Saturday, October 27, 2007

Serious Reading...




Oh YEAH, it is the time of the year that my boys develop a deep love of reading! They will literally sit for hours pouring over this most important of literature. This is the reading material that takes over their lives and becomes tattered and worn from use. Of course, I am talking about the annual arrival of the Christmas toy catalogs!!! What did YOU think I meant?

1st "date"

In this season of "1sts" a young man came calling this evening. He knocked on our door bearing flowers and asking to take my DD out to a dance. This is the 1st time we've officially let her go on a date (other dances we have been at as chaperones...tonight it is without us). When this young man came in, DH sat him down and had a talk with him, and we allowed her to go...


Wasn't she lovely?
DH & DD

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dancing in the dark...

After DD danced with her Daddy at the exact time she was born....9:11 pm, she requested that the her Daddy and I take the floor together...then, of course, "they" made fun of us old folks, especially after both sets of grandparents and the other "old" couples joined us in a slow dance...

Party Pictures, Part II

Table decorations, green and pink jelly beans!
More Party Photos.... Buffet Table
THE cake! 3 gorgeous layers topped with 16 candles!
One of the Table Decorations
Another table decoration, that is rock candy in the hurricane
DD and some friends dig in!



Party Pictures...

This week has been a whirlwind of activity so I haven't managed to get any photo's posted of the Sweet 16 Party. Sadly, I don't think our photo's were as plentiful or as good as I would have liked. I think we were too busy enjoying ourselves to really think about it much but hopefully you will enjoy the ones we do have!

DD's Sweet 16 party was held at a place called Cha Cha's Ballroom and it has a fabulous dance floor and was just a wonderful back drop for the festivities. It is a bit out of our normal circle of travel but was well worth the trip. I have to say that the owners were just fantastic and so flexible. They were even patient DJs as all the kids crowded around with special music requests. http://home.earthlink.net/~chachasballroom/index.html

The party was a blast! The kids had a great time and I think DD was just in heaven. On the way home, afterwards, she told me it was the BEST Birthday Party ever...so, I guess we accomplished what we were after. Oh, and we were soooo very tired!

PreParty Central! The night before, our house was covered in pink and green things.
The table by the door where her friends signed a white matte for a future party pic. I placed lots of silver framed photos of her along with her Sweet 16 Joseph Birthday Girl and a silver tray of personalized M&M's for our favors.
Decorations on the pass through from the kitchen area.
Beverage Station (the kids drank a lot...you get hot after all that dancing.)
There are the topiaries!!!!
BTW, CLICK ON ANY OF THE PHOTOS FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

Saturday, October 20, 2007

16....

16….16….16…. She is 16 today. Yesterday, as I drove around doing final errands for her Sweet 16 Party, and last night as I arranged flowers for the same, I kept tearing up. I was not sad but more overwhelmed by the blessings that have come from my first born. She is my spirit, an unexplainable connection and blessing flows from her into my heart. Ok, I am tearing up again…I should probably just cry and get it over with.

16 years ago, my world opened wide through the eyes of one of God’s most amazing creations. When she entered this world…I was changed. God used this tiny, precious creation to show me His glory, grace and mercy in a way that I did not know before. With every breath she took, God drew me nearer to Him and showed me just what a His love for me really was; the love of a Father, the love of a parent.

I was so immature and self centered 16 years ago. God so knew me and my limitations…He placed a baby that was textbook in care, healthy and easy. He knew I would not have done well with anything else at that point in my life. He knew me…He knew her…He blessed me by allowing me to share His creation. He used a babe to temper my heart and soul. He created a longing for Him that was stronger than I had known before. With the birth of my sweet daughter, I wanted to be a better person. I needed to know God more. Motherhood matured me and continues to temper me every single day.

16 years ago brought about unexpected changes in my heart as a wife, as well. I saw the man I married in such a different light and fell in love with him so deeply. I remember feeling awed by the depth of that love. I had heard all the stories of how a newborn can impact a marriage and very little of it was positive. That wasn’t what I felt. The months after our daughter came into this world were some of the most precious times in my life…all was right with the world. Through God’s great providence my husband and I were allowed such a blessing. Having a child strengthened my commitment to my marriage and my husband.

So, 16 years later, I sit here and marvel at what a wonderful young lady she is becoming. I pray for her daily, that God will continue to keep his hand upon her.

Happy, happy Birthday, baby.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

IF I only had a spare $399...

