Saturday, August 24, 2013

A Week of Catch-Up

The kids had a great first week of school.  Katie is slowly turning into a perfectionist like her parents.  LOL!  I say that because she has worried herself into a ulcer over crazy stuff like "mom, did you sign and put all the papers back inside my book bag?  Oh my goodness, I can't remember which basket Mrs. B told me to put each paper.  What am I going to do?"  {crying and going ballistic}  "I may need help with subtraction because I didn't finish my (4 minute timed) quiz." First of all, she had to answer 50 subtraction problems within 4 minutes.  She answered half of the problems and got every one of them correct.  She did this because I have been beating in her head during the summer for her to take her time on math problems, don't get in such a hurry.  I would rather her take her time and get the problems correct than answer all of them and not have a one correct.  I might be wrong in this theory, but it makes sense to me.  Mrs. B said that she's doing great in class.  Of course, you probably know that not one single girl from her class in the past two years was assigned to her class this year.  Bummer!  The only two kids that were in her class last year are two boys and she is currently sitting by them.  Thankfully, they all like each other pretty good.  The night before school, Katie had terrible butterflies in her stomach and I tried my best to keep her calm.  After the first day of school was over and I picked her up, she let me know that she made new friends with at least two girls in her class.

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First Day of School Morning

Katie is in love with Mrs. B's personal library in the classroom.  She loved that she had the Judy Moody and Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.  A couple of days ago, she was introduced to "The Weirder School" series and has fallen in LOVE.  She has always loved funny books.  She just prefers them over any other like the "Black Lagoon" series.  So funny!  What is crazy, we all went to Books-a-million last week and I tried showing Katie these books I found in the Intermediate Series called (ta-da) "The Weirder School."  Just reading the back of the books, they sounded very funny and right up her alley.  Nope, she wouldn't give me the time of day because she wanted another "Magic Rainbow Fairy" book.  She still likes to read the fairy and princess books every now and then, but honestly she can't remember what she read very well.

I joined the PTA again this year, purchased our school spirit t-shirts.  Even Colton wanted a shirt this time.  That's my boy!  I really like the shirts this year, they are a pretty blue and the lettering is white and pink polk-a-dots.  I love polk-a-dots!  We've got spirit week coming up next month, I just wish I knew what the themes were going to be so I can be prepared.  Poor Katie, her cowgirl hat has bit the dust.  I found it in the bottom of her closet all mashed.  Yeah!

Katie was happy to be back in ballet.  She said that she missed it.  This year, her color is light blue.  She said that they just went over a few positions and steps from last year.  She sounds so grown up, when it comes to talking to her about ballet.  It is her LOVE!

Colton is such a big boy.  For him to be a big momma's boy, he was ready to go to school.  I know it won't always be this easy, but so far so good.  Each school day, he can't wait to get to school and see his friends and get to play with the toys.  I know he does do work because he brings it home, but like most kids it's nothing to really talk about.  Instead, he would rather tell me who got into trouble and if they went to the playground or not.  He doesn't know any of his friends' names, but he can tell me what color or type of shirt they were wearing that day.  LOL!  He is so funny.  He also has been very motivated in being good each day because at the end of the day, he gets something from the treasure box.  LOL!  Friday, he got an awful looking black plastic spider from the treasure box.  Yuck!  He put it in sissy's seat, to scare her when we picked her up.  Sure enough, Katie squealed when she saw it and then threw it across the car.

The golden anniversary plans are trucking right along.  Peggy and I met with the cake decorator on Wednesday.  Peggy picked out the most beautiful cake.  It was decorated with calla lilies, but we will probably place fresh white hydrangeas instead with a 50th pick at the top.  Trust me, it is going to be beautiful.  We've got the caterer in place.  Doug and I will try to meet with him about the food sometime next month.  I discovered Ole Time Pottery and went crazy.  I got some really good deals for the party.  I can't go into too many deals, but trust me.  It will be so pretty!  I'M SO EXCITED!

We had a full schedule Friday.  Woo!  Doug took the kids to school for me because I was going to get our grocery shopping out of the way that morning.  When I got my phone off the charger, I noticed that I had a message from my niece.  She is a volunteer for a Pro-Life organization here in town and she needed my help.  I am all for fun projects.  Their having a fundraising banquet in a couple of months and left Leslie in charge of invitations.  She knew the right person to come to.  LOL!  I'm joking.  She really liked how her wedding programs that I made for her and Chase and knew that I've done invites in the past.  I was just thrilled that she asked me help.  Groceries, in my book, can WAIT!  She came right over after I returned her call.  As soon as she told me a little bit about it and she gave me her idea, I had the perfect picture for front of the invite.  I took a few pictures of Avery on the day of her Christening.  I love taking pictures of babies toes, fingers, etc.  I had a precious photo of Avery's toes with her gown on and one of her little toes were sticking straight up.  I showed Leslie what I could do and she said that she really liked it.  We finished by lunch time, loaded the final on a jump drive for her to take to the printers. Another successful job DONE and a customer . . . HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!

