Saturday, July 31, 2010

"The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks Review

This is going to be a long review so hold on and there maybe what I consider some spoilers. I highly recommend this book to young readers and romantics of the heart.

The Last SongThe Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love how Steve has the patience of Job with Ronnie. She is a very disturbed and angry young lady that needs her father. She needs to stop hanging around the wrong crowd and find peace in her heart.

There are so many morals to this story. Here is just a few of Ronnie's Lessons Learned:
Don't just assume the worst of everything.
Don't cast judgment on others.
There are always two sides to the story.
Don't mess with true love.
Sometimes you've just got to have faith in God.

Ronnie did a lot of growing up in a short time. I feel God did a lot of fast molding on her within those few months. Her broken heart and fear cost her the happiness she would have had first with her father and secondly with her God given talent. Thankfully, God allowed her to get a blessing out of both in a very short time. Meanwhile, she would be filled with regret and pain. Fortunately, she did find true love with the one person she didn't think she would have a chance. It wasn't just a Summertime fling with the first person she met, but a real-life love affair. A kind of love affair that survived so many obstacles and has so much possibility.

Who would have thought that a rebel girl such as Ronnie would allow peace and love enter her heart after she stopped to smell the roses? She was like a loaded gun ready to set off. I feel God put Blaze's jealousy into play on Ronnie, to start his wheels in motion. To get Ronnie to slow down and take off the blinder, in order to see what she was doing and where she would end up if she didn't straight up NOW. If it wasn't for Blaze doing what she did, I don't feel Ronnie would have stopped long enough to realize what was going on. Because of Blaze, Steve, Will and Pastor Harris were able to start tearing down the protective wall, Ronnie had built up so many years ago when she thought her dad was having an affair and didn't love her anymore. In the end, they found a very brave, strong, loving, caring and beautiful young lady. Someone you can depend on and would consider a great friend.

Steve was a patience, loving and understanding father and friend to those who knew him well. He was a great craftsman and composer. He regretted not telling his children the truth of what really happened in the past and what was going to happen in the future. He regretted his past mistakes, but wanted to make up for them in the present. Because of his selflessness, he gained so much more than he ever expected - the love and happiness of his daughter back in his arms. Like most humans, we search for something or someone. Is there really a God? Is he listening? What does Pastor Harris get out of talking to God as he is walking along the beach? Before it was too late, Steve found what he was searching for and he was surprised that he didn't have to search long or hard because it was in front of him all along. He found peace and the presence of God almighty. Because of his daily readings in the bible, talks and prayer time with Pastor Harris, he (in a way) introduced the Love of Christ to Ronnie. She soon found herself praying and reading the bible as well. "God, he suddenly understood, was love in its purest form, and in these last months with his children, he had felt His touch as surely as he had heard the music spilling from Ronnie hands." (ch. 36, pg. 446) Brilliantly written - touched my heart.

Will is a fine young man that knows what he wants. A Southern gentlemen that knows how to treat a lady. He had good sense to examine the kind of man Steve was and how he hoped to be like him one day. Steve set a good example for Will and he took it to heart. Will stayed by Ronnie's side not only during the good days, but the bad. I think it was because of the trials Will had faced in his past that helped him to understand Ronnie's obstacles. As many times as she has tried to push him away, he was always there when she came back to apologize. He was her rock and confidant. His strength and love kept her from falling.

I have to say that the last few chapters were hard to read without keeping the tissues close by. The tears continued to run all the way to the end. I think I went through a half a box. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll stop there.

I haven't read most Nicholas Sparks books because of the long intro, but this was a very good book. I would highly recommend it young readers or just the everyday romantics like myself.

A couple more favorite quotes from this book comes from Steve when he reflects on Pastor Harris talking to God.

". . . someone who searched for God's truths like a child searching for seashells." (ch. 16, pg 196)

Steve thinks about his past and the path he chose.

". . . he now suspected that he'd really been searching for ways to fill the emptiness he sometimes felt inside him." (ch. 16, pg. 197)

Happy readings!
View all my reviews >>


Prepare for Football Season

College Football season is fast approaching. As you should know, I'm a BIG University of Alabama football fan aka "Bama". Their first game is schedule on September 4th at 6PM CST at Tuscaloosa. They will battle against San Jose State and thankfully, it will be aired on television.  We are really hoping to have the opportunity to attend the Ole Miss and Mississippi State games.    Whoo Hoo!

Me sitting here in the air conditioning, while it's a balmy 100 degrees outside with a heat index that is suppose to be around 110.  I'm so ready for the cool weather, the roars of the Bama fans in the stands.  For a few hours, you are accompanied by thousands of new friends, all routing for the #1 team in the deep South - Alabama!  Ahhh, the smell of hot dogs, nachos and cheese and popcorn, while yelling at the officials for making the wrong call. 

Now saying all of this, I have one question for you.


