Thursday, December 30, 2010

Major Accomplishment


Today we made great strides in the wedding plans. We found what we hope is the perfect necklace for the bride. At one of our new favorite stores, Charming Charlie, if you can dream it is there. From the subtle to the over the top bling, they have it. Somewhere in the middle we found a great drop necklace to go with her dress.
I won't post a photo of our actual purchase but she did a little modeling of their great bling.

Since we had one of the bridesmaids with us along with the mother of the groom, we decided to just see if we could find a dress for the bridesmaids. As in true shopping, when you aren't really looking for something, you find it! We actually found two great options and I think we are all in agreement of one of them. It is cute, summer and most of all, it looks comfy.

Thanks to the bride's future sister-in-law for being such a great sport of trying on dresses!

The bride even tried on a couple of dresses just for fun, we even bought a super cute dress for her to wear to a shower or tea. This is not the one we bought - this is just her, "I should still be in choir dress.")

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wedding plans

Well, we are back to wedding plans time. I had decided I was going to focus on Christmas and put plans on hold until after December 25th. The main reason was the wedding needed my focused attention and not get blurred decisions from being so busy with the holidays.

Since Christmas we are making progress. I have shopped for a few decorations, not much. Today, the bride and I spent the morning updating some gift registries. She has registered for similar things at different stores. She decided on this so as to make shopping easier for guests. She did receive several items from her registries for her birthday or for Christmas. So, it was time to make sure those things were no longer on her wish lists.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to shop for things to put on a registry. She has asked for practical things, fun things and most of all some pretty things.

On the agenda for tomorrow - shopping for her jewelry! We plan to visit a great store in Murfreesboro, Charming Charlie. If you haven't been there, then you have missed a great chance to spend an afternoon shopping!

Hopefully, we might even look for Bridesmaids dresses.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

The much anticipated Christmas Eve is here. We exchange gifts at our house on Christmas Eve so as to have a little less chaos on Christmas Day. We always go and have breakfast at my mother's on Christmas morning.

I think one of our traditions isn't going to happen this year, it has been sporadic the past few years. Our children always had to take a nap on Christmas Eve, usually while their dad was on his way home from work. No one could open gifts until a nap was in the books. As I think of this now, I don't know how they ever went to sleep. The anticipation level was always so high. Guess it did help that I would get them up early and have them busy all morning. There is no better way to start the Christmas marathon than with a clean room.

This Christmas Eve has been a great one so far. The kids and I did a little last minute shopping and now all the presents are wrapped and under the tree. Even the three I had forgotten. Hope I have found them all.

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends. We all hope you have a safe and happy holiday season.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Stop with the Christmas for a day


Yes, we put the holiday on hold around here on December 23rd each year. We must not forget about a birthday. 20 years ago today on a cold, icy night, we received an early Christmas gift. We were expecting her closer to spring - but she had other plans.

We are so blessed with two wonderful and healthy children. I can't imagine any Christmas gift being any greater. Happy Birthday to our baby.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

iPad

Oh, I am so lucky. For an early Christmas present I received an iPad. I so love it. I can't wait to learn more about it. I have downloaded a few free apps, (if anyone has suggestions send them my way) synced my movies from my iTunes account, sorted the music I want to download, and downloaded a few books.

Yes, I said a few, I found some great classics that were free! I love to read and have not taken the time to read as much as I would like, I hope this will give me that nudge back to reading. My favorite book is also downloaded on my iPad. It was actually one of the first aps I installed, the Bible. I am so excited to have so many versions all in one place to reference quickly. I currently have the same ap on my BlackBerry, so I know it will be one of my favorites.

Off to enjoy my iPad a little more.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Early Christmas Present

Sunday afternoon the snow began to fall. Large, fluffy flakes that seemed to not fall from the sky, come straight from the west. After a while, the flakes started to accumulate on the grass, trees, and finally the roads. It was a challenge to determine how deep the snow actually was on the ground. In places it measured just a 1/2 inch and in others several inches due to the drifts from the vast wind gusts.

I love the snow. A fresh blanket of snow always reminds me of Isaiah 1:18, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. KJV

It saddens me to hear people say they dislike the snow, to me it is such a reminder of how we can be forgiven ours sins and have a new start. I am very thankful of the safety of our family who was out and about in this snow. Our daughter made it safely from work on very slick roads. Also thankful for the 18 brave people who made it to evening worship Sunday night. We usually have more than 10 times that many, but may stayed in due to the weather.

From the amount of wrecks we saw Sunday evening - I think the smart ones were those who stayed in. Now to just wait and see if we get more snow tomorrow as predicted. No matter if we see snow or not, tomorrow can be another gift from God, we must just enjoy the day as a present.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cart before the horse

Things seem a little out of sorts. We began celebrating Christmas tonight with one side of the family. We did this to coordinate with the schedule of others.

Having a daughter with a birthday two days before Christmas, we have always tried to separate the two and hold off Christmas until after her birthday. This had been the practice while I was growing up with my sister, she has a birthday early in December. We never put up our Christmas Tree until after my sister's birthday.

