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Friday, July 25, 2014

Vacay

Well it looks like a grocery store threw up in my bedroom as I have filled five Thirty One Bags with groceries for our week at the beach.  I have packed, sorted and repacked. I have put both of my neighbors on red alert to guard the homefires while we are gone.  I am trying to figure out what I can do without for a week! Of course I will be taking my computer as I have to keep up with all my friends on Facebook and in Blogland. But I think I will take a blogging break to refresh and just enjoy the moment with my family at the beach.  You can bet that I will have lots of pictures to share when I get back!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Downton Abbey

When I heard there was a Downton Abbey page a day calendar coming out, I went ahead and put in my order on Amazon. I believe I ordered it early in 2014. In fact, I had forgotten I had ordered it until Amazon sent me an email telling me my package was on its way!!  So my Christmas in July gift arrived right on time! I have enjoyed looking through the calendar and I had to stop at every page that featured Lady Violet( Maggie Smith). I have to admit that she is one of my favorite characters at Downton. Her sharp wit causes me to giggle!  For now I have put it away to pull out on January 1, 2015 or else I would wear it out looking at it!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ziggy Zinnia

I was so excited to receive my fall Vera Bradley purse in the mail yesterday! Loving this pattern, Ziggy Zinnia. It is a charcoal black background with pink, orange and teal accents.  I love my Dooney and Bourke purses for special occassions but for everyday, Vera's are so light weight and easy to organize.  The other day I was having breakfast with the girls and we were each carrying a Vera Bradley bag. Deborah likes the Blue patterns, Susan's bag was a cute bag with lime accents and my summer bag displays the popular pantone color of the year, Orchid. We had to smile as we observed our designated"purse chair" piled high with Vera Bradley bags. I have to admit to owning several of these purses, overnight bags and wallets!! But then I am a purse girl!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friends

One of my old friends from Georgia Baptist Hospital School of Nursing posted this picture on her Facebook page and I had to borrow it.  You can never have too many friends!! I have three girlhood friends that I keep in touch with, quite a few of my GBH Friends that I can chat with via Facebook and many friends young and old here in Decatur. When I add those to my sisters, sister in laws and cousins, I am a blessed lady for sure.


Monday, July 21, 2014

The Giver

While browsing the book aisle at Walmart the other day I came across this book, The Giver. I had seen some trailers for the soon to be released movie and thought I would pick it up to read. It is a Newberry Medal winner so I thought it had possibilities.:)

I have to say that I found it hard to put this book down once I started reading it.  Written in 1993, it is a dystopian novel about a world of Sameness.  Jonas, the main character is an 11 year old boy who lives in a society where sameness is valued and everyone is supposed to be content with their lot.  Each family unit has been thoughtfully put together. Arranged marriages between a man and a woman are the norm. If they choose to have a child they must petition for one and after careful consideration they are given one boy and one girl.  Once the children are adults, the parents are sent to live with the child less adults. When they are old, they go to live with the older adults until they are released.  And here is where the reader begins to see that eugenics plays a large part in this society.

At 12 years old the children are Chosen for their future jobs in the society. Jonas is chosen to replace The Receiver.  The Receiver holds all the memories from history so that these memories do not "disturb" the larger population.  As Jonas begins to receive the memories from The Giver, he thinks that people should have choices in their lives and he begins to question his whole world view. I will warn you that the ending is ambiguous as the writer hopes each person will formulate their own ending. If you are like me, that is not good enough. I had to google the ending and found some answers in other reviews of this book.

This book gives the reader much to think about and I like those kinds of books. The only problem I have with this book is that I think it is not really age appropriate for sixth graders who are the target audience. I know if I had a sixth grader who was reading this book, I would want to read it with them and discuss the plotline.  The Giver can be very disturbing to those who are sensitive.

After reading the book, I plan to see the movie which will be released in August. Let's just hope Released in movie talk does not mean the same thing as it does in The Giver parlance.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Fall is on Display at the Cracker Barrel

Marvin and I had dinner at our local Cracker Barrel last night. He loves the meat loaf while I enjoy the fried cod that is the Friday night special. Guess what I saw?

I must say that  this display did not surprise very much as FOOTBALL is king here in Alabama. By the way, we pull for the Crimson Tide, Bama or as most people know it The University of Alabama. Son, Ben is a graduate of Bama so we cheer on the Crimson Tide when we are not busy cheering for Georgia Tech!

But this did surprise me...

