Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime HodgePodge

From this Side of the Pond

Today is Wednesday so it is time to link up with Joyce and answer the Hodge Podge Questions.

1. The first day of summer rolls in later this week. What are ten things you'd put on your list of  quintessential summer activities? Will you try to manage all ten this summer?

1. Eat watermelon (have already!)
2. Eat homemade ice cream (may not - have been trying not to eat sugar)
3. Go to a baseball game and stay for the fireworks (I love fireworks - not sure if this will happen or not)
4. Go to the neighborhood pool (this had better happen)
5. Join the summer reading club at the library (do they have this for adults?  I always read the most books when I was a kid.  I'm not competitive or anything :-) )
6. Watch a movie in the park in front of our house (hope so!)
7. Take a vacation to the beach (not going to happen until September but we are going before the first day of all)
8. Go to someone's lake house and soak up tons of sun (yes, I'll wear sunscreen)
9. Shell fresh peas (I don't have freezer space anymore - love "sitting on the porch" memories of shelling peas
10. Enjoy an icy beverage with an umbrella . . .like a pina colada or a strawberry daiquiri. (hopefully)

2. Do you collect seashells when you're at the beach? What do you do with them once you get them home? What's your favorite place to comb for seashells? How many of these 'best beaches for hunting seashells' have you visited? Which one would you most like to visit?

Calvert Cliffs State Park (Maryland), Jeffrey's Bay (South Africa), Sanibel Island (Florida), Shipwreck Beach (Lanai Hawaii), Ocracoke Island (North Carolina), Galveston Island (Texas) and The Bahamas

I do love to pick up seashells.  I found a paper plate full of shells in a drawer the other day!  I may have thrown them away when I was cleaning out that drawer . . . I always think I'll make some wonderful craft with lots of seashells but never get around to it.  I've been to Galveston once many years ago but I can't remember if we even walked on the beach.  I've been to the Bahamas (on our honeymoon!).  I've been to Hawaii but I can't remember if we went to Shipwreck Beach or not!  I would love to go the South Africa . . .actually, you could take me to any beach and I would be happy.

3. At a snail's pace, shell out money, come out of your shell, go back into your shell, drop a bombshell, happy as a clam, clam up...which 'shell' phrase could most recently be applied to some event or circumstance in your life? Explain.
I guess "shell out money" because I went to the dentist on Monday and I have to have a crown replaced - boo!

4. What summer activity do you dislike? Why?
I dislike sweating when I'm dressed in nice clothing.  Living in the deep south in a place with high humidity produces sweat.  I'm perfectly fine sweating if I'm dressed for sweat - shorts and old t-shirt or a bathing suit.  I'm pretty sure this is not the direction I was supposed to go with this answer but it is what popped into my head.

5. What's something you see as quickly becoming obsolete? Does that bother you?
I just read an article in the Wall Street Journal today. I selfishly don't want car ownership to become obsolete because my husband's career depends on the purchase of cars.  I need cars to hang around for a few more years, please and thank you.  (sorry for the blue blob on the picture . . .I needed to cover up something :-) )





6. Insert your own random thought here.
My husband is so handy!  We have a fire pit on our patio but we haven't used it very often.  We especially aren't using it right now.  I found a pallet on the side of the street in our neighborhood (yes, I stopped and asked if we could have it!) and we Mark brought it home.  Mark cut the underside of the pallet into a smaller circle and the top section into a larger circle and made a "table top" for our fire pit.  We are having friends over in a few weeks and this will be a great spot where people can sit and have a place for their plate or drink.  I think I'm going to put a piece of burlap - maybe a square - in the center of the table.  (Thanks Kyle and Lynn - your pallet table inspired this!)



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#goingtothetemple


Wedding #2
 (not really at a temple - his name is temple!)

This following "blurb" is from their wedding website:
In the fall of 2013, Laura's friend Kelly had been invited to attend a young adult small group sponsored by Trinity United Methodist and hosted at the home of Lisa and Mark Elliot. Laura decided to tag along for moral support and after many shared dinners in the Elliot's home a friendship began to form (between Will & Laura!!).