Flip Flops and Pearls  introduced me to a cute little shop Preppy Princess.  They have some cute gifts, everything from accessories to things for around the house.  You'll have to check them out.  An added bonus Flip Flops and Pearls has a special discount code that could get you 15% off your purchase from  Preppy Princess .

What does that have anything to do with football you ask?  Well, as I was browsing around the shop I discovered the cutest personalized collegiate flags for you to display proudly your favorite team.  I'm in love with this garden flag.

I just watched a video from Alabama Crimson Tide website on the South End-Zone Update  on the stadium.  It looks awesome!  If you'll click on the video dated July 16th, it will take you on a tour of the new South End-Zone.  So many added amendities for the #1 Bama fans.  An added bonus ladies, they are putting in shops and restaurant to stay open year round.  YAY!  You'll have to check it out. 

Alabama Football's Annual Fan Day is scheduled for Sunday, August 8th.  The team will hold an open practice at the Bryant-Denny Stadium this day from 2:30-4:30 p.m.  Players and coaches will be available to sign autographs soon after practice is over on the field.  For more information, CLICK HERE.

Yea, Alabama Song
Yea, Alabama! Drown 'em Tide!

Every 'Bama man's behind you,
Hit your stride.
Go teach the Bulldogs to behave,
Send the Yellow Jackets to a watery grave.
And if a man starts to weaken,
That's a shame!
For Bama's pluck and grit have
Writ her name in Crimson flame.
Fight on, fight on, fight on men!
Remember the Rose Bowl, we'll win then.
So roll on to victory,
Hit your stride,
You're Dixie's football pride,
Crimson Tide, Roll Tide, Roll Tide!!

U of A Alma Mater

Alabama, listen, Mother,

To our vows of love,
To thyself and to each other,
Faithful friends we'll prove.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true,
Heart bound to heart will beat.
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

College days are swiftly fleeting,
Soon we'll leave their halls
Ne'er to join another meeting
'Neath their hallowed walls.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true
Heart bound to heart will beat
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

So, farewell, dear Alma Mater
May thy name, we pray,
Be rev'renced ever, pure and stainless
As it is today.

Faithful, loyal, firm and true
Heart bound to heart will beat
Year by year, the ages through
Until in Heaven we meet.

Prayer Request
I'd like to update you on my friend, D.  She's doing much better.  In fact, she spoke to Doug the other night, while I was getting the kids ready for bed.  Doctors have given her the green light to go back to work, but not to overexert herself.  She seems so excited to be going back to work this coming Monday.  Eventhough, she is feeling better doesn't mean she's out of the woods just yet.  She will be scheduled a biopsy of the polyp in her colon that started all of this mess.  Once the doctors see how the cancer is responding to the treatments, will map out future treatment.  Thank you for all the prayers. 


Friday, July 30, 2010

Follow Me Fridays


If you have little divas at home, you have to check out Grasping for Objectivity's giveaway.  It's going on from now until August 9th.  The requirements are minimal and the winner will be randomly selected on the 10th of August.

I visited a new blogger this afternoon, which was a delight to get to meet.  Believe it or not, even though she is from the Pacific Northwest, she loves Bama football.  Who would have thought?  She even has a picture to prove it.  LOL!  Now that's my kind of blogger friend.  Haha!  She blogs about the simple things of life and I enjoyed visiting with her.  She also has the cutest puppy "Doogan" that is a big ol' ball of fur.  You'll have to check her out at Blooming on Bainbridge

Of course, 5 Minutes For Faith had another great devotion this morning that really touched my heart.  I love the fact that God has blessed my life with so many amazing women. Leah provided today's devotional titled  God is My Shield from Psalm 3.  Isn't it wonderful to know that no matter what obstacles you might be facing today, you can always count on God to be there delivering from your enemies?   No matter if your foe is an individual or situation.  He knows your troubles and he can provide you with the peace you need to carry on.  Praise God!  I hope you get just as much of a blessing as I did. 

If you like to plan WAAAYYY ahead on special occasions, for the past couple of posts (that I know of) The Celebration Shoppe has been supplying some great Halloween ideas for your next party or get together. 

Happy Blogging! HUGS

Cheesy Macaroni Beef Skillet Recipe

Cheesy Macaroni Beef Skillet
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 can (14.5 oz.) Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1-1/2 cups Water 1 pkg. (7-1/4 oz.) KRAFT Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

BROWN meat in large skillet; drain.

STIR in tomatoes and water; cover. Bring to boil. Stir in Macaroni and the Cheese Sauce Mix; simmer, covered, on medium-low heat 10 min. Stir.

TOP with shredded cheese. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

recipe courtesy of Kraft Foods

Mirya's Note:  I used 1 1/2 cups of 2% Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese, instead of just a cup. We will definitely being having this meal again.  It was very quick and easy to cook up. 