With our daughter, we always tried to celebrate her birthday few days early, just so she wouldn't be getting presents all in one week. We love our daughter so much and feel very lucky to have her - we just want to make her feel special! 13 more days until she is 20! Where has the time gone?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Family time

Monday evening our power went out unexpectedly. Well, I guess when it goes it - it is never really expected. We had finished dinner, our daughter was working on corrections to a paper, nothing else really pressing planned for the evening.

In case you aren't in our area, it was really cold outside. The low Monday night was in the teens. So, power going out wasn't really a great thing. We have gas heat, but without electricity there is no fan on the heater to circulate the heat in our old farmhouse. We also use a couple of electric heaters to supplement our main heater.

After a while boredom set in. We ended up having a nice time reading. Yes, reading. With no television on I picked up King of the Road by Alex Debogorski of Ice Road Truckers. With my husband holding the flashlight, I began reading.

Sometimes we forget how much we take for granted and we forget to just spend time together. We truly enjoyed actually reading the book as a family. It was so nice, after dinner tonight we read a few more pages together.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Enjoyment

Today I am enjoying cooking for the family. I LOVE to cook. It enjoy it more when I have time to do all the little extras. I look forward to watching them enjoy it tonight. (or at least I hope they enjoy it) I have tried to create something special for everyone.

This is another year of sharing our kids with others. Our son has gone to his girlfriend's grandmothers. Our daughter is on her way to her future in-laws. I am just thankful it should work out that they will return tonight for us all to enjoy our Thanksgiving with my husband's parents.

There are so many things I am thankful for this year! I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Now, back to cooking......

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where's the.......

At our house Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without....

  1. Fried Turkey
  2. Dressing
  3. Dumplings
  4. Sweet Potatoes
  5. "Pink" Salad
  6. Yeast Rolls
  7. Pies

There will be other goodies too - but those will be the must haves of the day.

What about your family? What are your must haves?

Christmas Spirit

Nothing like a little shopping to put you in the Christmas spirit. I have made my list (in my head) and no since in checking it twice (I might change my mind). I love Christmas - mainly because we take time to do for others and spend time with family.

Christmas was always a big occasion growing up, not about big gifts - but time spent together. My dad was always off from work between Christmas and New Years so we spent a great deal of time together. Our entire family might spend an entire day in the woods cutting firewood. Those were some of my favorite memories, watching my dad, mom, sister and I working together. Me being the youngest, I probably didn't do a lot of work, but I hauled my share of brush to the woods.

We had wood heat growing up and I still love the smell of a wood fire. We always cut dead trees off our land. I can remember watching my dad split logs with sweat dripping off his nose. This often seemed odd since he usually did it when it was below freezing outside. That never made much sense - but I guess if you were going to get hot, might as well do it while it was cold outside.

I am thankful for all the great Christmas memories and look forward to new ones this year.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Card Time

A few years ago I took a great picture of our home during one of our abundant snowfalls. I knew then it would make a great Christmas Card. Thinking I was crafty - I decided to 'make' all of our cards that year, and make them I did. I ordered the photos, special paper, stamp pads, stamp rollers, verse stamps, brads, more paper, tape runners, special tools, foam spacers - for that 3-D feel, ok - you get the picture. For those of you who don't really know me - I am NOT crafty, nor do I have the time to be crafty.

I did make all 100 of those cards that year - vowing to never do all that again. They were beautiful cards - but boy did they wind up being pricey! I had probably $2.00 each in a card and envelope. Once delivering them to the post office, I learned they were a little heavy - requiring extra postage!!! I have learned from my experience. I have made cards since then, but just haven't found the next "perfect photo" I wanted to spend that much time on.

I do have a good family photo from our vacation this year I thought would make a great card for 2010. It was just simple a joy to click right over to Shuttterfly and click my way to a great photo card this year.

I loved browsing through all the great designs they have for Holiday Cards. Now, to just pick one that will go with our photo from the beach. I think I have found one that I like and will run it by the rest of the family and then I am just a few clicks away from some quick and simple cards - that require no cutting, stamping, gluing, pasting......

They even have some cute Thanksgiving Cards too!

Thanks to Shutterfly.....Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly, follow the arrow à http://bit.ly/sfly2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Whole Grain Treat

We may have experienced severe flooding in Middle Tennessee in May, but the summer and fall have been dry. With few rains and the hot summer sun, our pastures have taken a beating.

With some spring born calves and some bread cows - nutrition is the key to a profitable beef heard. All year we supplement hay and grass with grain and a mineral based beef block. But as cooler weather begins to roll in they enjoy eating hay. In digesting the forage the cattle create body heat to stay warm.




She seems to really enjoy the treat of hay! Not all happy cows are from California some live right here in rural Tennessee.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Friends

This past weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time with three great friends. The four of us went Pigeon Forge for a couple of days. We talked, laughed, cried, ate, and shopped - you know all the things women love to do.

We are all wives and mothers who love their families, but loved having a few days alone. This was the first time any of us had gone away for a "girl's weekend", but I don't think it will be our last. I am not sure I will ride the chair lift again, but then again that is the only way to get to the alpine slide. I don't like the chair lift - but the slide was awesome!

I think we all came home rested and rejuvenated and with a deeper love and appreciation for our families. We are very thankful for our 4 wonderful husbands and 8 great kids who loved us enough to let us go for the weekend.

