Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge

From this Side of the Pond

I had planned to write this post last night but I just ran out of steam. Join us by copying the questions into your blog and answering the questions  (or you can answer in the comments or on facebook!). Thanks to Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for writing the Wednesday HodgePodge each week!

1. What's a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?
Spinning out of control (I know that is four words!) -- Not really, but sort of -- it is Holy Week and I work on a church staff. This is like Super Bowl week for us. We have just finished a major capital campaign and are getting ready to do construction. It is Easter and I haven't made Easter baskets yet. (yes, I know my "children" are 31 but it is Easter!!)  We are having our wonderful supper club friends over on Saturday night for dinner - yay!! Our daughter is getting married in just a few weeks and we have a couple of parties to attend - another big YAY! -- so much fun!!. We will be starting a new series on Tuesday nights with the young adults and I have to find something new to teach in our Sunday School class (won't work to teach the same thing in both places this time). ALL. OF. THIS. -- EVERY. SINGLE. THING. is wonderful and fun and good but if I'm not careful, I can allow myself to feel overwhelmed. I want to enjoy each thing.
Yes, I realize that I typed way more than one word on that thought.
What is a word you wish described your life?
To be honest, I don't think I would want it to be any different than it is now. It would be so sad not to have things to do, places to go, people to love.

2. Back in my day we___________________________________?

Back in my day we played outside until dark and caught lightning bugs in a jar. I know that is totally random but that was what popped into my head!

3. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

If you asked me this question last year, my response would have been Chinese but dear sweet hubby has developed an allergy to MSG and Sulphites, etc. so we don't eat Chinese take outs anymore. We get take-outs every week or so but it usually a chick-fil-a salad for me. Mexican food is at the TOP of my list but we would probably eat it in the restaurant.

4. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

They show up when they are supposed to show up. They do what they say they are going to do. They do more than they agreed upon. They do it all with love and grace. I answered that question so quickly that I will probably think of something else later.

5. What's something your friends might see and say is 'so you'?

I don't know. I need someone to tell me. Something from Talbots, perhaps? Something crafty?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Last night, our young professionals stuffed care packages for Children's Harbor. The sound of happy conversation, laughter, someone's play list from their phone is such a good sound.

Since I haven't followed any of the rules today, random thought #2 is:
I attended (helped host) a wedding tea on Sunday for the daughter of a dear friend - it is spring in the south! I won't use any pictures showing the bride, etc. in case she wants to write her own blog post, etc. but I took a couple of cool pictures and wanted to share. I blogged about the tea for my daughter a few days ago and you can read about my daughter's tea here. Different house; different group of hostesses; different food; different flowers; different bride - but you can see that we love to shower our brides!

We work hard to make our parties beautiful. Another talented friend made this flower arrangement and there was lots of good food!

I mentioned in a previous blog how we display the gifts at a tea - see above and below.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What cha doing over there?

Mark just asked me that question, "What cha doing over there?" We've had a nice relaxing evening at home after grabbing a bite to eat and I've been sitting her playing on the computer while we watch reruns of Frasier . . .and now there is a nature show on the tv!

The pictures from my phone just loaded onto the computer and what do I have here?

I got a much needed pedicure on Friday afternoon - Sapphire Nails and Spa at the Grove is the best!

I cannot believe I took a picture of this . . .but I did! We have a new carwash near our house and my car was totally yellow . . .and it is a red mini SUV. I took it through the "Wall of Foam" and then spent about 30 minutes vacuuming out the inside. My car was filthy both inside and out.

I bought this lettuce at the farm stand on Thursday - right in our parking lot at the church. Jason and Shelia are back for the season - yay!! This lettuce is grown in a nearby county and it is so good! It is a mixture that has a little spice - a little wow! The package states + Wasabi!!

I also bought this giant bucket of strawberries this week from the farm stand  - these strawberries are also from a county or two away and they were so incredibly good. The bucket is empty and washed and ready to be returned. I think I'll buy another bucket this week!