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Dad is standing talking to Kirk.  I know he was having a hard time hearing in there because it was so loud, but I don't know why it took him so long to finally sit down.  LOL! 

My dad celebrated his 79th birthday on Wednesday and because it was a school night, we decided to celebrate his big day on Friday night.  We left it up to him as to where, he wanted to go.  It all ended up that several family members and friends met up at a local restaurant for some chicken wings, fried pickles and a EKG.  This is one of those restaurants that you can't eat there everyday because everything is FRIED and I mean EVERYTHING.  You can actually feel your arteries clog up.  I had the garlic chicken wings and fried dill pickles with a sweet tea.  It was good, but man I'm going to have to hit the gym first thing Monday morning.  LOL!  When we drove mom and dad home, he went on and on about what a good time he had.  I think he really enjoyed himself.  All the men sat together and us ladies sat together.  I had a blast, between my mom, sisters and niece.  We acted like idiots, but laughed and laughed.  Leslie got me in touch with a friend of hers that makes these t-shirts with the patterned front pocket.  Most ladies have their initials monogrammed on the pocket, it's the popular style around here.  Whell, Leslie showed me a shirt that her friend recently made that is crimson red shirt with houndstooth pocket and a script letter "A" on it.  She is making one for Leslie with RTR monogrammed, but I really liked the "A" for Alabama.  Very pretty!

Now, last but not least.  I took my time and finally finished all 221 pictures of the wedding I photographed a week ago Friday.  It was an evening wedding and I don't have the correct equipment for an evening event.  I hated it and I let them know before agreeing to do it.  I just appreciate them thinking of me to photograph their wedding.  I won't put all 221 photos on this blog, so breathe easy.  tehe! Here are a few of my favorites. 

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I can't believe that there is only one week left in the month of August.  Where has time gone?  Our summer time weather has decided to arrive right before the month ends with high humidity levels, no rain and HOT HOT HOT!  Doug and I are so ready for Fall.  Walmart has been stocking the newest fall flavor Glade air fresheners.  We picked up some pumpkin spice today and it has the whole house smelling so good.  

Next weekend marks the first official football season - YAY!!!  We are so excited to watch Bama play Virginia Tech.  I hope they will have a good year because I really don't like it when sports announcers are in favor with Bama.  To me, it's a bad omen for my favorite football team.  I would rather hear all the haters tell us much they hate us and don't expect Bama to win or be successful.  It's just a little meat dangling for my players to get a taste.  They've got to want it!  I just hope they do.  



Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back to School 2013

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We had our Back to School and Katie's 8 year old photos done today.  It was a perfect summer day for a photo shoot.  We had a cool front come through last night, making the temps in the upper 70s and low humidity.  YAY!  I'm loving it, but very unusual weather for Alabama that is for sure.  

I'm posting two of many favorites from today's photo session.  If you would like to see more, please check out my photography blog or just CLICK HERE.  

I used props this time around, for the whole "back to school" theme.  We had lots of fun, especially when we tried keeping the apple on our heads.  I'm definitely a beginner in children's photography, but I've found out that kids like the interaction like playing peek-a-boo, find the camera and keeping something from falling.  It makes it a lot easier on me because the kids are not faking their smiles and making the photo experience bad.  I'm also learning that we have to keep our photo sessions to at least two different places, NO MORE.  The kids get too bored and tired.  I'm loving the photography journey and love that you are sharing it with me.  

I really need your prayers tonight and tomorrow.  I've got my first wedding tomorrow night.  I'm so excited and nervous at the same time.  I've given my butterflies and nerves over to the Lord.  I have faith in God and know that He will be there for me, Lord willing operating the camera.  LOL!  It's a lot of pressure on me because . . . IT'S THEIR SPECIAL DAY.  I want all the pictures to turn out just PERFECT.  I'm kind of a perfectionist.  Thus, the many many prayers.  Thank you!  

Stay tuned to see the big day . . . 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Monday, August 12, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili Recipe

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Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 6-8 hours; Servings: 10-12

1 Sweet onion, diced
1 15-oz. can pinto beans
1 15-oz. can light kidney beans
1 15-oz. can black beans
2 15-oz. can tomato sauce
1 15-oz. can sweet corn
1 15-oz. can Rotel with chilies
1 packet taco seasoning
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder (can reduce this amount for less spiciness)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic or 2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 package shredded cheddar cheese
Favorite tortilla chips

Combine beans, onion, corn, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder, garlic, taco seasoning in crockpot.  Place the chicken on top and cover.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6-8 hours.  Before serving, use a fork to shred the chicken, and stir to mix.

