Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Photo Dump

This is the most random post EVER. Yeah - I've said that same thing before. 

Last weekend was Grow Sunday at our church. The kids have Welcome Back Sundae and they meet their new sunday school teachers and have ice cream sundaes. The adults have a "ministry fair" of sorts and sign up tables for fall Bible/book studies.

Mark and I were out of town and four of our young professionals "manned" (or should that be womanned??" the table for us. All of these young professionals who come to our home each week mean so much to Mark and me.

I finally finished one baby bereavement "mock up" but I'm not happy with it. You can't see but there is a decorative stich for the hem. I think it needs tiny buttons down the front or some flat lace on the sleeves - something to make it special but could be worn by boy or girl. To be honest, I hope we NEVER need another one of these gowns - ever.

Pops had the baby girl out in front of his momma's house and was teaching her all about fishing!

I painted the bench with a cream chalk paint. I used Rustoleum spray chalk paint. The bench was originally red. It took 6 cans of paint and I ended up with a cyst on my trigger finger!

I bought a cute print at the Southern Living Store in Huntsville . . . and yes, that would be a potty in the picture . . .Why not have "amazed by your grace" hanging over the potty?

The piano player above was amazing - he was as entertaining as the show we were attending at the Homewood Theater. The reason I took the picture is the plaque on the side which you can't read but it said something like, "in loving memory of Linda Whitmire." We knew Linda (and her husband Cecil) many many years ago. Mark knew Cecil through work and we even travelled to Hawaii together. Cecil and Linda were the driving force behind saving the Alabama theater and Cecil would play the organ at the Alabama as it rose from below stage. It just gave me a sweet tug on my heart to see her name. They are both gone now but definitely not forgotten.

This past week was Birmingham Restaurant Week where local restaurants offer a great deal at lunch or dinner. They have a Restaurant week menu that showcases a few of their most popular dishes. We at Perry's. I had the Berry Perry Mule and it was yummy. I also had a petite filet that was tender and tasty. Mark ordered the specialty -- pork chop . . .and I swear it was a pork ROAST. They cut three giant chops from his piece of meat and he ate ALMOST all of it that night. We will go back to this restaurant and pay full price!!

This was the dessert trio . . .which I did not eat. Our friend's daughter and son-in-law were at another table and we passed the crème Brule to him. Mark ate one of my bites and someone else at the table ate the other bite.

On Saturday, we went to see our daughter's school and to deliver a rocking chair for her reading space. They have CHICKENS and a garden at the school.
I love the chickens!!!

Daughter's kitty cat is a fat and happy cat named Charlie who loves to lay all the way over on his back with all four paws up in the air. He was almost in that position!

We celebrated our son-in-law's birthday and met their friends and had so much fun. We spent the night and it was really cool to spend the night at the home of your very accomplished adult daughter and son-in-law!

Last but not least, I worked on some of the wedding photos this week. I ordered these photo tiles from Mixtiles and they are awesome. The canvas in the middle is the one I told you about a few weeks ago but the smaller photos are from Mixtiles. Check them out!!!

This was the wall of photos already in place. This is at the top of the stairs -- to the right is our loft area and this is the hallway to one of the guest bedrooms.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Who Am I?

Not a great picture but this is probably more
the REAL me.

For my entire life I have been told that I was part Cherokee Indian - Native American. I have the high cheekbones. I have the skin tones. My grandmother, pictured below, looked Native American --but maybe she looked that way because that is what my sisters and I were told and so we sought out the Native American features.. I have no idea who told us this "fact" but imagine my surprise when I sent in a 23 and Me sample. I was so surprised that I have convinced both sisters to also send in a sample and get tested.  I have ZERO percent Native American DNA - ZERO - ZIP - NADA!! So who am I? Who in the heck am I? We were always told that my other grandmother was Irish - thank goodness - that seems to have been true. My largest percentage is British and Irish. My mother-in-law said I shouldn't be surprised because a lot of people who live in this part of the country probably have British DNA.