I did something new today. Mark was at the farm and I was on my own. I went to Blink and had my eyebrows threaded. Oh my goodness, y'all! Have you ever done this? My skin is so sensitive that when I have my eyebrows waxed, a huge hunk of skin usually leaves with the tiny hairs. I will be going back to Blink! It was not totally painless but there is no redness and I'm not missing any hunks of skin.

When I was paying, the lady handed me a price list. SHE CIRCLED THE BRAZILIAN wax. I DID NOT circle that. She also told me way way way more than I ever wanted to know about a Brazilian wax. I will be going back to have my eyebrows threaded!

 I did grocery pick up again this week at Walmart. It is a life changer. That sounds silly but I have had two extra hours over the last three weeks - that is six hours of my life back. Today, they did get one thing wrong in my order but I called and they told me to come right back and they brought the correct items to the car and made the trade. She told me that I could keep the wrong thing, too, but I asked her if they could resell it and she said, "yes" so I made her take it back in. They also gave me (and I guess everyone else today??) a goody bag that is just the right size for packing my lunch each day and there were several freebies in the bag!

When Mark got back into town, we went to eat at the Boot at the Grove. I had a burger with no bun and it was so good. One of the employees was painting their saying on the back wall and she was free-handing it and doing a great job!!

This last random picture - we were riding through a brand new neighborhood and saw these garage doors and we both loved them so we pulled into the driveway and snapped a quick photo. Aren't they awesome?

What have you been doing this weekend?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Routine

Linking up with Five Minute Friday and this week's word is ROUTINE!

Routine - this is my word! I am the mother of twins who are 31 years old and from the time they were born, I worked hard on having a routine. I am still a list maker and a calendar keeper because routine matters to me.

One of the problems with routine is that I get so caught up in DOING the things I need to do that I sometimes forget to absorb. I love to write "pray" and "read bible" and "journal" on my list and I love the routine of taking the time to do this BUT I get caught up in "I have to do this" and these become just another thing to mark off on my to do list.

A friend and I were talking this morning about meal planning, etc. and we both like to have things planned out - our routine. When my kids were babies, we ate dinner, gave them a bath, read a story, and went to sleep all by 8:00 p.m. (and earlier when they were really young) ROUTINE - I think it was what kept me sane when they were babies. 

I have other friends who have no routine at all - they are able to go with the flow and be spontaneous. That is not my forte. I am trying to find a happy medium at this ripe old age of 59. I need some routine but I also need to be spontaneous.

What about you? Do you have a daily routine? How about a cleaning routine? Do you operate better with routine or without? I would love to hear from you!!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

In the South . . .

Most of you know that I'm a southerner through and through and I have the accent to prove it! I heard myself say someone's name this morning. The name is 3 simple letters and I realized that I had said about four syllables for those three letters!

In the south, in addition to our accents, we also love to shower our brides. Our good friends hosted a tea on Sunday afternoon for our sweet daughter who will be married in May. The party was perfect.

Look at that flower arrangement. That was not done by a florist  . .that was done by one of the hostesses!! Do you see those round things on the silver tray? Those are Baby Bites from Pastry Art. You can check out the flavors here. Those things melt in your mouth.

Here we are surrounded by the hostesses. I thank my God for these people. They love us and we love them. Rain had been predicted for the afternoon but the first drop didn't fall until we had the car loaded with presents and we were headed home.

Pictured here is Laura with two of her dear friends - Brooke and Katie. These three girls met via our Tuesday night Young Professionals group that meets at our house and have been great friends ever since. I feel like they are a part of our family, too!

When Laura was a little girl we went to a wedding or shower and they had a feather pen and Laura fell in love with that pen and said that she wanted a feather pen some day. This old mama actually remembered and ordered one for the parties and wedding.

See those yummy foods? The ones on the left are veggie bites or veggie pizza squares. I'm not sure which recipe my friend used, but this is one that is really good, too. Mark's cousin, Nancy, who died several years ago always made these for family gatherings and Laura always loved them so it was extra special that our friends served them - it was like Nancy was with us!

I didn't ask but I think the little sandwiches were from Ousler's. The pimento cheese and chicken salad sandwiches from Ousler's are perfect for an afternoon party. Actually, they are perfect anytime!