There were great 'Kodak' moments, but as with any girl's trip - we don't bring home evidence. So, the only photo I will post is of the mountains.



Thursday, October 21, 2010

I love the fall

As the nights start to get cooler and the leaves begin to change, I get excited about birthdays. In October, November, and December I help the three most important people in my life celebrate their birthdays. The first one each year is my son.




Happy 22nd Birthday!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Way too busy

September has buzzed by me. Not sure how it passed so quickly. I suppose we were just way too busy. I started thinking all we did during those quick 30 days.

  • We went on a unscheduled vacation. A cruise from New Orleans to Progreso and Cozumel.
  • We moved out of the house for a week to remodel the bathroom, since we only have one.
  • Philip had an unexpected trip to the doctor which resulted into even more trips to the doctor.
  • I turned 41! The age doesn't bother me. I think of each year as another gift of time with my family.
  • I had a work related trip to Knoxville.

Add in the priority of attending worship 3 times a week, along with some extra activities at church, a Cattlemen's Association meeting, and working full time and it makes for a very full month. I wish I could say October would be a little less eventful, but don't think so.

Very thankful for being able to do all these things. To be busy is just a reminder of all the gifts the Lord has blessed me with.



Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vacation Plans

Hubby and I enjoyed last year's vacation the week of Labor Day so well we scheduled that week off again this year. The weather looked to be nice again this year for that week - but still on the warm side.

We talked about a return trip to our favorite beach - Tybee Island and also mentioned just staying around the house. We have been to San Antonio this year and back to Savannah and Tybee Island. We had found a condo on the beach in Tybee Island to rent, but Hurricane Earl was headed that way. That made us a little nervous about planning a week there.

On a whim, I check a couple of internet travel sites for last minute deals. One showed a cruise out of New Orleans the week we were off at what sounded like a too good to be true deal. I headed on over to the actual Carnival Cruise site and found it was legit. After a quick call to Carnival to verify no hidden charges the plan was on to talk my husband into a cruise.

We have debated for years if we would like a cruise. We decided for the price we really couldn't go wrong - unless we both got sea sick. Just like that within 7 days of leaving port we booked a cruise. Luckily we both had passports - that made traveling at the last minute so much easier.

The only really scary part was the first morning in New Orleans. More about that later.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A rare occasion

Our current family of four all made it to dinner together last night. The occasion was to celebrate my birthday - it isn't for another couple of days - but this was the time everyone's schedule was open. We opted for a casual dinner at Chili's.

My frugal daughter learned that by checking in on Four Square and showing your server your check in - you receive free chips and salsa. A great deal!


We also enjoyed some Texas Cheese Fries as you can see from the empty pan!


It was good to have both kids there for a change.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just us

It seemed summer vacation would never arrive and then it seemed to be gone in the blink of an eye. It was such a pleasure to spend quality time away with both of our children. We were really thankful they could both go with us on vacation.

It is just a few days until we have another week off from work, just my wonderful husband and I. Our son is back at work and daughter has stared her second year of college. This week off will be totally different from our July vacation, it's just the two of us. We have always tried to spend time each year getting away - just us - no kids. This is has been very successful for us.

It started when our son was just 6 weeks old. My mother came by after work one Friday and STOLE my baby. Well, not really, she had my husband's permission. She had planned to take him for a few hours so we could go enjoy a quiet dinner alone for our anniversary. Little did I know those two plotted against me for her to keep him the entire night.

As I look back those 22 years ago, that was very wise of my mom. It was a long night for me away from my new baby, but was good for our marriage. Each year she and my sister were very willing to offer that type of free babysitting anytime we wanted to alone time.

Well, the kids are long past needing sitters, so getting away is easier and guilt free now!

See you when we are back!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A very proud Mama

I am proud of both of my children for many different reasons but one touch my heart again yesterday. He actually gave me cold chills.

While attending the Cheatham County Fair I was able to witness him raising the flag with a fellow soldier before the arena event. The event of the night was a rootin' tootin' rodeo. In true southern fashion, before the event could begin the flag would be raised, the Star Spangled Banner played and a word of prayer for the riders, the horses and our men in uniform.

The organizers of the rodeo asked members of the Army National Guard to raise the flag. My son was one of the ones who volunteers. I am sure you would like to see photos - but there aren't any. There are two reasons for this - first I was too far away to get a good snapshot and second, I just stood in amazement of the feeling this gave me.

He stood tall and proud for his country. I am very proud of him and all of his comrades who protect us day in and day out around the world. My prayers are for them to stay safe and for those who are away to return home soon.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nice to be rescued

Tonight driving on the interstate, my "low tire pressure" light came on. This is the first car I have new enough to have those sensors. The car drove just fine, but wanting to be safe, I stopped at the next exit - just to make sure it wasn't too low.

Once I checked the tires - I realized three were great and one wasn't low - it was FLAT! Now I was wishing I had stopped when the light first came on - about a mile earlier - on the side of the interstate - but just hoping I hadn't driven too far on a flat tire. Amazingly, my car drove as smooth as ever, good thing it had that new sensor feature.