Serve over tortilla chips or cooked rice and top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Option: Garnish with fresh cilantro, sour cream, and jalapenos.  For additional flavor, squeeze a little fresh lime juice to taste.

I found this recipe from Pinterest, posted by Skinnytaste.  We threw it together Saturday for supper.  It is very good that even Katie likes it.  The leftovers taste good too because all the flavors had a chance to mingle together.  We are definitely putting this on the regular recipe cycle.  


Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pray for School 2013-2014

For the past three years, our county/city parents and students have come together (voluntarily) to pray for God's protection and guidance over all the area schools, which includes students, teachers and other school staff. There is so much evil out in the world and we feel it is only right to go to our loving God and ask Him to protect our babies and people that take care of them during the day. All we do is ask for Him to protect them from harm and plain evil. These events are not school system organized, strictly voluntary by parents. We feel we are doing what God would want us to do.

Below is a small clip of tonight's prayer caravan at the fairgrounds.  The people that were able to come together and put their busy schedule aside, it is awesome.  Praise God for allowing these people to come together as one, praising His Name and doing what they feel is right.  People that were not able to attend like us, I'm confident that they are praying where ever they are at that point.  God hears the prayers, no matter where you are at the time.  I hope you find time to watch this video.  


Prayer caravans and meetings will continue until the first day of school.  Please pray for all schools, their students and staff's safety this year.  Thank you and God Bless.


Monday, August 5, 2013

RISE - The Legend Continues - RTR!!

 It maybe a little early to be thinking about college football, but y'all it is right around the corner.

 University of Alabama vs. Virginia Tech. 
 Saturday, August 31, 2013 
 @ Atlanta, GA 
 4:30PM CST

What have I been doing to prepare for the big opening day?  I've been searching and dreaming over tailgate finger foods just for this very special time of the year.  I am so wanting a . . .

I've found so many snacks, desserts and mini sliders that I would LOVE to make for a college football game.  Doug suggested we have a party for the Texas A&M game.  What would be awesome?  If there was a way to move our TV outside, so we may have more sitting room.  LOL!  Until we can come up with a plan, I will continue to search on Pinterest and dream of the ideal Bama Tailgate food spread.  


What would you serve at your next Tailgate Party?




Friday, August 2, 2013

Celebrate Cullman - 2013

This is the second or third year of Celebrate Cullman.  This year, we got to participate in the festivities by chance.  Actually, I had forgotten about it until we decided to go to Moe's Original Barbecue for supper.  As soon as we noticed the streets were blocked, it hit both of us.  I didn't know how bad crowded it would be, so I left it up to my hubby to decide.  In the end, I'm glad we decided to stick it out. We were able to find a table to sit, while Doug placed our order at Moe's BBQ.  We just LOVE this place.  We had the opportunity to eat a wonderful meal and listen to a live local band.  It was country music and they sounded really good.

Outside, I had no idea that the rides and games for all the children were free at the festival.  So nice!  There were a couple of booths that asked for tips or donations, which I was very willing to donate.  The kids had a blast!  Thank you Cullman!

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Surprised!  That's all I could think when Colton climbed right up that mechanical bull, with help.  The operator had it on slow, but Colton loved it and held on until he got tired.  

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Katie was a little intimidated by the look of this bull, but she took a deep breathe and climbed up.  They didn't take it too easy with her, but she loved it.  She jumped off a little early because she got a little scared.  The operator gave her another chance, she took it.  She climbed right back and told me later that it was so much fun.  She would love to do it again.  

Katie and Colton interview after riding bull.  Too cute!  Colton was too embarrassed. photo 1116161_10151833073735850_2112806478_o.jpg

While both Katie and Colton rode the bull, the local news channel filmed the kids riding it.  The interviewer approached me and asked if he could interview the children.  "Sure.  That is fine with me," I reassured him.  It's not every day, a news channel wants to interview my kids.  My brave little kiddos. LOL!  {Do I sound like a proud mama?}  Katie is more vocal when it comes to people asking her questions and being interviewed.  She wasn't nervous at all.  Colton, on the other hand, was a little scared especially when someone that he doesn't know is asking him questions.  I have no idea, if they actually made it on TV.  I sent an email to the news station on how I was interested in knowing if they made the news and how I would love to see it.  We'll see if they email me back.  Stay tuned . . . 

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We came across several friends and family members.  I sent a thank you message to the association that made this night happen.  Nice family events like these are making memories for my family.  It means a lot and I appreciate them for it.