Halloween is on display already!! I was in Hobby Lobby a week ago and I did note that they had FALL items on sale and were even beginning to put out some Christmas things. But then Crafters must stay a season "ahead" to get their crafts done in time for the holidays so I understand that. But Cracker Barrel?  I did see one Halloween sign that I liked...

The Yes I can drive a stick, did make me giggle as I am one of those poor people who have no idea how to drive a manual transmission automobile.

So if the summer heat has you down, check out Cracker Barrel and pretend it is Autumn!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

MOPs

I am excited to be a part of MOPs again this year. I had to take a break last year from being a Grandmother of Preschoolers in this group so I am excited about another chance to minister to these young moms.  Last night I had the privilege of hosting Mom's Night Out in my home. I had about 12 young moms spend the evening eating and playing games as it was Game Night. I had prepared the snacks as I wanted the moms to just have a carefree evening out from the kiddos.  We always have a good time because these moms are practically giddy at getting out for a bit for fellowship with other moms.

I admitted that I seldom played games anymore now that my own children are grown up but we played a lot of games when they were young. The girls question to me was, What games did you play with your kids? I had to think just a minute...Racko, Cootie, Sorry and Uno were favorites. We played Uno quite a bit when they were old enough to follow the rules.  I remember one evening when the in laws were in town and we settled down to play after dinner. My father in law accused us of not playing the game correctly since the rules changed according to the color or number you had in your hand. Actually he thought we were cheating!! :) We get a little competitive in our family!

I made some sweet and salty snacks....sausage balls, ham rolls, chex mix, tortilla roll ups were the savory while Blondies and Chocolate Chewies were the sweet treats. One of the girls told me that she saw my post about Gottlieb's Chocolate Chewies and she hoped that I had made them for MOPs.

I always enjoy being with these young women. They are so much fun and I always come away with a blessing each time I have them in my home.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gottlieb's Chocolate Chewies

When we were in Savannah for Marvin's high school reunion, we had Chocolate Chewies at the Sunday Morning Good Bye Brunch catered by Gottlieb's Deli. I am a chocoholic and I LOVED these chewy nut filled cookies. When I got home from the reunion, I googled the dessert hoping to find a recipe and I did!!   I must say that the chewies we had at the reunion were flatter and rounder than mine turned out...but the taste is the same.  So here is the recipe and I can assure you, these cookies are Mahvelous!

Gottlieb's Chocolate Chewies
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 c cocoa
2 T flour
3 egg whites
2 c chopped pecans
Heat oven to 350. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Place sugar, cocoa and flour in bowl of electric mixer and beat on low until well blended. Beat in egg whites one at a time, scraping the bowl as necessary. When all ingredients are combined, beat at high speed for one minute, then stir in pecans.
Drop by heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheets leaving 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 15 minutes on the center rack of the oven. Turn the sheet half way through cooking time.
Remove from oven, allow to cool. Store cookies in airtight container or freeze for later use.  This recipe makes two dozen cookies

I am wondering if my cookies did not "spread" as much as the ones I ate at the reunion is because I used my eggs right out of the fridge. Next time I will allow the egg whites to come to room temp. Also I had no plain flour so I used self rising....next time I will follow the directions exactly. Believe me, I plan to perfect this recipe!!

Gottlieb's Deli was a Savannah tradition until 1994 when Isser Gottlieb closed the doors. But thanks to B'nai B'rith Synagogue in Savannah you can order old Gottlieb favorites.  And I must say, the spread we enjoyed at our brunch was delicious.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordy Wednesday

Here is a prettier picture of our church, made in a February snow. I cannot say it is very hot here today as we are having some very nice weather...cool for Alabama and low humidity. It just seems this has been a very strange year here weatherwise.

I am looking forward to having the MOPs(Mothers of Preschoolers) here Thursday evening for a Game Night. I am making some goodies to serve along with sweet tea and soft drinks. I enjoy having these young women in my life! And Thursday morning I am having breakfast with the besties. I asked if we could have breakfast instead of lunch as I have a busy day tomorrow. I have not had breakfast at Mr Henry"s in a long time and it is my favorite place for biscuits and gravy. Tomorrow afternoon I meet with my Titus Ladies group at Panera for coffee and conversation. These ladies are becoming dear friends as we begin to get to know each other.

