Friday, June 30, 2017

Blessings on this Friday morning

I'm linking up with Five Minute Friday where we are given a one word prompt and asked to write for five minutes.  Feel free to join us by linking up with everyone here.  (Disclaimer -- I think about what I want to write for a minute or two and then load my pictures . . .then I write for five minutes . . .also, I think I saw somewhere that we aren't supposed to edit but I have to correct typos :-) )

I was thinking of some of the blessings in my life this morning and these verses came to mind:

"my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my
stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me. “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and have been saved from my enemies."

I can't imagine my life without the blessing of scripture and time in prayer.   I can't imagine my life without Jesus, my rock, my Savior. I can't imagine my life without the friendships that I have made through church and the Christian community.  What blessings those are.  I can't imagine life without the opportunity to serve others - the cover on my Bible is from 2004 Discovery weekend - a time for junior high students to have an encounter with God.  Mark and I served faithfully many years through Discovery weekend.  I can't imagine our lives without the blessing of our Sunday School class and those with whom we spend time each week in worship.  I can't imagine our lives without the blessing of good preachers - oh my goodness, we have been so blessed with good preachers at our church.

prayer journal

Bible . . . and the ever present
diet pepsi!

I can't imagine our lives without the blessing of this sweet grandbaby.  She had a sleepover with Gran and Pops last weekend.  She has changed our hearts forever.  We, who didn't really care about being grandparents, are some of the craziest grandparents EVER.

We are so blessed to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, good neighbors, nice homes, a sense of security.  We have been blessed by new friendships.  We are blessed by the sunrise each morning (if it will ever stop raining).  We may end up being blessed by building an ARK!!

walking toward our house - in front
of our next door neighbor's house

I've been worrying over something and I am so blessed to work in a church.  I can sneak off down to the sanctuary and literally lay at the foot of the cross (I'm so glad no one came in while I was in the floor - they would have thought the old lady had fallen and couldn't get up!!

My view from the floor in front of the cross

One of my favorite
stained glass windows in our
sanctuary - Jesus and
the little children
Time is up - five minutes flies!  I am now blessed to go and take a hot shower with clean running water!

If I asked you, "Tell me some of the blessings in your life" . . . how would you respond?

p.s. added after the five minutes -- I do feel that if we have been richly blessed, we should allow us to be used by God to bless others - I pray that is true for us.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Messin' and Smearin'

I just googled "Messing and Smearing" and found some interesting things - some parts of the country say, "Messing and Gomming" . . .I've never heard that one!  Sometimes when I call my sweet MIL and ask, "what are you doing?" she responds with, "Messing and Smearing" or something like that.  Seems like her expression and the one I found when googling are similar in meaning - means doing a lot of nothing . . .doing stuff without any results . . .doing a little of this and a little of that.

What does that have to do with this blog post?  I just thought of that expression when I was looking at all of these pictures - a little of this and a little of that.

Several weeks ago when Laura was home for a weekend, we monogrammed shirts (see on sofa below) for a bachelorette weekend at the beach.  The monogrammed shirts (to be used as cover-ups over bathings suits) were adorable!

While I had all of the supplies out, I made a monogram for Lauren's (DIL) cup.  It is not perfect and I can change it out for her at some point in time.

I have also "created" a new recipe.  I've named the recipe - "Salsa Chicken in the Crockpot" - very original, right?
Spray crockpot with Pam.
Add 1 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
Add a couple of tablespoons of taco seasoning
slice an onion and throw that in the crockpot (you could add peppers, too)
Add a can of drained corn (I normally use shoepeg but I evidently only had yellow that day)
Add a can of drained black beans
Add a 16 ounce jar of salsa (I used Pace mild)
Add a tablespoon or so of Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dressing
Cook on low all day while at work

When I got home, I shredded the chicken (while still in the crockpot) with two forks and mixed it all together.  It is delicious all by itself or on a baked potato or rolled up in a tortilla.

I get the wife of the year award.  For Father's Day, I bought a bottle of Pappy - Old Rip Van Winkle for Mark.  BEST. GIFT. EVER.  I was so excited about the gift that I gave it to him a week early.  Every time he walked through the kitchen, he gave me a kiss (not like him!)

Oh look . . .here is some of that chicken mixture on my baked potato with a little low fat cheese and some low fat sour cream.  YUMMY!!

I've also been working on a banner for a bridal shower.  I'll show you the banner after this weekend.  I took pictures of the paper because I needed extra sheets and had to go back to the store.  I swear I don't know what I did before Iphones.

Did your family use the expression "messin' and smearin'"?  Does your family have other funny expressions?
What have you been up to lately?  (now I have the tune for "What Have You Done for Me Lately" stuck in my head!)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

wedding #3!!

Last Saturday night, we attended wedding #3 - 3rd weekend in a row!  I only have two pictures because I was having too much fun to take pictures!  I don't even have a picture of the bride and she was beautiful!!

The sanctuary looked elegant - white flowers on the altar with a candelabra on either side.  Many of our friends from church were in attendance so it was fun to visit with folks.  Two of our ministers officiated at the service and the musicians were from our church also and it was just perfect.  Michelle, the bride, had on a gorgeous dress.  She does cross fit (or one of those) and the preacher said she had even done it on her wedding day . . .so her dress was not only elegant and beautiful but it looked great on her, too.

The reception was at B & A Warehouse, a local venue.  B & A is located in the same area as our baseball field and there was a game that night.  B & A offers a great service.  Parking is already a nightmare in that area so B & A runs a shuttle bus (with air conditioning -- this is the DEEP south!) back and forth between a parking lot and the venue.  They run every few minutes so there was very little wait time.  It was fun to be on the bus with friends.

There were about 275-300 people at the wedding and reception and the food and drink flowed.  They served beer and wine and tea and water.  I'm not even sure about all the food that was served!  I know they served a bruschetta with pesto and something else that was yummy!  They also served the prettiest multi-colored tortilla chips I've ever seen (with a hefty dip).  Mark found a new favorite - they had chicken fried in waffle batter . . .on a stick!  Mark loves fried chicken.  Mark loves waffles.  Mark loves fried chicken and waffles.  Now Mark loves chicken fried in waffle batter on a stick!

Here I am with the mother-of-the-bride.  It was an evening wedding so all of the men had on dark suits and the ladies wore their "finest".

We've been to 3 weddings in 3 weekends and 2 of the 3 have served cheese cakes as the groom's cakes! 

The bride and groom are honeymooning in Fiji!  I can't wait to hear about their trip through her mom.  What an incredible trip!!

We have an off week this weekend so we kept our sweet baby girl last night and are going to supper club tonight . . .and next weekend, I'm hosting a bridal shower/tea at my house so it will be busy!  I have fun pictures from my birthday celebrations and father's day and last night (Emma) so maybe I'll have time to blog this week!!

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


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.


"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?