The best part of the night was when hubby found out I was at a service station 6 miles from home, he said for me to stop changing my tire, he was on the way. Best news of the night! He is always there to rescue me from whatever mess I seem to get myself into. Not only did he change my tire, but sent me on my way in his truck and he drove my car home on what we call a donut!

Now, if only I can convince my son, who is off tomorrow, that he needs to take my tire to be repaired......

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Hissing and Spewing

When you get the call that your hot water heater is heating and spewing - you know it isn't a good day. Luckily our daughter came home and found the leaking water heater not long after it began leaking. She was able to shut off the water and turn the power off to the water heater. After a couple of phone calls, a plumber promised to have us a new one installed before the night was out. We are so thankful for friends who are tradesmen.

Strangely, this led to my spices being alphabetically organized. Our microwave WAS on the hot water heater - it had to be moved. Since we remodeled the kitchen (nearly 3 years ago) we now have cabinet the microwave will fix on - it just never made it there. This meant the counter tops needed reorganizing. This lead to putting some things in the cabinets - which were in need of a good straightening. Once all the spices and seasoning were out of the cabinet - the only logical way I could find to put them back was alphabetically.

Those who know me might find this totally out of the ordinary for me - to be organized - but it seems I am becoming more that way as I get older. A couple years ago my closet became organized by jeans, slacks, capris, tops, skirts then dresses. Not only by type - but by colors - and length. I never thought 3 years ago I would keep it that way - but I have and have organized by hubby's as well.

Thankfully, about 5 hours after the first hissing and spewing we have hot water, clean counters and organized spices.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Back to reality

Summer was busy, hot and full of memories. Now, I must jump back in reality and get back to helping our daughter plan her wedding. It is now just a little over 10 months away. Things to do before the end of August....
  • Reserve tables and chairs
  • Meet with photographer
  • Order (and hopefully send) the save the date notifications

Doesn't sound like much - but the month is packed full of little extras.

  • Planning a bridal tea for daughters friend
  • Daughter starts back to school
  • Cater a a rehearsal dinner for friends
  • Plan a girl's weekend away in the fall with friends

My life wouldn't seem normal if their weren't extras to do all the time. I guess that is why I enjoyed vacation so much with hubby and the kids - none of the little extra's to do.

Happy August1

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Nothing like Bible Camp

We helped with Bible Camp again this year. It is really amazing to see so many adults take a week off of work, spend a week away from home, endure sleeping on bunk, staying without air conditioning in 95+ degree weather all week - just to share God's word with the youth of congregation and their friends.

Thanks to all who worked so hard to make this another great year!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Banana Pudding anyone?

When someone mentions it is time for church camp I think of banana pudding. I know that sounds strange, but in the past 11 years I have made gallons and gallons of banana pudding. This year will be the same, except I won't be there all day every day.

There comes a time when it is time to pass the torch. My wonderful hubby and I have been to camp almost every year with our kids and we loved it. I have worked in the kitchen each of those years. I can't imagine how many kids I have fed. But it is all about the kids.

So many bring back special memories. From the one who passed away less than 2 months ago, another one lost a mother and brother this past year, to some who are now married and raising little one's of their own. I hope some of the lessons learned at church camp are staying with them through life's journey.

Now, off to buy supplies - top of the list 18 pounds of bananas!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dreaming

Dreaming of vacation, less than three weeks away. Can't wait to go back to some of our favorite places.


Historic Savannah



Maybe a hearse tour again



Tybee Island lighthouse



Beach!!!

Monday, July 5, 2010

$110.60 trip

So, the surprise location for a relaxing get-a-way weekend was a hit. We traveled to Manchester, where my husband went to elementary school. There are also farms there his family rented and raised dairy cows.

This was a very economical mini-vacation. Since our schedules rarely allow us two days off in a row together - we try to take advantage of those occasions and spend some quality time together. That usually requires leaving the house. Between two kids, 8 cows, 3 ducks, 3 dogs and few barn cats - there is always something to keep you busy at home.

We already had a vacation planned for the end of the month - so we needed to travel on a budget. We had a great fun-filled weekend that didn't break the budget.

None of our activities cost a dime - but were all very enjoyable. We drove around hubby's old neighborhood on Saturday evening.
Sunday we strolled around Old Stone Fort State Park, and had a close encounter with a long skinny creature. We also enjoyed the peacefulness of the water falls.

Sunday afternoon we enjoyed a relaxing swim in the hotel swimming pool and were later joined by our son. We watched a movie - hotel tv had a built in dvd player! Drove to Tim's Ford State Park and walked a portion of the trails.

While in Winchester we stayed for the hour long fireworks display. Rather shocked at how long it lasted, a real treat. On Monday, we enjoyed a back country road drive back through Shelbyville and Murfreesboro and on to Lebanon, Galatin and finally back home.

Here's a recap of how we spent 3 days and 2 nights away for only $110.60. I do know we used our hotel points - but our room would have only been approximatley $90 each night.