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Smartie Britches' Fall Line Now Available

Smartie Britches  Fall 2010 line is now available online and they have some really cute designs. Here are a few of my favorite:

"Count Your Blessings"
Shirt sold separately
So cute!
I'll have to wait until next year before I'm able to get this shirt for Colton.  Before you think that I've turned to an Auburn fan, the answer is no.  I can get this shirt in Bama football as well.  Yay! 
All sizes start at 2 to 7-8.  Tammy specializes in girls clothes more than boys.  You can check out her store HERE



National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month
Ronald Reagan signed a proclamation the month of July as National Ice Cream Month back in 1984.  I know there are only a few more days left in the month of July, but it's not too late.  Look what I've found out.

During this recession ice cream sales have gone up according to Time Magazine.  "Lynda Utterback of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association says numerous members have told her their sales are up 25% from a year ago. Dutch consumer-products firm Unilever, which sells ice cream brands Ben & Jerry's, Breyer's, Good Humor and Klondike in supermarkets, reported that its first-quarter ice cream and beverage sales rose 7.4%. "Looks like people are turning to ice cream in a big way this summer," says Harold Waxman, who owns industry newsletter Ice Cream Reporter. "When things are hard, ice cream is a relatively inexpensive way to feel good.'"

Sandra Lee's Taste of Summer
Sandra Lee from Semi-Homemade on the Foodnetwork has teamed up with Marble Slab Creamery to create a bunch of new ice cream flavors for people to vote on. The company is also donating $25,000 to feed the hungry. Sandra will debut 16 new ice cream creations combined with Marble Slab Creamery's "delicious mixins". The Tasty Creations that receive the most votes at Marble Slab will be featured in Sandra Lee's upcoming cookbook.

This month's flavor is "Sunday Brunch". The ingredients to make "Sunday Brunch" includes: French Toast Ice Cream, strawberries, walnuts and marshmallow topping.

For more information about this project and how to vote on your favorite, just CLICK HERE! 

Godiva launches a new Summertime treat
Godiva has launched new treat called Ice Cream Parlor Truffles.  The truffles come in flavors that are inspired by favorite flavors of ice cream including: mint chocolate chip, neopolitan, pecan caramel sundaes, and more.  To check them all out or for more information, CLICK HERE.

Cold Stone Creamery Contest
From now until August 24, 2010, you have the opportunity to enter to win a chance to create your own Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Flavor.  3 Grand Prize Winners will travel to Cold Stone Creamery's headquarters to create their creamy decadence.  One winning flavor will be selected from a panel of Cold Stone tastemasters and featured in stores nationwide in 2011.  If you've got that famous family recipe, now is the time to get it out of your kitchen and onto store shelves.  For more information or to enter into the contest, CLICK HERE



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Katie and Colton Visit The Doctor

Yeah it's that time again and I think that I've been dreading it more than the kids have, I guess it's because I knew what was coming. Yikes! To add to the insanity the computers at the doctor's office went haywire. Ugh! An hour later, Dr. Lunsford finally made his way to our examing room. He kept apologizing about the hold up. They had new computers installed and his computer was going a little crazy.  I was proud of the kids, they found a way to be entertained, during the wait. Katie took her Leapster and Colton ate snacks.

According to Dr. Lunsford, Colton and Katie are both doing very well. In their height, Colton is in the 90 percentile and Katie is 87 percentile. In weight, Colton is in the 12 percentile and Katie is 90 percentile. Things were going very well until it was shot time. My poor babies, I absolutely hate seeing them hurt. I try to explain why they have to have shots to Katie. She had to have 3 and Colton 2. I made the bad decision to let Colton have his boosters first and then Katie. Katie was wigging out watching Colton. She was crying and carrying on before she even got a shot. Katie is a strong little girl. The nurse and I both had to hold her down. Shew! Of course, Katie crying got Colton all worked up again. He was mad (stomping his feet) because he thought we were hurting his big sissy. I had to console the kids and have them gather themselves before we left the room. Shew! This momma was ready for nap by the time we made it to our vehicle. HAHA! When we made it to McDonald's Colton was out like a light. As soon as Katie got her Happy Meal, she was feeling much better.  She did remind me ever so often that she hates shots now.   Our McDonald's has Littlest Pet Shop toys in their Happy Meal. So, Katie is in heaven.