This whole process has caused my mind to stir. Who in the heck am I really?
I'm a woman
I'm a wife
I'm a mother
I'm a grandmother
I'm a sister
I'm a sister-in-law
I'm an aunt
I'm a friend
I'm a mother-in-law
I'm a follower of Jesus (but I fail miserably every single day)
I'm on staff at a church
I'm a Sunday School teacher
I'm a facilitator (and cook!) for a group of young professionals
I'm a neighbor (hopefully to more than just the folks on either side)
I'm a 1 on the Ennegram

 My top five strengths are: Activator, Communication, Positivity, Harmony, Woo
I'm an ESFJ on the Myers Briggs test

Not only am I British and Irish but my DNA results show Switzerland and Germany (not surprised at the German due to my maiden name). Heck - I'm even a little Scandinavian, a little Iberian, and a little Italian!


On top of all of this, my DNA shows that I have more Neanderthal than 98% of the people that have participated in 23 and ME . . .and a lot of people have participated.  I'm also in a rare maternal Haplogroup and as I was reading that material, I began to feel like they can practically trace me back to Eve or one of her relatives. They trace this Haplogroup all the way back to the Middle East - maybe that is why I have loved our Israel trips so much!
I think I'm having a small identity crisis but the results are fascinating!!! We are planning a trip to England and Ireland in 2019 so I will be going "home" - wow . . .the trip takes on new meaning in my mind.

I don't know any of my family tree past great grandparents and I don't even have all of their names. According to 23 and Me, there is a possibility that I have some 2-4th cousins out in the world!

Have you participated in 23 and Me? Are you who you thought you were? Or are you like me . . trying to decide who in the heck you are?

my little tiny and very short Granny George

Friday, August 3, 2018

School Days, School Days . . .

School days, school days,
Dear old golden rule days.
'Readin' and 'ritin' and 'rithmetic,
Taught to the tune of a hick'ry stick

Interesting lyrics - I've always heard the first three lines but I don't believe I knew about that fourth line. I think my mom changed the words to something else though I can't imagine what words she would have used. I never had a teacher use a hickory stick . . .though I did get paddled (yes - they did that back then!) when I was in middle school. You want to know why I got paddled? I left my sheet of basketball rules at home. It wasn't that I did anything bad . . .I simply forgot my paper which was an unusual thing for me. I don't think that PE teacher liked me very much.
Everyone around me is in the back to school mode. I love school supplies and new books! Last weekend, I drove to my daughter's home and we worked on things for her classroom and we had so much fun (or I did!).
She is teaching in a new school this year and is so excited. 
I've marked through the name of the school on the sign and marked through the writing on the flags. Didn't want y'all trying to figure out that one!

We used my silhouette cameo to cut out letters on cardstock and on vinyl.

She has such a cute room!

There were some vinyl letters on some of the cabinets so we made more letters - I couldn't match the font exactly but our letters make a nice addition.

I hope to be able to go and meet some of her students this year. She is an awesome teacher and we are so proud of her!

I love the googly eyes over the bookcase to the left with the word "read" -- makes me want to read a book!
One of my sister-in-laws and I were discussing back to school items on Sunday. Turns out we both had red plaid lunch boxes and red plaid book satchels one year. I remember those two items so well!
Do you love "back to school" time? What are your favorite "back to school" supplies?

Monday, July 30, 2018

Sunday Stealing on Monday again . . .

Another round of crazy questions! Make sure you watch the video of our cat - totally worth it!

What color is your watch?
I love pink!

What do you think of when you think of Australia?
I want to go there.

Ever ridden on a roller coaster?
Yes, I love love love roller coasters!

Pearl, I think!

Do you go in at a fast food place or just hit the drive through?
I don't eat fast food very often anymore but when I was 80 pounds heavier, I would always go through the drive through because I didn't want anyone to see the overweight woman eating fast food! I cannot believe I just typed that.

Do you have any friends on facebook that you actually hate?
No, but over the last year some political posts have made me think twice!

Do you have a dog?
no dogs - only a cat who loves to have his teeth flossed!

Last person you talked to on the phone?
Dear daughter!

Have you met anyone famous? 
Yes, sort of. They were filming a movie when we were at dinner one night.

Also, a million years ago we were flying to Hawaii and an old comedian was on the plane and I introduced myself to him.
I've also met Bob Goff and had my picture taken with him and I think he is pretty famous!

Any plans today?
I've worked all day and now I'm going to hit the bike!

Where are you right now? 
I'm still sitting in my quiet office - I think I'm the only one here.

Biggest annoyance in your life right now? 
The last 17 pounds that I cannot seem to lose.

