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Showing posts from July, 2008

Summertime, Sweet Summertime

It has been a fun week so far........ baking chocolate chip cookies Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold. Judith Olney hamming it up at the splash pad Long live the sun which gives us such color. Paul Cezanne cooling off at the splash pad When I was a little kid, of course, I was brown all summer. That's because I was free as a bird--nothing to do but catch bugs all day. Roy Blount, Jr. taking it easy The highlight of my childhood was making my brother laugh so hard that food came out of his nose. Garrison Keillor ice cream in the afternoon Life itself is the proper binge. Julia Child at the end of a full day There's absolutely no reason for being rushed along with the rush. Everybody should be free to go very slow. Robert Frost

A Verse for the Day

He PRESERVES YOU. Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You preserve my life; You stretch out Your hand against the anger of my foes, with Your right hand You save me. ***** God sees the dangers around you and the reasons you become anxious. He is fighting for you. He offers His strong arm for you to cling to. You can walk in peace , even in the chaos of this world. from Beautifully Penned Promises , by Mary Grace Birkhead

Free Stuff!!

Just thought I would pass along some fun giveaways that I found on Bloggy Giveaways!! Head over and check out all of the fun stuff that some generous bloggers are giving away!

Weekend Fun

Today we had some family fun and visited a local place I've been curious about for a while. We live near the Tennessee River and there is an old railroad bridge--or part of it--left over a section of the river by our city. I always see it from the bridge that we drive over often. Local citizens have restored this section so that people can now walk out on it and have a lovely view of the river and the area. It just looks so old and romantic that I've always wanted to check it out. This morning came nice and overcast and a little bit cooler than it has been , so we took advantage of the weather and took the kiddos to the old bridge. It was just as picturesque and as fun as I'd imagined it would be! a view of the railroad bridge from the bridge we drive on Mr. B and the Princess walking with Daddy look at that *mountain* of kudzu climbing up the bluff a nice stranger took this family shot for us hamming it up for the camera

Fresh Figs: A Still Life

Note: I'm now looking for great fig recipes, as our tree is loaded !

Know & Tell Friday: Travel Edition

Here's some more fun from Reese & Heather over at Kicking it in Crazyville: 1. What is your favorite mode of transportation (flying, train, car, boat, etc.)? Why? Well, I just love travel so I'm flexible with my transportation: I LOVE road trips, there's nothing else quite like them! Air travel is fine with me, too, although it's not really that much fun as an adult. As a child it was much better. I like boats, although I've never been on a really large one (unless a ferry counts). I've never traveled on a train, but its one of my goals to do so. It just seem so glamorous! 2. If you could fly like Superman, jump and swing like Spiderman, swing on vines like Tarzan or fly on an umbrella like Mary Poppins, which would you choose? Definitely with Mary Poppins umbrella. I mean, its so much more civilized and ladylike, right? Plus she has that wonderful bag of tricks! 3. You're driving down the road and you see a small cluster of people, all with


Just an update on Mr. B: He is doing great! I guess since he'd already had the vaccine for chicken pox he didn't really have a full-blown case. Just a small outbreak on his stomach and leg. He hasn't had any fever and hasn't even *acted* sick at all. And after 3 days of oatmeal baths the spots are almost cleared up. He had his 3-year checkup today and got a great report, too! Thanks to all of you who asked about him!

Recipe Requests ** UPDATED**

Here are the recipes that some of y'all requested from my menu plan this week. These are two *new* ones for me and I have not yet made them. There have been some...ahem...adjustments in my menu plan this week. But I'm looking forward to making them and I'll definitely let you know what we think after we have them. Farmer's Casserole (from Better Homes & Gardens) 3 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes 3/4 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese or cheddar cheese 1 cup diced fully cooked ham or Canadian bacon 1/4 cup sliced green onion 4 eggs, beaten or 1 cup frozen egg product 1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk 1/4 tsp. pepper 1/8 tsp. salt Grease a 2-quart square baking dish. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with cheese, ham and green onions. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper and salt. Pour egg mixture over potato mixture in dish. (The dish may be covered and refrigerated at this point for several hours or overnight). Bake unco

A Beautiful Friendship

Lora & Karlene You know those friendships where it might be months or even years since you were able to really connect with an old friend, but when you finally do its as if no time has passed and your friendship just continues naturally as you catch up on things? Well, my friend Karlene is one of those friends for me. We first met in college when we were dating guys who were already good friends and we began hanging out together--plus we discovered that we both lived in the same dorm (the next year we became roommates). It was just a natural, easy friendship from the start. Karlene is the *life-of-the-party* type and is so friendly and thoughtful that she just makes everyone around her feel right at ease. our families together at Spring Park, Tuscumbia , AL Though the years have taken us different places and we've experienced life events at different times (she was married 5 years before I got married and had her first child 6 years before I had mine) our friendship has remain