Speaking of McDonald's and Happy Meal toys.  Have you kept up with our big brother "Fed Government" wanting to put the iron fist to McDonald's and their putting toys in Happy Meals?  The current Administration thinks that McDonald's is promoting obesity to our children because they put toys in Happy Meals.  Who would have thought that a clown would have been the bad guy? Shame on them.  Let me back up.  Yes, I see the news and know that we have a obesity problem, especially with children.  Is that fast food places fault?  NO!  Is it the lunch ladies at schools fault? NO!   Is it the government's problem?  NO!  Where are these kids' parents?  I ask you.  Now, saying that I understand some people can't help for their weight problems.  Some people have genetic issues that cause the over weight problems.  Some cases are where parents don't care what their children are eating because they have bad eating habits as well.  Is that any reason to blame fast food restaurants or school cafeterias?  NO!  Now, I know we are in a generation where we like to blame others for our own mishaps.  It's much easier to point the finger at other people, but look at the fingers pointing straight back at you.  Self responsibility is what we lack in today's generation.  Guess what?  I'm over weight, but it's because I let myself get this way.  Not McDonald's or Dairy Queen.  Me!  I do have a plan to get back in shape next month and Lord willing, I'll be well on my way.  Are my children obese or fat?  NO!  That's because I exercise the awful word "NO"!  If your overweight/obese child is begging and screaming to take them to McDonald's just to get a toy, there is such of a thing called - - - -just say NO!  If your child is off the chart fat, get them away from TV and videos long enough to get some exercise.  This makes me so mad because people have hollered long enough to the big brother that we will all be affected.  Big brother doesn't feel "We The People" have two sense to our being because we can't go to the bathroom without them holding our hand and being told exactly how to wipe properly.  Ugh!  I know, my blood pressure is up again and I'm on a rampage.  I apologize for the outburst.  I just get so frustrated.     


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cake and Ice Cream Party

Happy 5th Birthday Katie!

I'm still working on writing with gel

Katie blowing out her candles

I'm sure y'all know us by now to know that we can't keep a party with just a cake and ice cream.  Oh no, we ended grilling out hot dogs, onion rings and fries.  We didn't have much left by the end of the party.  I think everyone, including Katie had a good time. 

Doug and I did go ahead and get her the Leapster2 with The Princesses and Tiana games to go with it.  She seems to like it, but hasn't had an opportunity to play with it yet.  She received so many nice things and she loves everything.  I'll get out thank you cards as soon as possible. 

Nia came with Whitney and Zayne, so Katie was having a great party.  The girls were gone soon after Katie opened gifts, they went toting all the gifts to the Diva Palace aka Katie's room.  They tried playing outside for a little while, but you're talking about 99+ degree weather and a humidity of 110.  I had my hair like I like it and as soon as I stepped outside, it all came falling down around my face.  Yuck!

The girls were pestering Whitney and myself about spending the night.  We finally broke down. Katie got to spend the with Nia. Before we knew it, she packed up her bag and had it by the door. Believe it not, she did pretty good packing.  All except for the long blue jeans and fleece pj bottoms, they are her favorites.  Katie came home around 5pm tonight.  She had a blast.  Whitney informed me that it was official, Nia is Katie's adopted sister (they adopted each other) and they want to move in together.  LOL!  They both got to go to Nia's cousin's house to swim.  Nia's mom, Robin, said the girls were wiped out after swimming.  We're hoping to get the girls together and go to McWane Center.  Poor Nia didn't want to leave.  Us moms visited a little bit, while the girls played.  It didn't take long before Nia and Katie were coming up with a plan to get us moms to let Nia stay the night with us tonight.  However, I promised her to come stay the night another weekend.  Katie was so tired that it wasn't long before she was curled up on her bed asleep.  Whitney told me that it was after midnight before they both went to sleep.   

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone
You are not alone - For God is with you.
You are not defenseless - For God is your protector.
You are not inadequate - For God is your sufficiency.
You are not useless - For God has a purpose for your life.
You are not worthless - For God sent His Son to die for you.
You are not without hope - For God has a place prepared for you.
You are not unloved - For God loves you with an everlasting love.
You are not rejected, or abandoned - For God calls you His own.
"I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." So we can say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 NLT

Devotional by Roy Lessin, Meet Me in the Meadow

Twelve Things God Wants You To Remember
God is for you.
God loves you.
God will guide you.
God will not fail you.
God will be with you.
God will provide for you.
God will bless you.
God will give you rest.
God will strengthen you.
God will answer you.
God will uphold you.
God will keep you.



Saturday, July 24, 2010

Just A Few Pictures of Earlyworks Museum


Happy 5th Birthday Katie!

Katie told me tonight as I was tucking her into bed that she had a great birthday today and she'll have an even better one tomorrow because it's her birthday party. YAY! LOL!

Ever since Katie went with Nia, Whitney and Robin to the Earlyworks Museum that's all she seems to talk about. So, I promised her that I'd take her back one day before school started. Well, now is a good time to take her especially when daddy is home. Millard and Peggy were sweet enough to watch Colton, while we (Doug, Katie and myself) all loaded up and headed to the big city of Huntsville. Whoo Hoo! Doug and I have never been to Earlyworks, so we had no clue what we were to expect. In a way, I think Colton would have had a great time there. Knowing him and his naps, it would not have worked well with the length of time spent inside the museum. If you've never had the opportunity of going, it's not like any basic museum I've ever been to. It is strictly HANDS-ON. It's like a little mini village inside this huge building. It's a great way to teach children of all ages (infant-preteen) about history and ways of the old South. As you walk through the front doors, you're welcomed by this HUGE handmade quilted tree. Everything on it is handmade - leaves, branches and trunk. It reaches up to the very tall vaulted ceiling. I think it's absolutely beautiful and to really look at the craftsmanship, it's amazing. 