King Suite for 2 nights Sleep Inn & Suites $0.00 - used Choice Hotel Rewards Points - included breakfast both mornings
Refilling the tank - $32.83
Meals:
Saturday dinner - Sandwiches from home
Sunday Lunch - Pizza Hut - $25.00 with tip
Sunday Dinner - Krystal - $15.00
Monday Lunch - Demos' - $25.00 with tip

Trip to Dollar Tree (forgot toothbrushes, tooth paste and nail clippers) - $4.38
Trip to Wal-Mart (forgot bug spray) $7.29
Red Box Rental - $1.10

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Surprise Trip

Today my wonderful husband & I are leaving town for a couple of days. We are headed nowhere special, just away. Sometimes that is the best type of trip - no real plans - just a couple of ideas.

The best part - he has no idea where we are going other than we aren't leaving the state. I have put the GPS coordinates in the car and he will just have to follow the directions. (Yes, I know - man+trip+following directions=who knows what.)

Taking just a quick cheap couple of days to relax. Must save $$$ for our beach vacation at the end of the month.

Will try and post photos of our trip to nowhere next week.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Cake

Tomorrow morning my daughter, the bride to be, and I will go meet with the 'cake lady'. We are excited to cross another thing off our wedding list. The bride has definite ideas about how she wants her cake. Must be square, smooth, have black and blue ribbon and a piped monogram. And the ever traditional bride she is - it will be white cake and white frosting. She had wanted fondant - but the lady making the cake only does butter cream frosting. Oh pooh,(not!).

For the groom's cake - he has two wishes. 1 - Yellow Cake 2 - Chocolate Frosting. Sounds like he will be an easy one to please.

Or at least this is in the plans now, who knows what we will decide tomorrow. Will keep you posted. If this goes as easy as ordering the dress - it will only take 5 minutes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

VBS Snacks


Down on the farm is the theme for our VBS this year. One lady found a photo in a magazine for the cutest little lambs. Another sweet lady at church asked if there was anything she could make for snacks or help with - major mistake of asking.....I told her 'sure, I had a cute snack idea'.

She willingly made 20 of these cute little things. She is such a great giver of her time and talents. We should all learn something from people like that. I just hope she offers another time and I didn't scare her off by asking such a big favor

The kids loved the little lambs!

Monday, June 7, 2010

A beautiful bride

I watched an amazing couple vow to spend a lifetime together. The daughter of one of my very best friends was married this weekend. Had I not been so busy arranging flowers, decorating the outdoor wedding area, setting up tables and chairs, arranging table clothes, setting out candles, making tea, lemonade and pasta salad, oh and making sure 400 guests were fed, I would have taken a picture of two. Never took the first picture - but many others did and I hope to get some copies.

It was a very busy but exciting weekend. So happy for the new couple, hope they are enjoying their honeymoon.

Just about 53 more weeks until my baby walks down the isle. Good thing that dress was ordered last month.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sweat Tea

Sweat Tea and southern meals go hand and hand. Today I have been making sweet tea for a southern meal next Saturday. Hold on, I know it would not be good by next Saturday - that is why I am making concentrated tea and freezing it. I have never frozen it before, but have been assured it will be wonderful.

A good friend's daughter is getting married next weekend and wants sweet tea. We figure it will take about 75 gallons along with some lemonade and water to keep the guest cool at her outdoor wedding.

So, if you ever wanted to make sweet tea ahead and freeze it here is a good recipe.

1 pint boiling water
3 family size tea bags
1 1/3 cups sugar
water to make a quart

Add tea bags to boiling water, allow to cool to room temperature. Remove tea bags and add sugar, bring back to a boil and take off heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add enough water to make a quart of liquid. Pour into quart freezer bag and freeze.

When ready to serve mix with 3 quarts of water and enjoy. You may let it sit out of the freezer and begin to thaw or just mix it with warm or room temperature water.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

There's water where? Really?

I had asked a co-work just last week, 'Where are all the April showers?'. Little did I know we would be having May showers this year, or as some on Facebook are referred to it - The May Monsoon. The Nashville area received more than 13 inches of rain in 48 hours. So, with that much rain in such little time we all knew flooding was a real possibility.

Saturday evening everyone was shocked by the flooding on I-24 East in Nashville. Cars stuck in traffic were quickly surrounded by flood waters. Only to be made worse by a school/church portable floating onto the interstate. Did we really just watch that?

Sunday morning it began touching those close to us. A phone call about a friend's daughter's house where water was creeping up quickly. The same friend's parent's home had water entering the basement. The day was spent trying to find a way to the daughter's home and using shop vacs (4 at a time) to remove water from the basement.

I will blog about more events later, but as to the current needs....

If you are in the Ashland City area feel free to drop of needed supplies at the old Fred's store on Hwy 49/Frey Street.

Current needs: Diapers, Formula, Baby Wipes, Baby Food, Non-perishable Food, New Socks, New Undergarments.

It is so great to live in the Volunteer State. We will be taking care of our neighbors!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Save the date

So much has changed about weddings in the 22+ years since I walked down the aisle and vowed to be a wife. You no longer go to a local shop and swoon over books and books of wedding invitations, seeing the actual invitation color, and feeling the paper weight. So many brides choose to print their own invitations.

I think we are going to pass on that option with my daughter's wedding. I have ventured and sent handmade Christmas cards to the nearly 100 families on our Christmas card list. I also made her graduation invitations. Those were fun and easy, but I am not sure I am ready to tackle wedding invitations. I know we could just purchase the printable type, but that is a little more than I want to tackle.