Last song listened to? 
Something by Imagine Dragons probably

Last movie you saw? 
We rewatched Young Frankenstein on Saturday night. It was made in 1974 and it is so ridiculous.

Are you allergic to anything? 
I'm allergic to a million thing - grass, trees, cats, dogs, mold, dust, perfumes, colognes

Favorite pair of shoes you wear all the time?
Vionic flip flops - in every color and style!

What time is it? 
4:37 p.m.

Do any of your friends have children?
Almost all of my friends have children . . . and now have grandchildren!

Do you eat healthy? 
I sure do!

What do you usually do during the day?
I help people all day long - from scheduling appointments for the senior minister to scheduling weddings and funerals on the church calendar to taking notes for meetings.

Do you hate anyone right now?
I hope not. Hate hurts the one doing the hating far more than it hurts the one who is hated. There have been periods of time in my life where I STRONGLY disliked someone but I try not to hate.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Take Me Out to the Ballgame . . ..

If you have been reading my blog for long or if you actually know me, you know that we host a group of young professionals in our house on Tuesday nights. This past Tuesday, Mark's banker had asked if Mark would like to use the bank's box at the Baron's baseball game . . .and we offered it to our young professionals. We had a full house and had so much fun!

We were in a third floor box with a great view of the field.

I should have taken several pictures of the group so that I would have had a picture that was good of every single person . . .but for some reason, I only took these two.

It was a perfect night for baseball - it is July in the deep south and it is usually miserably hot outside but on this night, there was a breeze blowing and it was pleasant to be outside!

The Barons have two mascots - Babe Ruff and Lillie Mays - I'm sorry I didn't ask them if I could have my picture taken with them. I promise that I'm a grown up MOST of the time but there is just something about mascots (my favorite all time mascot crush is Aubie!!). I read an article yesterday that said it is at least 30 degrees hotter in those mascot suits . . .so if it is 100 outside, it would be 130 inside - bless those mascots! I'm sweating just thinking about it!

We had so much fun - we had grilled chicken and burgers and all of the toppings like lettuce and tomato and cheese and BACON. We had French fries and onion rings and popcorn and peanuts and pretzels and chips and dip and we had a refrigerator full of refreshing beverages. Mark's banker, Patrick, was the perfect host!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Sunday Stealing . . .FOOOOOOOD!

This is one of those fun question blogs from Sunday Stealing (yes, I know it is Monday) and it is on food – and I love food – so this is right up my alley. Disclaimer -- there is nothing remotely "useful" in this post!! Copy and paste the questions into your own blog and answer away or feel free to answer in the comments!

1.  Do you like pie?
I love pie and I make a great mini pecan pie. The best recipe is the recipe on the dark Karo syrup bottle . . . and you can even add a little bourbon and make bourbon pecan pie. Hubbie's favorite dessert of all time is blackberry cobbler - that is a pie, right?

2.  Italian or Mexican?
I could eat Mexican food every single day. I could eat beans and rice every day. I could eat chips and salsa every day. Guess I like Mexican food. I like Italian, too, but Mexican wins.

3.  Can you bake? If so, what are your favorite things to bake?
I can bake but my mother-in-law is THE best baker around. She is in her 90's and is still baking! I bake great brown sugar brownies and I can bake my mother-in-law's German Chocolate Cake and it is LIKE N.O. O.T.H.E.R.
4.  Do you use cook books or do you try to find recipes online?
I use mostly on-line recipes these days but I do use my handwritten ones, too. Every once in a while, I might use a cookbook but I gave away most of my cookbooks when we moved a few years ago.
5.  Do you own a kitchen aid mixer?
I sure do and it is awesome!
6.  Ever cooked a meal for more than 15 people at one time?
Why yes - yes, I do that often - every week on Tuesday nights! We host a Bible/book/DVD study for Young Professionals and I cook for them every week.
7.  Do you like hospital food?
My immediate response is "of course not" . . .but back when our kids were still at home, one of our "day dates" was to meet for lunch at a hospital near my husband's old office and the food was actually ok.
8.  Favorite fast food restaurant?
I have different ones for different items - I love french fries from McDonald's and Milos. I love Wendy's cheeseburgers. If I want healthier choices, I pick Chick-Fil-A.
9.  Any picky eaters in your family?
Not really. Hubby isn't too fond of Italian but he will eat it if nothing else is provided. I'm not very fond of salmon or tuna (not the canned kind - the real kind) but if I was served either, I could probably choke it down. If you served canned salmon croquettes, I COULD NOT EAT them. I don't know what I would do.
10.  Soda or Tea?
I have Diet pepsi or diet dr. pepper every day . . .and usually a diet ginger ale every day, too. I like tea but would almost always choose soda over tea.