I didn't take enough pictures but I tried to just be in the moment. That has been my goal for several things this year. I should have taken a picture of the gift tables. At this kind of party, the hostesses open the gifts and display the gifts on tables. The bride (and her mama!) stand at the door and greet people as they come in.

Laura and I truly felt loved. She was showered with all sorts of wonderful presents - a handmade quilt and settings of her fine china and other amazing surprises.

The wedding is not going to be large and it has been so hard regarding the guest list. I've tried to stay totally out of the list making. My hubby grew up in our church and I've been a member here for a long time and I've been on our church staff for 14 years and it would be wonderful to invite everyone we know, but those of you who have planned weddings know that is not a possibility.

What kind of pre-wedding parties are hosted in your town? I know that different parts of the country host in different ways and I love to hear how things are done elsewhere. Are weddings large social affairs or more intimate gatherings among your friends and family?

We can now say, "the parties have begun!" The wedding is less than two months away!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Hodge Podge

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you're looking forward to in this season of the year.
I have horrible allergies so I'm looking forward to the end of pollen. I LOVE this time of year yet can't be outside very much. My sister just texted me that the weatherman in Texas said their pollen counts are the highest they've been in over five years!! Everything here in the deep south is yellow. We had a rain shower a couple of hours ago and there are little yellow rivulets running down the street. When you walk across the screen porch and into the house, you track yellow footprints into the house!!

pictures from pinterest

borrowed from the internet - pinterest

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Any of these tasks recently completed?

See #1 above - allergies to trees and dust cause lots of issues. Y'all . . .I sound like a whiner and I promise I'm not!

One of my annual jobs is to wash the windows on our porches. I can reach all of those windows with a small ladder or step stool. I just have to wait until the pollen abates a little. Closet or garage? Closet all the way - I've been trying to clean a little out of our closet every month or so. Wipe down patio furniture or light fixtures? Do people really wipe down light fixtures? kidding . . .sort of! We usually take our outdoor cushions out into the driveway and scrub them with a brush after pollen season. Mark usually cleans the screen porch after the season, also (with many sweeps in between). I skipped one - ceiling fans? Isn't that accomplished by turning them on? Kidding - once again, sort of!

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Sour cream? Whipped cream?

Cream cheese? mmmmm cheese cake!! I also like buffalo chicken dip and it has cream cheese!
sour cream? on a baked potato! I've actually been substituting plain fat free chobani yogurt for sour cream in my recipes lately - cuts out a lot of calories and fat!
Whipped cream? the kind in the can? straight out of the can into a bowl! The real thing? on top of some yummy dessert. Seems like I have some other recipe - like a soup or something that uses whipping cream.

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?
Evidently,  I say Hefeweizen incorrectly. I said it at lunch yesterday and my southern accent placed an extra consonant - like Heifer vizen . . . and I was corrected. There is something else I can't say that I've tried to say a million times lately and I say it incorrectly every time! I can't remember what it is though. I've said it at work so someone tell me . . .what is it???

5. What's a song you love with the word 'rain' in the title or lyrics?
It is raining here right now - again! I was in middle school and high school in the 1970's and I don't love this song but how about "Who'll Stop the Rain?" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. I'm not sure that I LOVE any song about rain. I know - how about "Rain Rain go away . . .come again some other day!"

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I have no random thoughts today. Not true -- tornadoes came through our state on Monday night. Thank God that no lives were lost this time but there was significant damage in some areas of the state. We live right in Tornado Alley.

A to Z Theme Reveal

Y'all . . .I'm going to attempt the April A to Z challenge again this year. I'm going to admit that it almost killed me last year. I actually fell asleep at the kitchen island a couple of times as I tried to write long after the house was quiet and Mark was asleep!

Last year, I never really came up with a theme - I tried - but I just couldn't get it together.

The traveler, otherwise known as me!

This year . . .drumroll please . . . I'm going to attempt to blog about

ISRAEL (thank you!)

Above is a map that gives you a big picture idea of where 

Israel is located and below is a 

more zoomed in map.

Pinterest Rand McNally (thank you!)

I hope you will join me in April as I share pictures from my recent trip and thoughts about travelling in Israel. (disclaimer - I am not an expert nor a travel agent . . . just an average traveler!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Zoom . . . .