Our Beach wagon arrived yesterday!! I am waiting on DH to open the box and get it out for me. Kendall and Landon were very excited about its' arrival. We are all counting down the days until we go to the beach!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sunday Excursion

After a busy Saturday it was nice to have Sunday to rest and to worship. Marvin and I are members of First Bible Church of Decatur.

Here is a picture of our church from the church website....that is why it has Maps at the bottom!!:) Of course I hope all churches are maps for seekers to find their way to Jesus.

Our church has a summer schedule that is  neat. For six weeks every summer we do not have Sunday School. We just have worship service and it gives the whole church a chance to worship together including the children from kindergarten up to senior citizens.  Our church has recently founded a Madison Campus. Madison is a suburb of Huntsville, Alabama. This once small town is growing by leaps and bounds. And where there are lots of people it is an opportunity to share the gospel.  Our pastor encourages us to visit the Madison church whenever we can to encourage the folks there. Our Sunday School class decided to take him up on his suggestion. But before heading to church Sunday morning we stopped here for breakfast.

There is a Cracker Barrel restaurant near the church so we left Decatur bright and early for a nine a.m. breakfast. We had quite a large group and we all enjoyed the food and fellowship. And I must say a big thank you to the waitress who took care of our table. She did a great job!!

My dear husband decided to go all out for breakfast!!

The ladies enjoyed browsing around the store while the men paid up at the cash register.

And then to James Clements High School in Madison where we had morning worship in the school auditorium. I must say that high schools of today look nothing like the high school I attended!! They are huge. Our class packed a "pew" or a whole row of seats for the morning service which included communion. It was a very special time of fellowship with our Sunday School class. We really feel more like family than just friends! And that is a very nice thing.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Season of Weddings

Summer is the season of weddings and this summer I know three happy couples who are pledging their love to each other.  Our Sunday School Class along with the family of the groom hosted a beautiful bridal tea for Ben and Kim, who will be married in Nashville on August 2nd.  One of Ben's cousins did all the flower arrangements and they were so lovely. I know I will be "stealing" her idea for table scapes!

This beautiful centerpiece anchored the food table. The flowers were from the family flower gardens and included blue hydrangeas, Queen Anne's lace and day lilies. Various forms of greenery was used as filler and the bouquet resided in a beautifully patinaed  watering can.

The table scapes for the guest tables were so lovely and quite inexpensive and easy to arrange. I so admire people who can come up with bright ideas.

The smaller tables around the perimeter of the room held Jackson vine and simple mason jars with votives.

This beautiful Fostoria punch bowl belonged to the groom's late grandmother and now belongs to his mom, Becky. Becky so graciously lets us borrow this beautiful punchbowl for any special even that our Sunday School Class hosts. The Jackson vine and blue hydrangeas look so pretty with the amber colored punch.

My sweet friend, Becky, Kim, the bride to be and Kim's mother, Sharon.  We are so fortunate that our church has such a lovely room that we can use for showers and receptions. The reception for my own sons and their brides was held in this same room five years ago.

And the groom showed up at the end of the party...such a handsome and nice young man. Prayers for a special wedding day for Ben and Kim as well as a long and happy married life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Who Me?

A friend posted this quote on Facebook this morning and it hit home with me.  I want to have a servant's heart but often when "treated like a servant" I get a bit rebellious.  It is something I need to work on!!

I am looking forward to this weekend as I am helping some other ladies host a shower for a young lady who is getting married on August 2nd. It is always fun to be with these ladies and I do enjoy seeing a young bride to be opening all the gifts she will be showered with at her party. And this bride wants to open her gifts at the party. At several showers I have attended lately, the bride prefers to visit with her guests, have the hostesses open the gifts and display them. I guess I was a greedy little bride because I loved tearing into all those gifts many years ago! Some of us OLD brides have decided that we need showers to replace all the things we have worn out!  Now that would be a party wouldn't it???

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Getting Ready

Even though our vacation is still a few weeks out, I have started preparing for our week at the beach. I have gathered my 31 Utility Bags from the Garage and I have them in my bedroom as I prepare to fill them with things we will need for a fun week with family.

These large utility totes from 31 Gifts are perfect for many things but I love to use them for trips. They hold so many things and are easy to transport. 31 has added a new topper for the bags.  This see through top will be great to use at the beach to keep the sand out of our bag of towels!  I do like the "see through" aspect of the lid...it allows you to check at a glance for what ever you are thinking you might have left behind. Sound familiar??? That is the story of my life these days.:) I have to double check everything! Another reason I am getting my bags filled up now for vacation. And now I must admit that I purchased two more utility bags in June when 31 offers a great sale..buy one bag for $35 and get another one for $10. My friend Jamie at The Funky Peacock did my monogram for me. I love any thing with my monogram!!