11.  Hot chocolate?
12.  Favorite holiday dish?
turkey and dressing
13.  What is the most tasteful strangest looking thing you have ever tasted?
I've made some casseroles that were just downright ugly but tasty.
14.  Fries or tater tots?
Fries are probably my favorite food in the universe but I like tater tots, too.
15.  Do you like cheese? If so what kind?
Yes! Cheddar, sharp cheddar, brie, feta, and how about this one? Just bought it on Friday night at Whole Foods!

16.  Home made or can soup?
I love home made soup but grew up eating Campbell's so that will definitely do in a pinch.
17.  Do you like to eat out?
Love it! We don't eat out as often as many folks though because it has not worked as well for us regarding our weight - too many meals out equals expanding waistlines for us.
18.  What kind of food is popular where you are? (Like in Alaska it is seafood)
Our state is on the gulf coast so seafood is always good and we also have great barbecue! Our city is a new foodie location so we have some awesome places to eat.
19.  Do you like cotton candy?
sure. Have you tried cotton candy grapes???
20.  Turkey or Chicken?
both - all the time!
21.  Hamburger or tuna helper?
hamburger - the thought of tuna helper . . .not so sure about that one.
22.  Raw or cooked veggies?
both! I love veggies!
23.  Do you like salad? If so, what is your favorite kind of salad?
I love salad. I like green salad. I like asian slaw. I like chicken salad. I like potato salad. I like Baby Blue salad (baby greens, with strawberries, mandarin oranges, sweet and spicy pecans, blue cheese - only way I like blue cheese and a great balsamic dressing with a kick)
24.  Favorite pizza topping?
meat! (pepperoni, sausage, canadian bacon)
25.  Do you like meat loaf?
I do! I've actually eaten meatloaf twice in the last two weeks!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Weekend Projects

I have a tendency to do multiple things at a time. Why? I have no idea. One of the things I've had to work on is to COMPLETE each project! Today has been one of those days!
I've had "clean out closet" on my to-do list for a couple of weeks.
Yesterday, I took everything out of the closet. I'm actually too embarrassed to show you EVERYTHING that was crammed into this closet.
Once it was empty, Mark vacuumed the floor and baseboard for me so I truly had a clean slate!
The closet sat empty until this afternoon. I did laundry, ran some errands, went to Home Depot for some crates and a small shelf and sprayed a coat of paint on a bench (see below).

Everything now has a place and we took a load of coats and stuff to the Salvation Army. This is a "junk" closet - there are coats on the bottom left, wrapping paper in the middle, blankets, tablecloths, extra sheets, etc. in this closet!

We've had this little red bench at the foot of our bed for a couple of years. I bought a new duvet cover from Pottery Barn last week and the red just doesn't add to the room.

The paint is Chiffon Cream. I painted two coats and you can still see the red in a few spots so I've got to buy some more paint.

I need another hobby, too, right? I've always wanted to be able to write fancy letters. I thought about taking a calligraphy class but decided to start off learning about lettering styles. I read a book this weekend, too.

I have a tendency to do a little of one thing and then do a little of something else and then go back and finish the first thing. Anyone else do things like this? Jump from one thing to another?

In between projects, I put together the little wire rack/shelf that is now in the bottom of that closet. While I was doing my projects, Mark was busy with projects, too - from cutting the grass to putting out new bark chips around the plants.

What kind of projects do you do on the weekend?

p.s. The next two things have NOTHING to do with projects but I have to throw these pics in -- Vacation Bible School happened this week. We had record numbers of children and I loved the theme - Shipwrecked!
I just so happen to work for the most fun man . . .a senior pastor by day who turns into the friendly pastor pirate Brian during VBS.

Last but not least, we tried a new cheese on Friday night - it has blueberries in it! We were in Whole Foods and started talking to the cheese guy and ended up buying a tiny piece of cheese for $10! It is delicious and it is so rich!