In the main entrance into the mini village, there's a log cabin where children can dress up like the first settlers with a mock fireplace, cast iron pots to cook your goods, metal cups, plates and silverware to set the table.  To the side of the log cabin is an entrance where the children change clothes and view patterns of old fashioned quilts.  The next is a type of colonial home where you use basic wooden blocks to build pretend building and where the girls can play babies with all small baby furniture.  Across the colonial home the building looks similar to a capital building.  It wasn't too interesting to Katie, but it contained voices of several important national leaders.  Katie enjoyed doing the rubbings.  Beside the capital, tucked away in it's own spot is the famous "Talking Tree".  Ever so often, it will begin telling historical stories to the children.  It's accompanied by two wooden rockers, two wooden benches and a curtained room where the children can read books and play puppet shows.  It's really cute and I think one of Katie's favorites.  Beside the talking tree is an old General Store.  Katie made a friend and they played for a very long time as store keepers.  Complete strangers would walk into the store and Katie would ask "how can I help you?"  The other little girl would tell you what they had in stock.  It was too cute. 
Katie Taken the Cotton off to the Gin

Katie stoking up the fire to cook her tasty vittles

They had so many things displayed for all the kids to have that hands-on experience, too many to mention.  I took lots and lots of pictures.  Another favorite room of Katie's, besides the talking tree, would have to be "Biscuit's Hide-Out."  Biscuit is a dog and his hide-out is only open for maybe a couple of hours at a time.  It's any adventurous child's dream!  You walk through these doors to Biscuit's doghouse, a real water pond where the children fish for pretend fish.  A huge tree that is used for an activity area.  You have a basic farm yard with barn, cow, chicken coop and vegetable garden.  If you're not into the farm thing, then sit on the front porch and play a little music.  Katie went straight for the microphone and began singing!  You have the General Store and Post Office.  Then, you have Biscuit's Hide-Out, where the kids climb stairs, walk across a crosswalk into a club house.  It's all lots of fun!  Thank the dear Lord there were seats for us parents.  Us moms just sat around the tree watching the kids having a grand time. 

I guess we stayed there for a little over 2 hours, but it was worth it.  We were wiped out, but we headed to Target to get a few things and Katie wanted to eat supper at Logan's Roadhouse.
Katie waiting for her sour dough rolls at Logan's

At Logan's, I told our waiter that it was Katie's birthday and if they could do something for her.  Would you believe, she volunteered to go with one of the waitresses, stand up on a chair in front of everyone, while we all clapped and "Ye Haw'd!"  She might have been a little bit embarrassed, but she told me that it was fun.  Thankfully, Doug thought about taping the whole thing.  I was too emotional to think about it.

I'm tell you what, this birthday has really hit me hard.  I don't know if it's just she's growing up and not my baby anymore or what it is, but I'm all the time choking back the tears.  I teared up at the museum, Target and Logans.  I teared up several times this past week, while spending time with her.  I try to get a hold of myself because her and Doug don't like to see me cry. 

Anyway, tomorrow's the big birthday party.  She's so excited and I'm excited for her.  I do have a whole lots more of pictures, but it's late, everyone's asleep but me and I've got to get up and decorate a cake.  Wish me luck!  I'll fix up the photos and post them at a different time. 

Prayer Request
Please remember a friend's daughter, A.  She's not much older than Katie and is having teeth problems.  She'll have to be sedated on August 6th. 

Also, the same friend is having a hard time (I think) with fighting to stop gas chambers in our county.  Our county is probably the only one left in Alabama that still puts dogs and cats in the gas chambers if they are not adopted out.  She's got a real battle on her hands. 


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Katie's Big Day At The Dentist

It's crunch time now, getting all the doctor appointments in before school starts in August. I don't want Katie to miss any unnecessary days from school.