So last weekend, Laura became a Temple!  The rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, and wedding were all JUST perfect.

Mark and I even used the selfie stick to take our picture before the rehearsal dinner.  I love this new dress - Nordstrom!


The rehearsal went smoothly.  I had never met Will's parents before and I just loved his mom.  She was very outgoing and the perfect southern hostess.  I imagine all those years of being a UMC minister's wife have shaped her!  Will is an only child and Edee (his mom) was just delighted to be gaining a daughter-in-love.

I don't have any pictures from the rehearsal dinner except for this one - taken in the parking lot!  The dinner was at Ruth's Chris and Mark nor I had ever eaten there.  Our steaks were delicious and the room was intimate and Edee had done a great job with the decorations.  She read an email that she sent to me four years ago about Will and she shared how thankful she is for both Mark and me.  She made us cry (sweet cry!). 

We were seated with two fun young couples - two of the groomsmen and their significant others (a wife and a fiancĂ©). We had so much fun getting to know them.  Mark later told some friends that he and I both just seem to be able to talk to young adults . . .I'm thinking we've never grown up, perhaps?


The wedding was on Saturday afternoon and the bride and groom asked for everyone to put their phones away.  We had to arrive early so I was able to snap this one photo.  The altar arrangement was beautiful and simple and I loved the candles.  Just perfect! 

Mark, Julie, and I were three of the communion servers.  It was so special to be asked to be a part of the actual worship service.  Mark and I have served communion many times in Contact worship, Traditional worship, and Emmaus functions but there was something extra special about serving at a wedding.


The reception was on the top floor of one of the tallest buildings in our downtown area.  It used to be named The Summit Club and Mark had a membership there years ago (through his company).  I believe it is named City Club now.  The cakes were beautiful.  I'm sure they were delicious, too.



We were able to sit with a whole table of young adults and we had so much fun.  I don't even know how to explain how much we love them.  It is a different love than I have for my children or for our granddaughter, Emma.  We feel like they are "ours" - a part of us - a part of our family - just in a slightly different way.  Everyone at our table has been a participant at one time or another in a study at our house on a Tuesday night.


Our seats were perfect for the entrance of the bride and groom.  We were at the very back of the room so I was glad we were able to catch this shot.


The sunset from the club was beautiful.


Mark and I even danced.  This is a rare sight - almost as rare as a unicorn sighting.  The last time we were on the dance floor was at a wedding . . .and we were prodded by some other young adults!



Kelly (on the left) just moved to Kentucky for a new pastoral role.  We miss her so much so it was fun to see her and get a hug or two.  Julie and April rode with Mark and me to the reception and we laughed a lot . . .a lot . . .and yes, Mark probably said inappropriate things . . ..but they were funny.


Another new dress for me -- another Nordstrom find!  One of the wait staff members saw us taking the selfie and offered to take a picture of all of us.


We are so happy for Will and Laura.  They are moving to Huntsville for new jobs and we are going to miss them so much.

God has blessed us so much through the lives of these young adults.  Thanks be to God!!



Friday, June 16, 2017

Five Minute Friday - WORTH

five minute friday

Linking up with Five Minute Friday -- today's word is WORTH. Write for five minutes and then link up here.

WORTH

"They" say that a picture is WORTH a 1,000 words and I think that is probably true. I love pictures and I love the memories associated with those pictures.  Even more important . . .how much is our time WORTH?  We have the cutest grandbaby ever!  Yes, I know that all grandparents feel that way.  Mark has spent time with this baby almost every single day of her life.  When she started going to daycare and was in the infant room, he would go and feed her at lunch time - almost every single day.  Now he goes almost every afternoon to hang out with her for about an hour.  She adores him.  We call him Pop or Pops and she has been calling him Top.  It is so cute.  Time with a grandchild is WORTH so much - I can't even begin to describe it.  We loved and adored our own children (and still do) but there is something about a grandchild - maybe it is knowing that you can leave at the end of the hour and you aren't responsible for all the day to day stuff.