Company's Coming

I am so excited!! One of my college roommates is coming to visit me. And she's bringing her beautiful family, too. Way back in 1991 we were roommates at Evangel University (then it was Evangel College) in Springfield, MO. We've seen each other just a few times since: at her wedding, at our other roommate's wedding, once at a mutual friend's house in OH, and once quickly at the Toronto airport when I was flying through. That last visit was in 2000. We've continued to keep in touch through the years, if somewhat sporadically. She's Canadian and lives in Canada, so our paths just don't cross that much. However, she, her husband and children are going to be in our area THIS WEEK!! They're going to spend two nights here visiting and I know we're going to have so much fun. So today I've been doing some cooking ahead of time to get ready. I love to do that as much as possible. Tomorrow night is tacos, so I've already browned and seasoned the meat

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: breakfast: waffles dinner: tacos, black bean salsa*, rice & bean casserole* Tuesday: breakfast: baked French toast* & bacon dinner: chicken spaghetti, red, white & blue salad*, garlic bread Wednesday: breakfast: farmer's casserole* dinner: fish stick po ' boys*, slaw*, corn-on-the-cob Thursday: breakfast: cinnamon rolls dinner: (small group) "potluck" theme: I'm making Grandma's Goulash* Friday: breakfast: waffles dinner: " huli huli " chicken*, rice, Saturday: breakfast: orange cinnamon rolls dinner: grilled burgers, baked potato slices* *There are a lot of great recipes that I'm using this week, but I don't have time to post them all right now. If any of them sound yummy to you, let me know and I'll get to that as soon as I can! Yesterday I finally made it to the farmers' market and it was wonderful!! I found some great stuff. I didn't buy just tons, just what we would eat. Plus I can alway

Exercise--Or the Lack Thereof

Well, we finally returned *home* to Alabama last night after a week away visiting family. It's always good to sleep in you own bed again! Although I wasn't very happy with what the bathroom scales told me this morning. Traveling and all the eating that comes with it is wreaking havoc on my weight. The five pounds that I'd lost this Spring are back --and they brought a few friends (how rude, right?!)! I am not very happy about that, to say the least. So I've got to start being very good with my eating habits, starting with cutting waaaay back on my cream and sugar with my coffee this morning. I'd love to learn to drink it black, but that hasn't happened yet. Next, I've got to develop--and stick with--some sort of exercise routine. I realize that's imperative for me, and it's one of the hardest things for me to do. I always use the excuse that I don't have time (or something equally lame). I've been thinking that a good video workout might be

Happy Birthday, Kari!

Happy Birthday, Kari !! You're the best sister!!

My Hometown

(Are you humming that Bruce Springsteen song yet? 'Cause I am!) Today my little sister and I got to head down to one of our favorite areas of our hometown: Downtown Van Buren, Arkansas . Years ago (I guess it was the 80's) when they made those tv mini-series called The Blue & The Gray , they shot the whole thing in the state of Arkansas and the city street scenes right here in our little town. The city/movie company remodeled the entire old part of Main Street to look like the shop fronts of the 1800's and even covered the sidewalks with boards and the street with dirt for the movie shoot. downtown Van Buren, AR (I apologize that these pictures aren't better--I was trying to dodge some traffic:) the old train station--still in use for an excursion train The street is filled with little cafes, antique shops, craft shops, lots of other unique little shops and mine and my sister's personal favorite: the used book shops! Our favorite is one called Coffee & A Goo

Wild Blackberries

Where my parents live there are still some lots available that have never been cleared and built on. This generally means that there are lots of wild blackberry bushes growing on those said lots-- much to the neighborhoods delight! Vince and I took a little walk down the road and picked a few the other morning. Of course there's the whole chigger issue and the thorns, but we braved it all to pick those huge yummy berries. We came home with enough for a cobbler! So today I made my very first cobbler--with Mama's help, of course! First she rinsed the berries, put them in a pan and added a little water. Then she let time heat until they were just heated through. In the meantime, I whipped up some of those delicious pie crusts , chilled them and then rolled them out for the cobbler dish. I'm *jealous* of my mom's great dough board! It's even got freezable inserts to keep your dough cold! We drained off most of the water from the pan of berries, added 1 cup of sugar, a

A Day in the City

Sorry I haven't been around for a few days. We are enjoying our time with famiy here in Arkansas and even Oklahoma. Yesterday we drove over to OK City and spent the day with my husband's side of the family. It was great to see them! Some of them we hadn't seen in a year and a half, so there was lots of catching up to do. playing paper-rock-sisscors with Uncle Steve The Princess found a *pet* snail while nature walking in the yard We also took the kiddos to the Oklahoma Science Museum. We all had a great time there! It had lots of interactive fun for the whole fam--I even took a turn on the slide in the giant treehouse. Although I must say that spiraling down that many times made me wonder how the kiddos can jump off and run--I was a little dizzy myself! ha! (see below pic) The Princess scoping out the area Mr. B on a spinning disc That hot pink/denim blur coming down on Mr. B is Yours Truly! We had a very nice day and some delicious BBQ, too. Thanks, Mama Jane & Papa W