Katie's been going with me to the dentist for last few years, so she knows the drill and she's somewhat familiar with the office. The only difference is they were going to work on her instead of me. I was so proud of her, how brave she was during her first cleaning. Her Hygienist, Meghan, did such a great job with her. Katie let Meghan do a full cleaning and x-rays without as much as a twitch. Meghan said Katie's teeth looked real good and we got to see her 6 year old molars making their appearance under her gums. Dr. Green looked at Katie's teeth and the x-rays. He noticed a tiny black dot between her two molars on the x-rays. He said it was a very small pit, but was afraid to let it go. He wants to go ahead and fill it next week. He noticed another small spot on the x-rays, but only he could really see it. He said that he'll just have to keep an eye on it. Okay. As Dr. Green and I were chit chatting about our girls, he told me that his little girl was accepted into Katie's school. They live out of district, so he'll have to pay an out of district fee. I was tempted to ask Dr. Green if he was wanting to fill an invisible "pit" to pay for his child's tuition. Ha! I digressed. He's a real sweet man and I guess in the long run, I'd rather her go ahead, get it filled instead of it getting worse later down the road. When Katie and I got back in our vehicle to leave, I asked her if she liked Dr. Green and Meghan. She said her favorite part was Meghan brushing her teeth with grape flavor toothpaste. Haha! I asked her if she liked Dr. Green. She said no. I asked her if it was because he was a man, she smiled and shook her up and down.  She was such a trooper that I told her, we could go to Walmart and get her a toy.  At first, she didn't want to go, but soon took a deep breath and said "ok, I guess I can go to Walmart and get a toy today."  Only Katie. 

I had to go to Walmart for the last minute cake and ice cream necessities for our mini party this Saturday.  I bought the gallon of chocolate ice cream last week and instead of buying a gallon of vanilla, I decided to grab the cookies and cream.  Most of my family prefers chocolate over vanilla and I knew Doug's mom and dad likes cookies and cream.  Of course, I got all of the goodies to make an excellent ice cream sundae, including: chopped peanuts, sprinkles, hot fudge, whip cream and candied cherries.  Let's not forget a moist delicious golden butter Hannah Montana cake with white icing with lots of pink and purple delectable frosting embellishments.  YUM! 

Tomorrow is Katie's 5th birthday.  YAY!  We've got special plans for the birthday girl tomorrow.  She's so excited that you would think she's jacked up on sugar tonight.  I can already tell we're going to have a tough time getting her in bed tonight.  When I told her this morning that tomorrow was her birthday, she's been telling everybody.  She told Meghan, Dr. Green, Peggy and Millard that her birthday is tomorrow and she will be 5.  I've had to explain to her a few times that eventhough she is turning 5 tomorrow that doesn't mean tomorrow is her birthday party.  While we were in Walmart, she told me 3 times that tomorrow her Grandma Peggy and Paw-Paw Millard was finally going to give her the Woody doll that she's been wanting.  She spotted Peggy with it last weekend when her and I went shopping with them.  They tried hiding it in the buggy and then once they checked out, they put it in a plastic bag and placed it underneath the buggy.  Katie came running up to me as I was waiting for them and pointed it out to me.  She whispered in my ear, "they got me the Woody doll, see."  as she was giggling.  I asked her how did she know it was for her.  She said she didn't, but she really wanted it.  Today at Walmart, when she told me.  I told her that she wasn't suppose to know about it.  She giggled and said "I know, but I just love it."  I tried shaming her for spoiling her surprise, but she didn't seem to care too much.  LOL!  You'll have to stay tuned tomorrow to find out what we did.  There will be lots of pictures.  By the way, how do you like my header.  I worked on it most of the morning.  The biggest problem I had was finding the right picture.  I had the hardest time deciding which one to use, but I thought this one was priceless.  Colton is reaching for me to hold him.  I thought it was so sweet.  I'm not too in love with the layout, but I'll be checking out some sites.  I was somewhat interested in Shaggy Blogs background.  It was pink and black with flowers.  It might go good with my header.   

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bear With Me

Hey Y'all! You'll have to bear with me on my blog layout for a little while anyway. "The Cutest Blog" informed me that my former background was about to go obsolete by Friday. Well, I thought I would just get on "The Cutest Blog" and find another background. Sounds simple. Right? Obviously, they sent out a whole heep of messages out to people about their background expiring because all I get are "ERROR" messages. So, I've been checking around for a new layout. Right now, I'm using one of Bloggers new templates. It's okay for right now, but it doesn't go with my header. Unless I find something suitable, I may have to re-create a header for my blog. Oh, well. It's a good thing football season is right around the corner, not to mention back to school.

You'll probably be seeing my blog changing a lot in the next several days, until I'm satisfied. Until then . . .

Please Excuse The Mess


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Diva Performing and Great Deals

I've had Katie's dress-up boxes down from her closet for the past couple of days. She's had a ball, dressing up and modeling in front of her dad and I. Last night, she discovered her microphones, so she wanted to do a concert for Colton and myself this morning. What got me tickled was how Colton was playing with his microphone. I didn't get it on tape, but he was dancing with his mouth on top of the mic. You should have seen his eyes (shocked) when he accidentally pressed the button on the Little Mermaid mic. Too cute!