For what it is WORTH, Mark makes up silly games to play with Emma.  This is the hat game and she loves it.  She wanted me to see how the game was played.  She would point and laugh!

This time spent with Emma is WORTH every single second.  It makes me think about the time we spend with God.  We love every moment of Emma time and I would think that God would love every moment we spend with him.  We are WORTH something in God's eyes.

So what about you?  What is WORTH it in your life?  Time with family?  Money? Career?



Pops throws the hat up over the curtain rod and sometimes the hat gets stuck.


She is WORTH it!




This face is so WORTH it!  She is our doll baby!


And Riley, the corn on the cob stealer . . .She is worth a lot to us, too!! She stole this ear of corn while I was keeping Emma and she wouldn't give it back.  I guess that ear of corn was WORTH a lot to Riley! hahahaha!



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

This and That Tuesday Morning . . .now on Wednesday!!

My sister asked, "what did you do this weekend?" when I was talking to her on my drive into work.  I said, "I can't even remember Friday night!!"  One of the reasons I blog is so that I can remember!! Later that same day, I loaded my pictures from my phone to tablet and viola - I remember the day!!

When my kids were growing up, I made 100's (literally) of pans of brown sugar brownies.  I don't bake very often anymore because Mark and I are like alcoholics when it comes to sugar.  I just can't keep desserts in the house.  BUT Laura was home and had asked me to bake brown sugar brownies for her to take to a party.  Friday night I fired up the oven and started baking.  Forgive the messy counter in the background.  We had just unloaded groceries and didn't have everything put away!!



We've changed our recipe a little over the years.  We now use two sticks of butter (so decadent) and in my "new" oven (3 years old), I have to cook at a lower temperature for less time.  I could have shaved off another minute or two.


Why was I baking brown sugar brownies?  Laura was attending an "early retirement" party for her friend Vickie.  Laura met her when she was doing an internship during her senior year at Auburn and then worked with her for several more years at the Harris Early Learning Center.  Vickie is famous. Not because she worked with Laura . . .!!  That is her Olympic torch you see in the picture (two pictures down)!  The "early retirement" party just happened to be taking place at the house directly across the park from us - how very convenient!!  Laura used to bribe sweet talk Vickie into helping her do whatever she needed by taking brown sugar brownies to her!! (I didn't know about the bribery until Saturday!!)

I told you that Vickie is famous.  She played women's basketball before there was a women's basketball event in the Olympics but she was able to play for the USA National Team.  You can read a short article about her here on Wikipedia.

Vickie is moving to be closer to her son, who if you follow college basketball . . .you may have heard of him.  This was just in the news 19 hours ago.  Austin's father was also a famous basketball player - I believe he played on the Olympic team (but not sure).
They are the nicest folks!!!

For point of reference . . .Laura is 5' 11" tall . . .and here she is with Austin.  He is TALL!


I was happy to make brown sugar brownies to celebrate Vickie!!
Scott, Laura's boyfriend, drove up on Saturday to go to the party with her.  He had never had one of our family's famous Brown Sugar Brownies .. .he said he liked it!


During the day on Saturday, Laura and I monogrammed lots of things!  I LOVED spending time with Laura but found myself continually tensing up because I was worried about messing up the monograms.  While we were monogramming, we made a monogram for my daughter-in-law's cup!  I put it on the cup on Sunday and it is crooked!!!  Booooo!!!


Sunday morning, we did the church thing - I helped serve communion in the traditional service while Mark, Laura, Glenn and Lauren attended the contemporary service.  I taught Sunday School and we went to Mark's momma's house for lunch.  We had a LOT of rain this weekend and on Sunday afternoon, Mark said "let's get out of the house."  We ran a couple of errands.  One of our biggest date spots is Sprouts.  We are so dadgum romantic!!  But . . .Sunday, while I was sitting in Walgreen's parking lot waiting on Mark . . .I saw a rainbow!


That was our weekend along with a wedding, which you can read about here. What did you do? 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Wedding Celebration!!



Saturday started our marathon of weddings for the month of June - such fun celebrating with friends!!