I feel like life is zooming by recently. My daddy always said that the older you get, the faster time flies and I would just laugh and laugh and say, "daddy - time is time, whether you are old or young." Now I'm not so young and I know he was correct.

I cannot believe that it is now March. I feel like we just had Halloween. Our daughter gets married in less than two months. Surely she just got engaged!!

We had a busy weekend. Life is funny like that, isn't it? Maybe not for you, but it is for us. We might go weeks and weeks and have nothing to do and we feel like the rest of the world is out having fun (dangers of looking at facebook!!). We then have a weekend where we DO. NOT. STOP. GOING. This weekend was one of those. Everything we did was fun and wonderful but goodness gracious, Monday rolled around so quickly.

Friday night, we ate dinner with friends at Vecchia, a restaurant literally in our neighborhood. It is a fun place with communal wooden tables and they serve pizza, paninis, salads, meatballs, and lots of draft local beer. I love where we live.

photo courtesy of Daphne Harding-Smith from 
neighborhood facebook page
Saturday morning dawned bright and early and we celebrated our sweet grandbaby's SECOND birthday. See . . .there goes that time flying by. She moves at a non-stop pace. We kept her for a little while on Thursday night and she NEVER. STOPS. (not like time!) Her birthday party was fun and all things pink!

This little tiny nugget is so special. She talks non-stop and repeats anything you say. She takes care of her "babies" and covers them up like a sweet little momma.

Love the order of these pics - above and below . . .sneaking a bite of icing - YUMMY!!

Look at her face above when she realized how good that the cupcake tasted and then look at her face when she was watching her friend, Luke, dive headfirst into his cupcake (luke not pictured but look at her face!!)

Our day didn't end there. We went to a tasting at the reception venue. I think I'll save those pictures for later. Let me just say that the Wine Loft has not disappointed us so far. We have loved working with their event coordinator, Kristin, and we met the owner on Saturday. We are looking forward to a fun party!

On Sunday, we went to worship and I taught Sunday School and we had lunch at my mother-in-law's house and then we had another big social affair. I think I'll save that for another whole post! It was a pretty special time.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Five Minute Friday - Provide

Every Friday, when I can find the time and words, I like to link up with Five Minute Friday where we are given a word prompt and we are told to set a timer and write for five minutes. I know it sounds ridiculous to say "when I can find the time" when we are only talking about five minutes but sometimes, there are no extra minutes in a day!!

Just FYI, I haven't started my timer yet because I wanted to tell you that I actually laughed out loud when I read today's word prompt -- PROVIDE. Why? We've spent the last several weeks talking about the different stories in the Bible where Jesus multiplies whatever we offer . . he PROVIDES. When we offer a little bit of fish and a few loaves, he provides by multiplying. When we offer ourselves for service in his kingdom, he multiplies our efforts and provides. God is good like that.

 ok - now I'm on to my five minute Friday - setting my timer . . . Go!

This man - the man I married 34 years ago - is such a good provider. He has provided us with a great home and he has provided us with the ability to host the young adults each week and feed them. If you are my friend, or his, and read this . . .Please don't tell him I wrote about him. He would kill me. He doesn't want recognition.
This man provides love for all of his family - not just sweet baby girl - but all of us.

This man provides spiritual leadership. He amazes me with how much scripture he remembers. He amazes me because we have taken the same Disciple Bible studies and he remembers JUST about everything we ever learned and I have to go back and reread stuff again and again.

This man provides entertainment. One of the reasons that I fell in love with him was because he made, and still makes, me laugh.

This man has provided a vacation for us just about every year of our marriage and a few extras thrown in. When the kids were little, he even provided for me to go away for a weekend or two and he kept the twinlets. 

He works hard. He plays hard. He loves to fish and he loves to be out in the woods. He is an excellent provider for our family.

I thank God for this man - not just because he provides - but because he is a wonderful man!

p.s. This is not to say that I haven't also been a part of the providing BUT he has been the main provider.

I know that I have veered way of course again - everyone else in the group always has really great devotions that go along with their words . . .this girl . . .not so much!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Home for Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today is Wednesday, so it must be HodgePodge! Copy and paste the questions into your own blog, answer the questions, and link up with Joyce at From This Side of the Pond.