Quick Colton Story
I was so proud of him this morning. During our playtime, I handed him a small stuffed cow. He took it from my hand and put it in his F-P barn. I was shocked, but it's encouraging that he is paying attention to our playtime. He knew where that cow belonged. Also, he picked up one of his balls and put it in his ball pit. He is beginning to enjoy books more now. I'll catch him getting out one of his books and just look at the pictures. In the mornings, he'll sit and watch Sesame Street while eating his breakfast.

Diva's Ready For School
Doug and I have knocked out Diva's school supply list, except for the nap mat. The school has the soft cloth mats with pillows available to purchase for $25. The secretary said they haven't come in yet, but they are very nice with velcro closure. I don't have to purchase theirs, but I don't see why not especially for that price. I ordered her backpack from Mountain Sports the other day.  I think Katie will like her new mesh backpack, I just hope it won't swallow her up too much.  HAHA! I know little "C" had a backpack similar to this one, she could handle it somewhat and she was a first grader this past school year.   Hey, at least we know she'll grow into it.  Here's a picture of the backpack, we should get it sometime today.

We have our school Open House on Friday, August 6th.  Lord willing, we'll get our letter so we will know who Katie's teacher will be by that time.  HAHA!  The school secretary assured me that we should receive the letter with all the information by the last week of July.  Talk about waiting until the last minute because the first day of school is August 10th.  Oh well, I just like having my ducks in a row. 

I plan to take Katie school clothes shopping next week.  I guess, I shouldn't say "school clothes", but school shoes and anything she needs right now shopping.  LOL!  Her Summer clothes and sandals are still in good condition, so I don't think I'll be getting any new.  If I find a really good deal on Fall/Winter outfits, I might get them in the next size up.  I say this because I went overboard at the beginning of school last year and she ended up going up a size before she got to wear her Fall/Winter clothes.  Last school year, she jumped two sizes before the year was over.  Ugh!  So, I've learned my lesson and plan to either go up one size or wait until she has out grown her other outfits.

The Children's Place has a great deal right now on jeans and t-shirts.  Their jeans/pants are regular $16.50, but they are on sale for $10.  You can't get them that cheap at Walmart and they hold up very well.  The great thing about their jeans is they have the inside adjustable button sides, which is great for little waists, but long legs.  Long legs, but small waists has been our problem in the past and I love getting the adjustable inside buttoned pants. You've got to check it out.

If The Shoe Fits, Etc. is currently having a 50% off sale on all clearance shoes and sandals.  There are some really good deals.  It would be great, if you knew what size your little one would be next Spring and Summer. 

Lilly's Kids from Lillian Vernon has all of their Back to School items out ready to get your child personalized.  I love Lillian Vernon!  Being a pretty good customer, they have good quality stuff. 

Lenox is having a 12 Days of Christmas in July sale, going on right now.  In fact, today is day 2 out of the 12 days, so don't wait around too long.  There are some really pretty things in this sale that are very inexpensive.  Take advantage while you can. 

School Bus Cookies
Prep Time: 20 min.
Bake Time: 12- 15 min.
Decoration Time: 30 min.
Difficulty: Easy
Yield: Makes 24 bus cookies.
Recipe Courtesy of Bright Ideas

1 roll (18 oz.) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
2/3 cup flour
3 cups prepared vanilla frosting
 ¼ cup prepared chocolate frosting
1 cup M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies
¼ cup M&M’S® Brand MINIS® Chocolate Candies
Yellow and green food coloring
Baking sheet
2 resealable plastic bags
Microwave-safe bowl

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Knead the sugar cookie dough and flour until smooth. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a scant 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out the shapes, re-rolling the scraps if necessary. Then, use the spatula to transfer the shapes to the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  4. Tint 1/2 cup of the vanilla frosting green, place it into a resealable plastic bag, snip off a small corner, and set aside. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting yellow, and place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for about 10-20 seconds, stirring every 5 seconds until the consistency of slightly whipped cream.
  5. Spoon the heated frosting over the cookies one at a time—completely covering each one. You may have to scrape up excess frosting and reheat it to cover all the cookies. Let the frosting dry for about 30 minutes, then carefully remove the cookies from the rack and scrape any excess frosting from the edges.
  6. Spoon the chocolate frosting into one of the resealable plastic bags. Snip a small hole from the corner and pipe frosting for decoration. Then, using the photo as a guide, add M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies. Finish by snipping a small hole from a corner of the plastic bag with the green frosting and piping on the names.
  •  To eliminate frosting from the recipe, just add 3 or 4 drops of yellow food coloring to the dough while kneading in the flour. Then, once the cookies have cooled, adhere the M&M’S® Milk Chocolate Candies to the cookies using dots of decorating frosting. Kids love to be involved. Many steps in this recipe are perfect for kids of all ages:
  • Children as young as two can help with measuring and mixing ingredients. Filling measuring cups with the ingredients and kneading the dough can remind them of activities they already do on a day-to-day basis.
  • Children who are older will love rolling out the dough. Of course, when it comes time to cut the cookies everyone can lend a hand.
  • Remember, decorating is a personal expression. Everyone will love sharing their creations with family and friends.
Prayer Request
A high school friend and his wife have had trouble, like Doug and I, starting a family.  After trying and stressing, God heard their many prayers and blessed them with a little girl about 3 years ago.  Well, J told me how he and his wife would like to have one more child before they called it quits.  They were very happy to finally get pregnant again.  Unfortunately, J emailed everyone stating that their little boy "Grant Elijah" was born to heaven on July 10th.  I can't begin to imagine what they must be going through right now.  His facebook is flooded with regrets and supportive messages from his family and friends.  Please ask God to lift him and his family up in your prayers.  If he didn't live so far away, I'd give him a big ol' hug.  J is a man of God and his faith has kept him going, but he is still a man with pain in his heart. 

