Thursday, May 31, 2007

Proud Mommy



Our school did a cookbook this year and I was beyond thrilled to know that my dear, sweet, talented DS#1,(biased....uh, YEAH!), had one of his paintings chosen to serve as artwork in the book. His painting was inspired by a piece done by Georges Rouault. DS#1 is "Mr. Sports" so most people don't ever get wind of his artistic side. Just had to brag a bit!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Scotia, New York and The GardenLady

I have a friend…not someone I have ever met in person, though. I am sure our paths crossed but we didn’t know to look for each other. Her name is the Garden Lady http://www.gardenlady.us/ and she has her roots in the lovely, little village of Scotia, NY.

The Garden Lady is one way I kind of keep up with the area in which we used to live. She covers the changing seasons and all the happenings in Scotia. Last year she even went and took some photos of one of my favorite shops on Union Street in Schenectady called The Experience, http://www.experienceandcreativedesign.com/ . I hope if I ever get back to the Village of Scotia that I get to meet my "friend" face to face over a cup of tea! She also recently took photos of Scotia’s Annual Memorial Day Parade. Check it out, http://www.gardenlady.us/parade.html , if you doubt that true American spirit is gone.

Scotia, http://www.visitscotia.com/ , is the neatest little village. It is the rare kind of little town where they actually put photos of the local high school’s prom and middle school dances on the town website along with tons of other local happenings. Local farmers also set up carts on the side of the road to sell their wonderful fruits and veggies and handmade items...it is idealic. We didn’t live there but my children when to a Christian school in Scotia, http://www.schenectadychristian.org/ .

My daily treks to take children to school and pick them up made me very intimate with Scotia. Not to mention the freezing – LITERALLY - soccer games we endured as DS#1 played with the Scotia Soccer Club whose fields were located on the river and just perfect for catching the frigid breezes in the early morning hours. It was the 1st time I had ever seen kids bundled up like the Pillsbury Dough Boy complete with ski masks playing Soccer!!! In the south we don't play Soccer with ski pants on.
Every 4th of July that we spent in NY, was also spent on the riverfront in Scotia watching the fireworks. Sunday nights during the summer often brought us back to Scotia, as well, because there were always outdoor concerts, plays or storytellers. Scotia also had the BEST theatre, http://www.visitscotia.com/cinema.html …it is truly an old time movie house. It shows reasonably new movies and charges $2.50 (if I remember correctly) for admission. I remember going with a dear friend (from Texas) to see “Sweet Home Alabama” and we laughed and laughed, especially because the people in front of us apparently had a hard time understand some of the accents in the movie – not a problem for us misplaced Belles!

Scotia is also home to the Glen Sanders Mansion, http://www.glensandersmansion.com/ which is where my DD went for Etiquette Classes. On the other end of the “spectrum” Scotia is also home the famous and much loved Jumping Jack’s Drive In, http://www.visitscotia.com/jjguide.html . Jumping Jack’s was a new experience for me because, being a Southerner, I never realized that places like that ever closed down. Once old man winter makes his presence known, Jumping Jack’s shuts down for the season and everyone waits for it to reopen and announce that Spring has arrived! Trust me - during the 1st week of spring you WILL stand in line and wait to order – to be sure!!!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day....Thank you




As I have grown older I have developed a deep patriotism that I don’t remember having when I was younger. I love our nation and the freedom that God has blessed us with through our citizenship. I am awe struck by the brave men and women and their families that have and continue to sacrifice for my freedom. That is a commitment I can’t even quite wrap my mind around.

A family in my church lost their son in Iraq just about 3 weeks ago and I saw that not only he, but his family, have given so much so that my children can play ball in our yard without a concern. This mother gave her son…so that my sons will be free and safe. That is truly a gift I can never repay.

So, on this day, when we get carried away with sales at the mall or cook-outs and hours on the lake…I hope we can all stop and thank God for the brave men and women who have so willingly given all for our nation. Thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

We're still cookin'.....

We may be out but we aren’t down! DS#2 is still recovering from his bought of pneumonia so we had to stay home while the rest of the family was off at our church’s Annual Memorial Day Picnic (complete with a softball game in the afternoon). DS#2 and I decided to get a jump on dinner…or rather, dessert! I used a recipe from the wonderful FREE Kraft Food & Family Summer 2007 magazine that came in the mail last week.


DS #2, who is 5, was able to easily do most of the work. It was his 1st time using the hand mixer and he was pretty excited about that and kept calling it the driller.

The recipe that we chose was Lemonade Stand Pie, which will go great with our dinner of Grilled Greek Chicken and Greek Isle Pasta Salad (recipes that also came from F&F):

Lemonade Stand Pie

1/3 cup Country Time Lemonade Flavored drink mix
½ cup cold water
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 tub (8 oz) Cool Whip – thawed
1 graham pie crust

Place drink mix in large bowl. Add water; stir until mix is dissolved. Add ice cream. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until well blended. Gently stir in whipped topping. Freeze if necessary, until mixture is thick enough to mound.

Spoon into crust

Freeze at least 4 hours or overnight until firm. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Let stand at room temperature until pie can easily be cut. Store leftovers in freezer.

BTW, if you don’t receive Food & Family you can request your own FREE subscription at: www.kraftfoods.com/share . The recipes are simple, require generally few ingredients and time to prepare and are tasty. I have found them perfect recipes for our kids in the kitchen times.

Driving in my car...


Yesterday afternoon, I got out of the house with DD for some driving practice. We put the top down on her car, then she and I headed westward to my old hometown and some of the curvy, mountain roads that I learned to drive on. We visited a few family members along the way and completely enjoyed the afternoon. It was somewhat of a surreal experience to be heading into my hometown on a Saturday evening with my DAUGHTER driving!!!