1. Best place you've been lately?
The first thing that popped into my head -- HOME! We've been on the go almost constantly and we've worked some long days. Recently, we were at home one evening and I was SO HAPPY TO BE HOME!!

Then I second guessed myself and thought that answer sounds so lame from a girl who actually likes to go and do things but my thoughts of "best place" keep coming back to home and relationships.  This is another really great place to be -- snuggled up with this cutie. She calls one Pops (her actual granddaddy) and she calls one Pops George (her granddaddy's identical twin brother). Being with her is a pretty darn good place.

2. What's something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?
This answer is going to sound like it is in direct opposition of the answer above but TRAVEL would be a definite YES! I'm going to blog about my recent trip to Israel during April and I look forward to reliving some of those memories as I write! I'm looking forward to planning some more trips.

3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'green'?

I love decorating for all holidays and special occasions. My grandmother on my daddy's side was of Irish ancestry so I CLAIM it! When I hear green, I usually think of growth . . .or money . . .

some of my flower friends need to help me - I have purchased Tulips for two weeks in a row. The first week, I didn't cut the stems under water before placing the flowers in the vase and they were VERY sad quickly. This is bunch #2. I cut the stems under water, put them in the mason jar and I've added water. They don't seem to be opening up before they die. What am I doing wrong???

I picked up the little leprechaun hats a few weeks ago and think they are so cute.

4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

I know I mentioned this in an earlier blog post but Walmart grocery pick up is AMAZING. All you have to do is go online and order your groceries.  You choose from the available pick up times (the earlier you order - the better chance of getting the exact time you want). They text when the order is ready. You respond. Through the app, they know when you pull into the parking space designated for those picking up. Within minutes, a very nice employee brings your groceries to the car. It was raining when I picked up on Saturday evening and I was very thankful for this service! Last week, I forgot to take cash for tipping and felt bad. I was pleased that Teiara was my delivery person again this week because I was able to give her a nicer tip. There is nothing on the app that says you should tip but I'm thinking that is the right thing to do - I would love thoughts on tipping in a situation like this. My grocery order is large. Is there a percentage I should tip? After saying all of this, I would gladly be their spokesperson.

5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What's the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What's your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?
Some days, my math skills are sharp and on focus. I was a good math student in high school and college. These days, I use my math for figuring out measurements when tripling recipes.

I was also the tip collector for our driver and guide in Israel and needed to divide a large sum of money - 2/3 to guide and 1/3 to driver. I guess I used my math skills then! I use excel spreadsheets to keep up with groups of people and I can use the math formulas to add up columns or rows - love excel!

Yes, I like pie! I LOVE coconut cream pie. Since I gave up desserts over a year ago, I have had one bite of coconut cream pie at our grandbaby's first birthday party (a year ago this weekend!). I've discovered that I CANNOT eat sweets in moderation so I've just given them up all together. You can read my recent post on making pecan pies here (they are good, too!).

I love ice cream on apple roll (which is basically a pie). Whipped cream is great on cheese cake (not really a pie?).

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

On Monday, my friend and I went to another local United Methodist Church to hear three detectives/sergeants speak on human trafficking. Y'all. I JUST CAN'T IMAGINE. Those speaking were actually employees of the city where I live and I will admit that it gave me great hope because they all had a heart for children. The whole situation is mind boggling to me. It is modern day slavery for sex and labor. This issue has been on my heart for a couple of years now and I'm not sure what action I should be taking. The detectives recommended fostering a teenager who has been removed from a trafficking situation but I'm not sure that I'm called to do that. I may call/email the two safe houses near me and see if there is a way I can volunteer. Are any of you volunteering in any way to help with the human trafficking situation? If so, I would love to hear what you are doing.

When we arrived to hear the speakers, we loved the sign over the door --  "Reid Crotty Fellowship Hall" . . .Reid was a long time minister at this church where we were attending the program and he now serves on our church staff as a retired minister of care (does nursing home and hospital visits, etc.). We all love Reid so it was great fun to see his name above the door.