinth isn’t all that big, about a 1/4 of the size of the town we live in now, so it is sorta like going back in time if you know what I mean.  Life slows down tremendously when I go back home.  The nephews and nieces are about the only thing that keep things interesting.  I do enjoy going back to the area where I grew up.  I know all the back roads and every mile or so reminds me of another story.  Either about friends or college mostly. 

Tonia (my sister) now lives in North Carolina so they were driving in on Friday as well.  According to my sister Amanda, they weren’t going to be arriving until about 5:30 PM.  We arrived around 3:30 on Friday and walked into the house to a big surprise!!!!!!!!!!  Apparently there was a race to get back home that I wasn’t informed of 😉 

On Saturday night we exchanged gifts at my Mom’s house.  Normally we do it on Christmas Eve but because my Grandfather wanted to have the family get together on Christmas Eve for lunch, we moved our’s to Saturday night.  It is a good thing we did it early.  As I told my sister Amanda, at least we can now play with the kids instead of having to pack up and leave after opening gifts.  Sonia and Heath were the last ones to arrive even though they live a few miles away and it is a good thing because we could barely keep the kids from ripping into the presents.  They are so funny.  Remind me a lot of someone, hmmm.

Christmas 2006 033Ellen got me an XBOX 360 and between her, my Mom and her Mom I racked up on the games for it:

  1. Call For Duty 3
  2. Madden 2007
  3. Gears of War
  4. Outfits
  5. Superman Returns
  6. Ultimate Alliance
  7. Quake 4
  8. NBA Live 07

BTW if you play, my gamer tag is Z0RKA (0 is a zero btw).  So far I’m loving the XBOX 360.  Although I can’t get it to stream Media Center over wireless yet everything else is working great.  Now I am going to have to buy a new 1080p HDTV to play the games on.   It is killing me to play them on my old Sony Trinitron TV.  It is an endless cycle of one electronic gizmo requires another.  Thank goodness they are suppose to come down in price over the next several months.

Ellen got a FatHead of a Michigan helment, audio cds (about 15 of them), hot chocolate maker, books, clothes, shoes, purses and more. 

My Mom got a bread maker, GPS (from Tonia), toaster, purse and some other stuff.  And Ellen’s Mom got one gift this year, but it was a GREAT gift.  She got a new Gateway Intel Core Duo laptop.  Really nice laptop to replace her old computer.  Christmas day we set it up and got her hooked up on AOL for internet service since she only has a phone line.  She may sign up with Comcast later on, she is still getting used to the new laptop.

It was great to see everyone this year.  I tried to take a lot of pictures of everyone and for those I missed I do apologize.  You can view the pictures on http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithelder/sets/72157594453432728/.  

Make the Holidays More Simple – Order Thanksgiving Off the Internet

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Family, Food | Posted on 27-11-2006


Last year when Ellen and I moved into our new home we were excited to cook our first Thanksgiving meal in our new home. That was the general feeling until we spent ALL day in the kitchen preparing the meal. While the meal was excellent, it wasn’t worth a whole day of effort and roughly $300.00 of groceries. I vowed next year I wasn’t going to spend my day off cooking. There had to be a better way. I am a smart guy, couldn’t I figure something out? Turns out there are lots of ways to have a really nice Thanksgiving dinner without all the fuss. This year we ordered Thanksgiving dinner off the Internet and had it shipped all the way in from Dallas, Tx via Mr. Billy’s Cajun Market. The meal costs $129.00 and included all the sides (mashed potatoes, green bean caserole, etc). The meal we got was the Spicy Cajun Fried Whole Turkey Dinner.


The meal included:

  • Spicy Cajun Fried Turky
  • Green Bean Caserole
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Crab Cakes
  • Giblet Gravy
  • Bread Pudding Pie
  • Geaux Juice
  • Crawfish etoufee

The package arrived very nicely packed via Fedex on Wednesday around 2:00 PM. Here are some pics we took as we unboxed it:

This is a picture of Mom and me. This may be her Blog debut, I’m not sure 🙂

How everything was packaged.

Everything unpacked.

After everything was unpacked we placed it in the fridge and then headed to town later that evening to get some items to round out the meal. Ellen made a strawberry cheescake and brocolli caserole, mom made a caramel cake and the dressing and Ellen’s mom brought a caserole dish. As you can see our cooking was really at a minimum this year. Besides putting the turkey in the oven and heating up everything it was relatively painless and I even got to watch a lot of football earlier in the day (always a plus). So how was everything? Honestly, if you had came over and eaten with us and I hadn’t told you, you would have never known we ordered it. As a matter of fact, we never told Ellen’s mom we ordered it and while she was somewhat in disbelief that I cooked crawfish etoufee, crab cakes and had a spicy cajun turkey fried for Thanksgiving, everything had a home cooked flavor. This was my first spicy cajun turkey and I don’t think I can have Thanksgiving without it again. The turkey was tremendous and easy to heat up, just 5 minutes per lb. All in all it was a great meal and no one killed themselves this year trying to cook.


Weekend Recap: Two birthday parties, Yard work, Pulled back

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Family | Posted on 07-11-2006


IMG_0013 This past weekend was pretty packed with stuff on the todo list. Friday was Ellen’s mother, Sue, birthday. Ellen had planned a surprise party for her since it was her 70th birthday. It started on Friday with us going to her house and opening gifts. Then we took her to the Walnut Creek Grill in downtown Hattiesburg. Leaving the resturant I had to kiss the chef, the food was really good.




Keith kissing the chef outside Walnut Circle Grill

After having a really good meal we left and drove Ellen’s mom back home. Right as we got to her house I said, “Well I hope you had a good birthday”. Meaning that this was it and final. We told her goodbye and had already made plans with her for her to join us for lunch on Saturday. On Saturday around noon we left the house and headed to Chesterfield’s in Hattiesburg where a lot of Sue’s friends, family and co-workers had gathered for the suprise. We decorated the area they had for us and about 12:45 Ellen went to go pickup her mother. Ellen was trying to come up with as many things as she could to trick her. It paid off. Needless to say she was shocked and had no idea we had planned it all. Especially since we did something for her on Friday night. Finally around 3:00 the party ended. You can view the pictures here from the party. After leaving the party we left Hattiesburg and drove to MacComb, MS to visit Ellen’s Aunt Sis who had fallen and broke her hip.

On Sunday I got up early so I could get to work in the yard. Most of my efforts for the day can be seen here in this photo where I finally got the large pine tree cut down:

Pine tree I cut down

 I also cut down a lot of brush in the woods and hauled it to the road. I would gave cut more but earlier I had pulled my back while in the kitchen of all places. But here is a pic of the brush I was hauling with the John Deere.  Later that evening the moon was out full and I took some pics of it. Hope you enjoy them.

John Deere getting ready to haul a load to the road

Moving back to Mississippi

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Family, General | Posted on 28-09-2005


After spending about 8 years in Michigan we finally moved back home to Mississippi. Hattiesburg, MS to be exact. Why did we move back you ask? Ellen got a job at William Carey in Hattiesburg. Which works out pretty well considering her mother still lives there. I will still be working at Quicken Loans but doing so remotely. About every 6-8 weeks I’ll fly back to Michigan for a week and work onsite, then head back to MS. The past several months have been crazy. Ellen moved down to MS around August 10th, several weeks before I did, so I stayed with AtomicInternet and finished working on a major project we were launching at work. The day I left for Mississippi, Katrina hit Hattiesburg dead on. It turns out the eye of the storm went right over the top of the city.