Mark painted another porch ceiling from 8:00 a.m. until 3:10 p.m. and then hurried in to take a shower.  We cleaned up nicely!!  I found the dress at Nordstrom online - they have a great selection (one of the best selections!) of larger size dresses.  This dress is here.


We rarely take pictures together but Laura was home so I asked her to snap a quick one.  The hubs hates pictures . . .this was the best one.  He WOULD NOT smile for Laura but looks like he is about to burst out laughing.

We headed to Decatur for Cara's wedding.  We drove through unbelievable traffic in downtown Birmingham and then we drove through one of the worst rain storms ever.  On one section of the interstate, it was "roughed" up for construction and we laughed that the road was so ridged that it was tickling our butts!!

We made it to the wedding thanks to my driving like a race car driver (thank you so much that we didn't get a speeding ticket).  The wedding was sweet and in a pretty, old United Methodist Church - Central UMC in Decatur, AL.

After the wedding, we headed over to the reception.  This was the "get-away" car.  Isn't it cool??
Cara looked lovely on her special day.


We had never met her new hubby.  They look so happy together!


I had to take a photo of this . . .the bride's cousin made 17 - yes SEVENTEEN - homemade cheesecakes of various flavors as a gift of love.  There were blueberry swirl cheesecakes and raspberry or strawberry swirl cheesecakes and plain cheesecakes.  He used 30 pounds of cream cheese.


Cara and Brandon right before the cutting of the cakes.  We seemed to be hovering nearby . . .Mark wanted cheesecake!



Mark was able to eat some cheesecake!!  


I thought this table was beautiful -- with all the fruits and veggies and cheese cubes. So colorful!!


As we were leaving to walk to our car, we saw Brandon and Cara and the photographer.  Isn't this cool?  The building across the street had this on their marquee.


This weekend, we are headed to wedding two - including the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  Both Cara and her sister Dana (married last year) are from our small group on Tuesday night and the wedding this weekend is Will and Laura - they actually MET in our group!!  We love all of these young adults!!  Will you be attending any weddings this summer?

Friday, June 2, 2017

FUTURE - FIVE MINUTE FRIDAY

Linking up today with Five Minute Friday - setting my stopwatch (on my phone, of course) for five minutes and then typing away about . . . .

FUTURE

Just this morning, I was thinking about living on a fixed income . . .I'm only 58 but my husband is five years older and is looking ahead to his retirement.  I DO NOT DO WELL on a budget.  He sent me an email with his proposed budget for retirement and I said, "where are my hair salon appointments?  how about the housekeeper?  what about pedicures?"  Let me tell you . . .I may have to work until I'm 80 because I don't want to give up the luxuries that I feel like I've waited on my entire life.  That is crazy - I can't believe I just typed all that but I think it is true.  

Instead, I should be thinking about what I want to accomplish with God's help in the future and I was thinking about luxuries - silly me!  I hope to be able to serve God all the way until my last breath. Laura (daughter) told me last night that it is a good thing that I work in a church because I can work up until the day I die . . .and walk down the hall to my own funeral . . .and be done with it!  hahaha! To be honest, that is the way I want to live my future.  I want to be healthy (swim in the dead sea and climb a million steps in Israel in January).  I want to live long and play with grandchildren.  I want to be riding on top of a double decker bus in New York City when I'm in my 90's . . .when I'm older (in the future).

my sweet mother-in-love and sister-in-love in New York City last week
I want to enjoy life and live and laugh and love in the future.  I want to travel and see things I've never seen (Northern Lights!!).  I want to hike to the falls in the Preserve which is right across the street from our house.  I want to LIVE!  I want to LOVE.  I want to SERVE GOD.  What do you want to do with your future?  
P.S.  I would love to keep my hair salon appointments, cleaning lady and still get pedicures, too . . .in the future, you know?  (five minutes flew by!!)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I'm an accomplished Wednesday Hodgepodger (not!)

Thanks to Joyce over at "from this side of the pond" for the Wednesday Hodgepodge questions. Feel free to link up with answers of your own!