Chasing Fireflies - A Novel of Discovery


Last week, since I was home more than usual with a sick little one, a friend (actually DS#1’s teacher), loaned me another of Charles Martin’s books: Chasing Fireflies http://www.charlesmartinbooks.com/books/chasing-fireflies/ .


I was a bit apprehensive after falling totally in love with his book When Crickets Cry! I didn’t want to read it and it not be as good!!!! Well, I was not to be disappointed. It was such a good book, a very different book from “Crickets” but a great book. Nicolas Sparks (author of The Notebook, The Wedding, Dear John, Message in a Bottle, etc) has long been my favorite author but I am afraid Mr. Charles Martin is wooing my heart away. The depth of the emotions and characters in his book just leave me awe struck. In this latest, I just didn’t want it to end. I wanted to know these people, to be part of their lives, walk down to the marshes and smell what they smelled. Ah….it was a amazing escape.


The Road to Recovery

It has been a long week! With a sick child, the busy end of school activities and the perfect weather to be outside playing has made for quite the L-O-N-G week.

Fortunately, DH was able to take the older two to school every day and we carpool in the afternoon with another family and it was their turn to bring the kiddos home in the afternoon. That made it easier to keep the little guy home and calm. He hasn't felt like doing much anyway so that wasn't too much of a battle.

DS#2 is feeling much better. He continued to have a fever until Friday night and the coughing is still bad but he is getting better! Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers on his part.

School ended on Friday for my 2 older children so we are officially into our summer! WhoooHOOO!

Tagged....

Mrs. G over at http://lifeatnumber17.blogspot.com/ tagged me to post 7 random things about myself. Hmmmmm....random? Wha?

Ok, since I have not participated in any tagging activities since begining this little only journal here goes:

#1 I got married really young -- and am still married to the same wonderful man 18 years later.

#2 I am a loner and not very social.

#3 I am comfortable by myself.

#4 I love my children more than I could have ever imagined (as I was not going to have any children!).

#5 I have lived in 4 different states in my adult life.

#6 DH and I have owned 6 different houses in 3 different states over the course of our marriage.

#7 I have enjoyed teaching my DD to drive!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sick child.......


My poor, youngest son is sick. He has a mild case of pnemonia. He had to miss his end of preschool party and at least 1 T-Ball game. He felt so bad he was OK with that. It does appear that we are in the "getting better" phase, though.

Friday, May 11, 2007

When Crickets Cry........

I spent yesterday (or most of it, that is) sittting in this chair, lost in the most amazing book I have read in a very, very, very long time. It was When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin (http://www.charlesmartinbooks.com). I literally couldn't put it down, and I have the unfolded laundry to prove it. When my children came home from school they wondered what was up with me....I guess all the emotions (joy, pain, fear, hope,love, forgiveness) that I experienced through this book were evident. Lucky for me I have a dd who understands as she loves to get lost in the pages of a book as well.

So, GO...get yourself a copy and take a holiday between the pages!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Blooming........


I was so excited to see these special, tiny little iris' blooming. They came to my dear, grandmother (who died in November of 2005) from my great-great grandmother's home and then by way of my shovel to my garden. Aren't they just lovely?

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Heels, heels and heels




Yesterday I bought the most amazing pair of black pumps! Yes, I know they will stand along with a line of other black pumps in my closet but, hey...they are all different in various ways and they all work for different situations! The ones I got yesterday were just wonderful...tall, tiny heels and sharp pointy toes in black patent. I bought them to go with the dress I was wearing last night but have fallen so in love with these shoes that I will be trecking back out to pick up another dress that I know will go wonderfully with them (for a wedding we are going to in June).

There is just something about heels!

Downtown


One night last week, one of my boys and I took a walk downtown. It reminded me of how much I love our downtown. I love to shop, dine and generally spend time there. Yes, my town has a true downtown square that is still thriving with businesses, cafes, nightlife and beauty. That is rare today but because of the scarcity of such, I love it even more. I know that my children experience something there than most people (especially their ages) will never know.

It is lovely in the early morning when it is still quiet and nothing has opened yet. It is lively and exciting during the day when it is busy with shoppers and business people having lunches and meetings. It is relaxing in the evening when the sun is setting and it is quiet again and you only hear the strains of conversations from benches in the park and out door tables at the local restaurants and cafes. It is wonderful after dark, when strains of music come from the clubs and the lights give it a romantic atmosphere. Just last night my DH and I left an event downtown at almost 11:00 p.m. and it was just so comforting to see the lights and enjoy the peace and safety of our downtown as we walked away.

The merchants downtown work very hard to keep the square a wonderful place. They host many events through out the year to draw in the community and remind people that there is more to a town than the mall and BestBuy! One of our favorites is Brunch with the Bunny which comes the Saturday before Easter and finishes off with an Easter Egg Hunt on the square…then there is the wonderful Thursday nights leading up to Christmas when all the shops stay open late and Santa rides around in a horse drawn carriage. I love downtown.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Shopping and friends.......

Last week, I was able to reconnect with an old friend (though we still haven’t managed to have a telephone conversation yet…but email is a wonderful thing, eh?).

She was actually my sorority big sister in college and, of course, one of my bridesmaids. Anyway, it was much to my delight to “find” her again and realize she is a bit of a celebrity in the Atlanta area and has a radio spot on Thursday mornings on FM KICKS 101.5 called Katyshops. Isn’t that cool?

She also has a blog where she list all her neat finds/ great deals and such: http://katyshops.wordpress.com/ Check it out!