We have ordered samples from a couple of different online companies of invitation samples. We have also examined every wedding invitation we and our friends have received the past few months. The bride has finally chosen an invitation! I am so thankful one more decision is made.

They chosen invitation also has a corresponding save the date magnet. I have finished my portion of the wedding invitation list today. (Big weight lifted off me!) The grooms mother has finished her portion as well. Now, the bride, who knows. I think she has worked on her list, at least she can quit reminding me to finish my part.

I think we will be ordering Save the Date cards in the next week or so! Yipee!

Rainy Gift

I hope to catch up on many things today. Blogging being one of them. The rain has given me a gift, some inside time. Things I hope to accomplish today: a fun new blog post, finish my portion of our daughter's wedding invitation list, and my favorite pastime - cook, cook, cook!

Our gardens are also thankful for the rain.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A great day

For a Monday - today was awesome! Will post more later - but the top highlights of the day. A new car, a Ford Flex, Candy Red. I have a great husband. And the greatest - our son came home from Fort Sam Houston today. He was supposed to come tomorrow - he has known since January that he would be home today - just hasn't told mom.

Never told me until her was in the drive tonight.....stinker!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Car Shopping

We are car shopping. Well I guess I should say I am car shopping. My car is now 6 years old, it has served me well, but it is time for a change. It is nice, as a car goes, and I really thought I wanted a car 6 years ago, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I knew I wanted something smaller than the full size conversion van (which we still own and runs amazing after 11 years!) and smaller than our full size four door truck.

It had been several years since we had owned an actual car. There are many things I love about the car. The ease of parking, the great fuel mileage, the really smooth ride are just a few. I do miss sitting up just a little higher and having a little more room all around.

So, we are car shopping, or as we call it in our house - being fed to the vultures. Dealerships are so funny, either they are attacking you the minute you step out of your car or you have to hunt a salesperson down. No one wants you to leave until you have bought the best car on the market today - you know the one they are selling.

We/I continue to shop. Back to test drive a couple of cars for the second time today. I shall miss my old car - you know the one that is paid for......

Friday, March 26, 2010

A New Bible


I was so excited when I received my copy of the Busy Mom’s Bible by Zondervan in the mail. It was the first actual THING I had received from a blog or blog link. I had even forgot about registering for it.

As soon as I opened the box, a very familiar smell hit me. New leather! That has always been one of my favorite scents. Not only did I love the smell, but the color. Two toned pink, something fun. I think the last time I had a pink Bible I was like 6. I liked that it was small, not as big as the Bible I was currently using. So, overall an exciting afternoon.

Now about this Bible….I have told you some of my likes, here are a few more. One minute devotionals – 52 of them; five minute and 10 minute study prompts; amazing concordance, and study topic sections are all a hit in my book. The maps aren’t bad either. Only a couple of issues with it. The print is a tad bit small for this 40 year old mom (or my arms are too short) and the New International Version is nice, but I prefer the New King James Version. I just can’t get used to the book after Ecclesiastes being called “Song of Songs”.

No matter what the smell, color, size of font, fancy maps or study helps - it really comes down to the word of God. As long as I am blessed enough to be able to read and study God’s word freely I feel truly blessed. The Bible will lead me to be the Christian God would want me to be, but I must remember to use it each and every day. Most of all we must live God’s word because we as Christians are some people’s only view of God and the Bible.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Never too old

As I am getting older I am learning more and more that I am never too old for certain things. The best one lately is I am not too old or my daughter too old for her clothes to go to the consignment shop. The there is the coolest shop in Pleasant View called Hot Potato Kids. It is owned by a friend of mind who has five wonderful kids. She carries kids clothes, junior's clothes, young mom clothes, and maternity clothes.

Oh, they carry the normal consignment stuff too - toys, furniture, car seats, swings. But they also have new items as well, jewelry, toys, games, puzzles.

My daughter went through her vast wardrobe and found several items she no longer likes or just doesn't fit that well. Being the retail girl she is - she pressed, hung and tagged everything so neatly. Now the waiting begins, to see how much she can make. I did find out today - some of her items sold this afternoon after I dropped off her clothes! Woo Hoo!

Check out their site - or become a fan on Facebook!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A gift of love


I have a very talented mother. She can cook, garden, decorate, sew, knit, and quilt. She is an excellent quilter! It is one of those things she just has the knack for. Her mother and I am sure maybe a grandmother or two were quilters. I suppose most women of their day were out of necessity.

I never got the love of sewing much less quilting. I just don't seem to have the patience for it. I like to start and finish project all in the same day or it runs the risk of never getting finished.

My mother has endless patience and stays with projects until finished. Even the cross stitch pitcher hanging in her living room she said she thought she would never finish!

This past week she gave me her latest accomplishement. She has made me several quilts and each one holds special memories. One of my favorites she let me help with the summer she had surgery and was limited on how much she could do outside.

This quilt reminds me of a day of with her and my sister. We attended a quilt show and I was educated on who Eleanor Burns was. She is the lady on public television making a "Quilt in a Day". (Yeah right!) I saw this quilt, Summer Porch, hanging and thought it was so pretty. After purchasing the book containing the pattern, I learned I could get Eleanor Burns to sign it.