1. What makes you feel accomplished? Explain.
Mark and I entertain well together and after we've hosted a good party, I always have that great sense of "we did something."  Sometimes I have that feeling on my job - when I know that I've had a good idea or said the right thing to someone, I have that moment of knowing that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing (and then quickly remembering that it was God working through me!!).  I am a list maker and I love for the end of the day to come and realize that I've marked everything off my "to do" list - that is a feeling of accomplishment!  None of these are probably the "right" answer but quickly came to mind.

2. If you had your own talk show, who would your first three guests be? Tell us why.
Does it have to be someone famous?  I guess these are my answers so I can answer anyway I want to answer, right?  I seem to be worried about what people are thinking about me today!!  Okay - back to the question.  Do they have to be alive now?  I would love to have a "sit down" with Mother Theresa (hence my question about being alive).  I cannot imagine the stories she could share.  I would also like to talk with Corrie Ten Boom (once again . . .no longer living).  I love love love Jen Hatmaker and also Ree Drummond so those two would be on my line up (of those still alive!!)  (NOTE:  I realize that I didn't do a good job of answering the question as it was written!)

3. Do you have a great burger recipe? What's in it? What do you like on a hamburger and where is your favorite spot to order one out?
I do not have a good (nor great) burger recipe . . .because to make it great . . .usually makes it not very healthy!  Burgers often taste better with 85% meat . . .and I usually buy 96% ground meat - lots of flavor difference!!  I love a hamburger with mustard, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, tomato and pickles . . .but my favorite thing on a burger is homemade pimento cheese.  The Boot was a restaurant within walking distance of our home (not any more) and when that restaurant first opened, they had the best burger with pimento cheese.  They used a small bun so the ratio of meat to bun was perfect and then they slathered it with homemade pimento cheese.  
I also love the burgers at Sam's in Homewood on Oxmoor Road.  I have no idea what makes them good . . .but they are!  The meat is cooked on a flat top (or whatever you call it - not grilled).  They put shredded lettuce and pickles and grilled onions on it.  They use a large round and fairly thin meat patty.  My mouth is watering.  Neither of those burgers is on my "healthier" eating list.  I did buy some veggie burgers at Sprouts and used lettuce leaves as my bun with light Hellman's mayo, Grey Poupon Mustard, pickles, tomato, mustard, ketchup and it was pretty darn good!!  Just FYI - I DO NOT eat raw onion on a burger (or an anything else!!)

4. What's the biggest anxiety producing thing you do on a regular basis?
I teach a large adult Sunday School class almost every Sunday and I facilitate a small young adult study on Tuesday nights.  Both of those activities cause me to sweat profusely.  I just have to remember to allow God to speak through me.  It is not about me . . .I have to remember to breathe in Holy Spirit and breathe out self.  I think when I stop feeling anxious and nervous it will be time for me to stop teaching/facilitating.  I NEVER want to think that I have accomplished something when it was God through me.  (see question #1!!).

5. This is the last Hodgepodge of May. Tell us about your summer plans.
Let's see . . .we have weddings to attend over the next three weekends (and one rehearsal dinner).  I have a birthday this month (June).  My daughter and I are hosting a wedding shower for our friend, Brooke, in July and we will attend her wedding in July.  As far as I know, we have no vacation plans until September and we have rented a big beach house and are taking our son, daughter-in-love, granddaughter, daughter and boyfriend to the beach with us.  We are going down a day early and will have one day to ourselves.  I hope to make it to the neighborhood pool more often this summer.  I wanted to go last weekend but we had rain and clouds.

6. Insert your own random thought here.
Our neighborhood has started a book club.  They've met twice and I've not been able to attend either time BUT I'VE READ THE BOOKS!!  Do I get credit?  Please!  I'm reading this month's selection now.  The book is Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman.  This is not necessarily a book that I would pick but I'm so glad that someone picked it!!  We've read:


Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

I had read The Nightingale but re-read it . . .I love that book.  I probably wouldn't have read What Alice Forgot if someone hadn't picked it nor Choosing to See.  I love reading and I tend to get stuck in a rut so this has been great for me.  I hope I get to attend this month.  Are you in a book club?  Ever been in one?  Favorite books?