Thoughts on Friendship

I have a friend named Mikki. She is my former pastor's wife and an awesome woman of God. She is a constant source of encouragement and a blessing in my life. She has a brand new website called Fully Alive that is very lovely--much like she is! A few months ago she wrote a beautiful poem on friendship and I would like to share it with you. It has deeply touched my heart. My Tribute to Those Who Would Take the Journey of "Real" Friendship My friend is hope. My friend is a window into the future. My friend…you are someone who having no guarantee of receiving an equal gift from me digs deep within your own soul to say with actions louder than words – you love me. My friend is someone who looks into my shame, failure, and pain and says, “I’ll carry you through it when you can’t walk, and then I’ll walk on with you.” My friend…you are someone who is willing to be identified with me when it costs you part of your own identity. My friend is an expression of Christ in the flesh -

On the Road Again...

...just can't wait to get on the road again... Now you can be humming that all day long along with me! Yes, I'm packing again. We are headed back to Arkansas and Oklahoma to visit family for a week. This time we'll be visiting both sides of our families and that will be fun. We haven't seen some of them in quite a while. But don't worry, I'll having full internet access while away. Oh yeah! I might even do some posting!:) So have a great weekend and I'll *see* you soon. Now back to that suitcase...

The Frazzled Female: A Book Review

Some of you may remember that I won this book awhile back from Reese & Heather at Kicking it in Crazyville . I had several books on the proverbial nightstand at the time, so I just recently had the chance to read it. This was a very good read: for all women, not just wives and/or mothers (I realize that alot of women's books can be strictly geared toward wives and mothers). It is perfect for the busy...errr.. frazzled woman though. The chapters are short and direct, its an easy read. This is not to say there's no depth though. It tackles some tough subjects for women: priorities, attitudes, time management, stress, drawing near to God. I also liked that each chapter ended with a couple of challenging questions for the reader to ponder. Thanks, Reese & Heather, for passing along this great read!

The Best Laid Plans may remember, I had planned to serve BBQ ribs tonight for dinner. I usually fix them in the crockpot and they are delicious. Well, I got carried away this morning making blueberry muffins for breakfast and forgot to get the ribs in the crockpot on time. No worries though, right? I'll just fix them in the oven (which I've never done before). So I looked through my recipes and found one that I actually had all the ingredients for and put that rack of ribs on to marinate. The cooking instructions were to bake for 2 1/2 hours OR you could grill them for 45 minutes. Well, since it's incredibly hot and humid around here these days, I consulted with my husband (who is in charge of the grill) and we decided to grill them as opposed to heating up the kitchen for hours. So the time came and we put them on the grill--on the lowest heat setting, too! We closed up that grill and headed back inside until basting time came. The next thing I know, my poor hubby is tapping on t

I'm Honored

I was so honored today that Betsy of My Five Men has given me this award. It's my first blogging award ever and I'm very excited! I've been *blog buddies* with Betsy for a while now and really enjoy her blog! It's so beautiful and very inspiring. Thank you, Betsy!! ~~~~~~~ Here are the guidelines for this award~~ 1) You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribution to the blogging community, no matter what language. 2) Each award has to have the name of the author and link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone. 3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award. 4) The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link of " Arte y Pico " blog so everyone will know the origin to this award. ~~~~~~~ I've decided to pass along this award to a few more of my blog buddies: Britt-Arnh

Menu Plan Monday

Well, this week I'm trying extra hard to be frugal. We'll be going out of town again soon so I don't want to buy too much at the grocery store. I also plan to hit the farmers' market in the morning--that's why I'm still determining what veggies we'll have at some meals. So here goes... Monday: grilled herb & garlic marinated chicken, herbed rice, corn and green beans Tuesday: maple teriyaki salmon (recipe below), roasted potatoes, veggie TBA Wednesday: crockpot ribs, baked beans, veggie TBA Thursday: (small group) "finger foods" theme--I'm making Veggie Squares (recipe below) Friday: grilled burgers, potatos, corn on the cob Maple Teriyaki Salmon Fillets from Taste of Home 1/3 cup apple juice 3 Tbls. soy sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup maple syrup 2 Tbls. onion, finely chopped 4 salmon fillets (about 2 lbs.) In a bowl, combine juice, soy sauce, garlic, syrup and onion. Reserve 1/2 cup for basting, then pour remaining marinade i