It is a good thing I kept my mouth shut that time, I almost asked who is Eleanor Burns. But much to mom's delight she did sign her book. And the bonus, my mom made me the quilt. I am such a lucky daughter!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Husbands - got to love them....right?


My wonderful husband, who has always said he doesn't like doing home improvements, has the spring fix-it bug. Twice in the last two weeks he has started a non-planned project. He has the spring-work on the house fever I suppose.

He installed new plugs in our bathroom last week. This was a true need. The one and only bug in our only bathroom was in light fixture, not the best situation. I cam home from work to find drywall dust EVERYWHERE! My only request was that the next time he cut into the wall of the house, that he first move things out of the way. It makes cleaning so much easier.

So, this week, he did clean things off of my stove and counter tops before he began installing a new light switch in the kitchen. This switch controls the new light he thought would love. I admit the old light was old, or rather would be better termed vintage. The new light is nice, but being hung on the ceiling rather than on the outside decorative wood (flush with front of the cabinets) it creates a shadow on the back portion of my stove.

It is a beautiful fixture and as soon as we decide to have the kitchen painted again we will remove the old light. We discovered the painters did not paint behind the removable light!

Maybe the next time the spring - do something around the house - bug hits him, he will find the glass cleaner and wash my windows. A girl can dream can't she?

No matter what I love him more each year!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A great daughter


Just have to brag on my little girl. Yes, I know she isn't a little girl anymore, she is a very nice 19 year old young lady, but she will always be my little girl. Anyway...back to the story.

This is her spring break from school. She is not on the beach, as I am sure some of her friends are, she is home being a great daughter. So far this week she has gone through some boxes she had not unpacked since we moved three years ago, helped her father with a home improvement project (that is another post), cleaned all the floors, cooked a great dinner for Tuesday and who knows what else.

Let's just say she makes a mother proud! Too bad she has to work tomorrow - she might could have washed the windows too! Just kidding....but all this is making it easier to be willing to spend whatever she wants for that upcoming wedding.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A nice change of pace


Last week we were able to take a short road trip to see our son who is currently stationed at Fort Sam Houston. The weather was amazing. Short sleeves and flip flop weather.

It was a nice time just traveling in the truck and being with each other. Surprisingly we didn't listen to the radio the most of the way. I finished a novel I was reading withing the first 100 miles and began another novel I had brought for the trip.

In an absence of mind decision, I agreed to read the book aloud. Yes, you heard me right...aloud. The book was Dear John. We also went to see the movie while we were gone. The book was great, and I think the movie was too. Remember the absence of mind, well it hit again. Hubby and I went to see the movie together. He had never read a book and seen a movie of the same book. Every few minutes you know what I heard...that's not the way it was, it was his brother in the book, or what about the wreck?

Back to our trip, the city was so nice. I had never visited San Antonio before. It was not a disappointment. It was everything my husband had told me it was and more. We enjoyed our hotel, the Riverwalk, the Alamo, and most of all time with our son. We are anxiously awaiting his return home.

While we are excited for him to be home safe and sound our thoughts and prayers are with his home unit each day. His unit is currently on active duty in Iraq, he missed the deployment by just a few months.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disconnected

Got your cell phone handy? We all do, don't we - well until it doesn't work - then we panic - we feel so lost and disconnected from everyone.

One again I feel disconnected from my son. He sent me a text message this morning at 5:00 a.m. to let me know his phone was dying. When he unplugged the phone from the charger, part of the phone came out - still connected to the charger. That is never a good way to start the day.

I survived his 10 weeks of basic training and his only calling about every 14 days, so a few days until his new/old phone arrives at the base should be a piece of cake - right? This makes me think of all the others in his National Guard unit who are currently being deployed. My few days disconnect from my son is only a blink in time in comparison to what those families will feel.

I think of a friend who is in that unit who will be away from his son and wife for the next year. My prayer is that he and the other members of the 278th will all return home safely to reconnect their families.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Memories

It is amazing the memories we have from childhood. Some of my favorite ones were from just being at home with my parents and sister. Every time we would get a big snow, we would make fudge a crackers. Making these treat required my dad's assistance. Dad made the best fudge I have ever eaten.

He would cook it low and slow until if formed the perfect soft ball stage. Then he would move the pan to a sink filled with cool water and beat it with wooden spoon until it was ready to spread onto saltine crackers.

Mom and I have tried to re-create those treats - but somehow the fudge just is never the same. So, I am ever so thankful for all the fudge and crackers my sister and I were treated to growing up! Just another one of those wonderful memories my dad left us with.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Getting our wish


We all wished for snow. We wondered if it would really come. The forecasters kept changing when it would arrive, how much would accumulate, and even where it would hit the hardest. Most of us doubted it would really be those 5" they kept mentioning. But still we prepared, we stocked up on milk, bread, movies, and all the other necessary blizzard supplies.

Then it started, a little south from what was predicted. It was so exciting to see it fall and then begin to stick. Now that it has blessed us with a blanket of white for a few days, it seems everyone is ready for it to leave.