Now I have a total of five utility bags and I guess that is enough for now!! But you can be sure that each bag will be filled to the top by the end of July! One will hold Beach Towels, sunscreen etc. while another will hold beach toys for the grands.  Two bags will hold non perishable foods and supplies that can be stashed away now and the pretty new Parisian Pop bag with my hot pink monogram will be just for Nana...I will put my books, needlework and magazines in that one.  If you are looking for something unique in the way of bags of any kind, check out 31!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Georgia on my Mind

You all know how I LOVE DISHTOWELS.....and the real cotton ones are my favorite. Well being a Georgia native, I came across this cute Georgia dishtowel at the French Silver shop on Etsy! I am going to be purchasing some of her cute dishtowels to display in my kitchen.  Someone had the bright idea of framing the Georgia towel and it is very cute. French Silver shop will also take one of your handwritten recipes and apply it to a dishtowel. I think that would be such a fun gift to give or receive. And a handwritten recipe that was from a mother or grandmother who is no longer with you would be so special.  So if you are looking for something special and unusual as a gift for that hard to buy for person, check out French Silver on Etsy.

And speaking of gifts....Rhoda at Southern Hospitality is joining in on a blog linky party that is very interesting. 100 bloggers share their ideas for an inexpensive birthday gifts. I have spent quite a while this morning checking out the links. Many of the ideas come along with free printables!! Be sure and check it out!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pirates!

 Miss Adeline Lanier Grimm....one of my precious great nieces! The girls had fun playing with the toys and trying on hats. The Pirate Hats were the favorite.
Miss Eden Lee Grimm...big sis and ring leader! Edie is such a sweet heart. She was going to stay with Aunt Arlene until Mom  mentioned going swimming at Nana's in Memphis.  We just do not get to spend enough time with our extended family!!

Looking forward to seeing my grands, Kendall and Landon today. Lots of errands to run and things to do!! They will start back to school in one month!


Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Monday

Marvin commented last night that he hated to see the weekend come to an end. We did have a good one, full of food, friends, family and fun. And Saturday was a day where we just kicked back and rested. After two busy weekends in a row, we were glad to have NOTHING to do on Saturday.

Sunday started our new Summer Schedule at First Bible Church of Decatur, where we are members. Every summer we take six weeks "off" from Sunday School. We have two worship services and the children, aged 4 and up come to worship service with their parents. It is good for the little ones to learn to sing with the congregation and to begin to learn to sit quietly and listen to God's Word.  Marvin and I attend the early service at 9:15. Yesterday we were able to join some friends for brunch at Cracker Barrel after the service.

Today I am meeting an old friend for coffee at Panera. Our children are about the same age and we do not get to see one another as we would like to! Sometimes you just have to have a "plan" or an "appointment" to get things done! I am also looking forward to a visit from my niece, Jessica Grimm. She and her two little ones, Eden and Adeline, will stop by for a visit on their way from Chattanooga to Memphis. I have ten great nieces....Sarah, Allison, Christen,  Lila, Anna Cate, Ellis, Eden, Adeline, Dottie and Sallie.  Anna Cate and Sallie were born recently so I look forward to getting to see them one day soon. We are blessed with Girls in this generation. I also have three great nephews, Lee, Paul and Rob.

So, it is back to the old routine...but then I am a creature of habit so routines suit me!!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A Fall Like Fourth!

It has been the most pleasant July 4th weekend!! The temps are in the 70s and low 80s with NO humidity!! We cannot ask for more than that. We had a nice time with some of the family and my friend, Susan, came down to join us as her husband had to work yesterday.

Kendall and Landon spent the night with us so Kendall and Grandpa enjoyed breakfast together.

Me and My Ledlow grands....Landon and I both have our summer haircuts. I think we will be growing them out for fall.:)

Kendall and her Patriotic Red Velvet cupcakes. She made them to take to her Aunt Kimmy's house for the Ledlow cookout. It was Paw Paw Ledlow's birthday so Kendall put two flags in his cupcake!

Nancy, Charles, Marvin, me and Amelia.