Well, that would probably actually need to be $798, because you know I would need 2 of these fantastic artificial pumpkins! If you are in the market for some you can find them at Grandin Road, http://www.grandinroad.com/jump.jsp?sort=-1&itemID=10933&itemType=PRODUCT&AS=1&keyword=pumpkin, along with tons of other very cool things.
On to less costly but equally fun items...this is a photo of my new checkbook cover and key ring. Last weekend was the "big" festival day around here and I found both of these in a booth for less than $10. I picked up one of the lady's cards and now I can't find it (argh!). Aren't they cute? The checkbook cover set me back all of $5 and the key ring a whopping $4. I really love the keyring because it is big enough to slip over my wrist which makes this "Mommy with generally too many things to carry" very happy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Awards, even when MIA



Sweet Jenn at The Beaufort Lookout (http://www.beaufortlookout.blogspot.com) has been sweet enough to send this along to me. She says: "This award was design by Mike at Ordinary Folk and was originally offered by Christy of Totally Fabulous. She says this award is for bloggers was are fun,cool and of course Totally Fabulous." Thanks, Jenn...you are the bestest and quite Fabulous yourself!

So, I pass it along to these fellow, Totally Fabulous bloggers:

Susan at Love, Life and Labradors (http://www.loveandlabs.blogspot.com)

Paula at Virginia Sweet Pea (http://www.virginiasweetpea.blogspot.com)

And Buford Betty --- make sure y'all drop over and wish her a very special belated birthday and look at the photos from her fantastically fabulous party --- (http://aaz106.blogspot.com)

Pink & Green Party Plans...

I haven't been blogging much the last week or so and I think it is because I have lots and lots of things to do preparing for DD's Sweet 16 Party! And YES, YES, YES she wanted a "preppy" pink and green theme for this soiree'....aren't I just the luckiest Mom? So, currently my dining room has become Party Planning Central. I thought I would snap a photo of some of the things that we are using for the decorations. (The Ribbon Topiaries were an idea from another blog...isn't blogland the bestest?) Of course, I will snap lots and lots of photos once the event actually happens so you can get the full visual to include lots and lots of pink and green balloons. Fortunately, I have been so busy that I haven't gotten melancholy about this big milestone yet...y'all pray for me because I know it will be bittersweet.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Yes, I occasionally cook...

Last weekend I got inspired and wanted to try some new recipes. The funny thing is that both came from "Southern" magazines (yes...magazines...again!). I made Southern Living magazine's Corn-and-Crab* Chowder with Southern Lady's homemade Garlic Cheddar Muffins. Oh my, they were yummy and so nice for an early fall dinner.

*The Corn-and-Crab Chowder gave the option of using a pound of peeled and cooked shrimp instead of the crab meat and that is what I opted for (which was about a $12 difference in the cost of the meal).

I am, admittedly not a gourmet, but this meal turned out so good! It is definitely a "company meal"!


Garlic Cheddar Muffins

* from September/October 2007 Southern Lady magazine, page 70

makes 12

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
¼ Cup Butter
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Chives
1-½ teaspoons Minced Garlic
2 Cups Baking Mix
1 Cup Grated Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder
¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1 Cup Buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with olive oil.

  • In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add chives and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes; remove from heat and set aside

  • In a medium bowl, combine baking mix, cheese, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate bowl, combine buttermilk and butter mixture. Add buttermilk mixture to baking mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Let batter stand for 5 minutes.

  • Evenly spoon batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing.


NOTE: I brushed on a bit of melted butter mixed with garlic before serving.


Corn-and-Crab Chowder

*from October 2007 Southern Living, page 102

6 Bacon Slices
2 Celery Ribs, Diced
1 Medium-size Green Bell Pepper, Diced
1 Medium Onion, Diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, Seeded and Diced
1 (32 oz) Container Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
3 Cups Fresh Corn Kernels (6 ears)
1 lb. Fresh Lump Crab Meat, Drained and Picked***
1 Cup Whipping Cream
¼ Cup Chopped Fresh Cilantro
½ Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon Pepper
Oyster Crackers
Garnish: Chopped Fresh Cilantro



  • Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in Dutch Oven. Crumble bacon and set aside.

  • Saute' celery and next 3 ingredients in hot drippings 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.

  • Whisk together broth and flour until smooth. Add to celery mixture. Stir in corn. Bring to boil; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Gently stir in crab meat (or shrimp) and next 4 ingredients; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

  • Serve warm with crumbled bacon and oyster crackers. Garnish, if desired.


***1 lb. peeled cooked shrimp or chopped cooked chicken may be substituted.