A family member is having a hard time dealing with their ailment.  The meds her doctor put her on is making her hallucinate, which is one of the many side-effects.  We just hope that he will change them because she said she can't take it anymore. 


Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Safe" by Phil Wickham

Amy posted this on her blog last night and felt it appropriate for today. The words are very touching and oh so true. I hope you receive a blessing from it.  Amy wrote a piece for 5 Minutes For Faith yesterday about the practice of prayer.  I remember learning the 5 finger prayer when I became a new Christian. It's good to be reminded from time to time of the things we learned many many years ago. Things that are good to teach our children. I hope you have a chance to go and read the article. 


Congratulations Susan!

I'd like to congratulate my sister, Susan, for another great success. She was finally inducted into the Winston County Sports Hall of Fame last night during their annual banquet. She along with three other Addison High School graduates accepted their award. Out of the four people from Addison, she was the only woman.
Addison HS Inductees for 2010

Millard and Peggy kept the children for us while Doug and I along with a few other family members loaded up and went to the banquet in support for Susan. I think we represented her well, 13 of us were able to make it last night for her. We are so proud of her. The guest speaker was none other than Tony Giles, the Bama football and gymnastics announcer. Bless his heart he not only called each inductee up to the podium to receive their award, but also listed all of their accomplishments. As he was listing all of Susan's accomplishments, he had to take a deep breath to finish reading them off. Everyone giggled because there was quite a bit on her resume. You would say that she was the All-Star in the family. She was good not only in sports (basketball, softball, track), but also in academics.
Future Inductee to the Winston Co. Sports Hall of Fame, Jon

My nephew, Susan's son, wanted me to take this picture because he said he would be the next inductee. He along with the rest of us is very proud of his mom's accomplishments. As you can see, he was covering up Susan's name on the plaque.  LOL! 

It was good to see a lot of old faces, coaches, teachers and school mates.  One man that's been apart of us Brindley girls' life, Coach Stephenson was proud to hand out the awards to his former pupils.  Susan and I have a deep respect for Coach Stephenson and I think Sue was so happy that he was able to present that special award to her.  I'm sure it meant a lot to her. 

Of course, when I was in school I had a special relationship with Coach Smothers, my track coach and PE teacher.  He always had a difficulty pronouncing my first name, so he nicknamed me "Brenda Lee", like the country singer.  We always picked on each other.  Well last night was no different.  Like I said, it had been awhile since I've seen all of my former coaches and teachers.  So, Coach Smothers didn't even recognize me at first.  Then he came up to me and told me that he did remember me because I had gained weight.  A cheap shot from him, so I zigged him back.  Of course, we were both laughing at one another.  It's just the type of relationship we've always had.  I was heart sick at first because I thought he didn't remember me, but after that remark, I knew we were right back on track.  It was a nice evening with family and friends.       
Way to Go Sis!


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Frozen Banana-Split Dessert Recipe

I get frequent newsletters from Betty Crocker website with the latest and greatest new recipes. I love checking them out for new ideas. Well today, I received this great looking recipe which comes at a perfect time of year - cool refreshing desserts. The recipe below already received 5 stars and it sounds really delicious.

Frozen Banana-Split Dessert Recipe
2/3 cup crushed chocolate graham crackers (8 squares)

2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 box (4-serving size) vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cups frozen (thawed) whipped topping
1 1/4 cups fresh whole strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh pineapple

1. Spray 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix crushed crackers and 2 tablespoons sugar. Stir in melted butter until crumbly and well blended. Press mixture in bottom of pan. Freeze about 10 minutes or until set.

2. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, mix pudding mix, 1/2 cup sugar and the milk with wire whisk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil. Cool 10 minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

3. Stir bananas into pudding. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping. Spread over crust. Freeze at least 3 hours or overnight.

4. Cut into serving pieces; place on dessert plates. Top each piece with 2 teaspoons hot fudge topping, generous tablespoonful of remaining whipped topping, 2 tablespoons strawberries, 2 tablespoons pineapple. Serve immediately.

High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change.