The fam and my good friend, Susan. We had such a nice time, eating and visiting. And Susan brought some delish unbaked chocolate oatmeal cookies, made with a dark chocolate.  Did I mention Dessert is our favorite part of any meal? Thanks to Marvin for grilling up hot dogs and hamburgers...we will be eating on those all weekend.

Hope all you blog friends had a fabulous 4th like the Grimms did!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!! From me and Lilly Pulitzer!! We are looking forward to a fun time with out family!! OOPs...I meant WITH family but hey, without could be good too!!lol.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cooking with Kendall and Landon

Landon has always enjoyed helping me in the kitchen and this summer, Kendall got in on the act as well. Of course, sweets are the choice food group for these two. With cupcakes being so popular now, Kendall and I have been baking them quite often.

Here is Kendall with the chocolate chocolate cupcakes we baked last week. Kendall enjoys picking out colorful cupcake liners and sprinkles. We will be celebrating the 4th tomorrow with some of the family and Kendall chose to bake red velvet cupcakes. Nana was lazy and instead of baking them from scratch, I found this complete mix at Walmart.

Hobby Lobby had cupcake liners and decorative flag toppers on sale this week so we will have plenty for years to come!!:)

In addition to the red velvet cupcakes, I am making a Whipping Cream Pound Cake to serve with strawberries and whipped cream.   Of course, hot dogs and hamburgers will be on the menu as well!!  My sister, Leta, told me that her husband strongly suggested that some homemade vanilla ice cream was in order over in Chatsworth to celebrate Independence Day!  We all have our special foods that just say Summer and home made ice cream is one of them. I have many fond memories of evenings that included churning the ice cream with cousins taking turns at the crank. When it was done, Mother would spoon it into cups and glasses that she had placed in the freezer to make them frosty. Good Times!

Here's to a Fabulous 4th!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On My Bedside Table, Literally!!

I went to one of my favorite shops in Decatur, Memi's, to purchase a wedding gift and I saw this pretty pottery angel. I am a complete pushover for unique pottery items and I picked up this lovely piece to bring home with me.  I placed it on the lamp on my bedside table and then I took some pictures of it to share here on my blog.

I love my bedside tables. I purchased a pair of them from my friend, Susan, when she was selling some things that had belonged to her mom.  Marvin's table is not as cute as mine so I will not show it to you!:) The milk glass piece in front of the lamp was given to me by my Grandmother Henderson. I use it to hold pens, pencils and book marks.

Pictures of the grands as well as a picture of Nancy and Charles in their Chinese wedding photos that they had made before they came home to be married here in the USA.  My stack of library books as well as a note pad that a dear blog friend send to me. I always seem to think of things when I lay down to read or to go to sleep. Now I can jot down my thoughts so I do not forget them.

I also keep some of my YLEO's on my bedside. You never know when you might need them.

You can see one of my Cat Who books peeking out here as well as the pretty Lilly Pulitzer style monogrammed notebook I purchased from Amanda at Dixie Delights. In addition to blogging, Amanda has a cute Etsy store. This little notebook holds inspirational thoughts as well as articles I see in magazines that I might want to look back on one day.

And today is the birthday of my daughter, Amelia. On July 2, 1980, it was hot as blazes outside as we sped to the hospital in the wee hours of the morning. At 4:10 am, ten minutes after we arrived at the hospital, I was holding my only daughter in my arms.  Kendall and Landon had fun shopping for Mommy yesterday at Target. Landon purchased her a card of earrings...five pairs of posts, all different colors. Kendall decided on two bottles of nail polish and a cute cup. She put the polishes in the cup  and then added a ribbon to the cup. We may have another Martha Stewart in the making! Both children made birthday cards for their mother and are looking forward to giving their gifts this morning. I am glad that they have such loving and giving hearts! I want to encourage that!!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

This and That!

 I forgot to post this pretty picture taken at Lake Guntersville, Alabama. We were on our way home from Savannah and stopped in Guntersville for lunch at Wintzells. We did not get enough sea food in Savannah so we had to get some more!! Guntersville is a beautiful area of North Alabama and is known as a habitat for bald eagles. Many people trek there to view these magnificent birds.
 And here is my sleeping Baylor....He fell asleep in Grandpa's chair on Friday afternoon.
Finally Mr Elliott...our funny and sweet baby boy. He is a Smiler and makes us all happy!

Today the kiddos and I are going shopping for birthday gifts for their mommy. Amelia's birthday is tomorrow so I wanted the children to get to pick out something for her. It will be interesting to see what they come up with!!