So far the snow hasn't stopped me from going or doing what was needed, so if school is closed another week - no big deal to me! Enjoy you school aged kids - go sled another day.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You win some you lose some

I have been so excited every since The Pioneer Woman’s cookbook was first publicized. Her recipes always are so mouth watering. I cherish my signed copy of her book. She makes each dish look scrumptious.

I have tried a few of her recipes from the cookbook – with great success. The homemade biscuits are so light and fluffy. I did make one change – I truly believe a good biscuit is made with Whole Buttermilk, not the low fat that you commonly see, nor with the soured milk you make by adding vinegar to what we southerners call ‘sweet milk’. I have made her version of twice baked potatoes. The family fell instantly in love with those.

Meatloaf – oh how we love meatloaf in our house. The family has never been displeased with the one I make, a recipe handed down from my mother. But, have you seen the PW’s? It is wrapped in bacon! BACON, the wonder food. Can’t say as if I have ever had bacon added to anything that I didn’t like. So, I followed the recipe, wrapped my meatloaf in wonderfully thick country style bacon and set my meatloaf to baking.

The aroma was unlike anything else. It was like knowing the best thing you would ever eat was just an hour away. The entire house smelled wonderful from the meatloaf and the bacon. Oh, we could hardly wait. After the first bite, we knew – two out of three ain’t bad. Not wanting to be unkind, they said things like: it’s okay, yours is really good, something is defiantly different. I knew right then, it is back to MY meatloaf. Maybe this weekend we will have one.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Searching for THE dress


Our daughter became engaged just before Christmas. We were thrilled. So, now the planning has begun. We have always laughed that we are both OCD, but now know we actually have CDO. It is like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order they way they should be. ;)

From the minute she put the ring on her finger - well probably since she met the guy - it has been planning time. At this rate, all should be planned by this June. Someone please remind me of that during the fall.

She has decided the following:

Groom
Location
Colors
Bridesmaids
Flower girls
Ring Bearers
Food for reception
Flower girl baskets
Favors
Person to make the cake - and has a design she likes


The best news I have is we are pretty sure she has found THE dress. She has tried it on at two locations now. Both times I had to make her take the dress off. She invited her father to see her in it the second time.

She will always be dad's 'little bit' and she felt she couldn't make such an important choice without his blessing. Her fairytale continues.....

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rewards of cleaning

As a 'thank you' to my husband, I decided to clean out our filing cabinet. With tax time just around the corner, I knew the dreaded task was due. I am usually a procrastinator about this, preparing for taxes the week or day before we meet with the accountant.

My darling husband had given me a gift certificate for a massage and it was amazing, so I thought I would make his day and get organized. He was very pleased, but I too got a treat.

Many years ago in the Ms. Cheap section of the paper, I clipped a recipe for Homemade Brownie Mix. It was so good & easy. I made it a few times, then lost the recipe. While cleaning I found it in the bottom of the filing cabinet. I plan to mix some up sometime soon.

I thought you might like it too!

Homemade Brownie Mix

6 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups cocoa
8 cups sugar
2 cups shortening

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir together the cocoa and sugar. Place mixture in a large pan and mix thoroughly. Cut in shortening. Measure 2 cups at a time into airtight plastic zipper bags. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes about 9 batches of brownie mix.

Making Brownies

2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups brownie Mix

Beat eggs, blend in vanilla and brownie mixture, about 50 strokes by hand. Lightly grease the bottom of an 8 x 8 pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Who knew?

Who knew hitting family members could be so much fun? No, I am not really hitting my family members! Our family got a Wii Game system the week before Christmas. We have begun to play Wii Boxing. I think our daughter & I just might be addicted to the Wii Boxing game.

She is really good at it. For those who aren't familiar with it, you have a game controller in one hand and a second piece is connect to it for the other hand. You 'box' against each other on the screen. You are actually just jabbing at thin air, so you aren't actually hitting each other.

But it feels so good to knock the other person out! Is that bad, to feel good about knocking out your kid? Or hitting your spouse so much, they can't get back up? What about when it is the future son-in-law, that one should be okay, right?

I am wondering why we waited so long to get this game system.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Outside my box

I love to cook, my family loves to eat - great combination. The only problem is like so many people I get in a rut of cooking the same things over and over. I decided to work outside my box this past week. First making Twice Baked Potatoes - out the the wonderfully addictive The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Those were a instant hit with the family.

Being the adventurous person I am, I thought I would try a second new adventure. We were invited to an annual New Year's Eve party with friends. I wanted to take something different this year. I remember my hubby loves stuffed mushrooms. I had never made stuffed mushrooms, nor did I know of anyone who had. So, off the the computer I went. I made two types - because I could not decide which sounded better. I made Stuffed Mushrooms #1 and Stuffed Mushrooms #2.

Mushrooms #1 were my favorite, with hot sausage and cream cheese. But the much easier Mushrooms #2 with sharp cheddar and bacon we my hubby's favorite. Almost all were eaten on New Year's Eve. All I can say is I hope no one else went to our local Wal-Mart on New Year's Eve wanting mushrooms, I bought 5 of the 6 pounds they had in stock.

Since the potatoes and mushrooms were successful, I think I might try the bacon wrapped meatloaf next.....

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