Thursday, May 31, 2012

I am enjoying my Pampered Chef goodies. I thought I would share two of my favorites with you this morning.  Now I do not even know the name of the black utensil but it is used to break up ground beef as you are browning it. You can also use it to break up anything that is dense as you are cooking it!! Several of my friends have raved about this little gem so I had to get one. But so far, the other gadget is my favorite. It makes sandwiches just like those Crustables that the little ones like. Haven't heard of a Crustable?  They are little sandwiches with no crusts that can be found in the frozen food section of the grocery store. They are a bit pricey for a plain peanut butter and jelly sandwich with crimped edges so I have never purchased them for the kiddos. But when I saw that Pampered Chef carried this tool, I knew my grands could enjoy fancy food without the expense! I got the chance to try out my gadget yesterday while the grands were here. Kendall refuses to eat crusts of any kind so she was surprised to get a Fancy Peanut Butter Sandwich yesterday at lunchtime. To make your own crustable, you prepare the sandwich, then postion the sandwich maker over the bread. Push down to cut it out...similar to a biscuit cutter. Then you push the knob in the middle and it crimps the edges shut!! Amazing and it does not take too much effort for ole Nana to produce a fancy and tasty tidbit! It works great on peanut butter sandwiches or any "spreadable" sandwich such as pimento cheese, chicken salad etc.  You can also use this product to make filled cookies or fruit pies. It will mainly be a sandwich maker at my house. If you have the chance to attend a Pampered Chef party, you will find that they have lots of unique products!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A question to my gentle readers....I am having problems "replying" to comments that are left on my blog. I never had this happen at my old blog and I have tweaked the settings to no avail. I hit reply to comment, the box comes up and I cannot type in it. This is so frustrating to me because I read every comment and I do like to reply to some of them. Any ideas will be taken under consideration!!
Yesterday I was reminded that you never know who may be watching you as you go about your day! After a busy morning, I headed to the post office to mail a package to Ireland. One of my dear friends lives there and I wanted to send her a little box of goodies. Being the organized person I am, I had picked up my Priority Mail box three days ago and the kind man at the main post office included a customs form and estimated how much it would cost to mail the package. I got home, packed up my box, filled out the customs form and took it to the post office that is nearest to  my home. After a wait in line, I finally made it to the counter when the postal worker informed me that just this week, the post office had changed the rules on overseas mail and I must go online, fill out the custom forms, print them and bring them back to the post office along with my package. Now I must say I was aggravated. Why didn't the other postal worker inform me of the changes? This postal worker was very kind and apologetic so I told him that I understood and that he did not make the rules. I mailed a few other things and as I  turned to go I saw a sweet lady from my church was standing in the line behind me. We said hello and I went out to my car. As I sat there for a moment, getting my package put away, I was so grateful that I had been kind rather than angry or peeved!! How important it is to our Christian witness to treat others with dignity and kindness no matter the situation.  I saw a little "pin" on Pinterest that stated, Character is shown by how you treat those who can do nothing for you. Something to think about this morning!

Today I will have a chance to go to the park with my three older grands. We moved Nana School to Wednesday this week because of the long holiday weekend. It is a nice cool morning here so we should have a wonderful time. We will take some treats and have snack time on one of the picnic tables there. Another day to make sweet memories and store them in my heart.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I just started this book, The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by Syrie James. I have been in the mood for "Jane Austen" writing. There is just something so comforting about writing that revolves around the home and the people in one's own intimate circle. After reading Defending Jacob, which was very intense, I needed a book like this one!  One thing I have already discovered about the Bronte family is that they were Irish and their name was Brunty but a school master gave Charlotte's father the more aristocratic spelling. It rather reminded me of Keeping Up Appearances, one of my favorite Britcoms. If you have ever watched this program you know that the main character is Hyacinth Bucket(Its Boo Kay! as she likes to remind everyone!) Names are very important in life and I must admit that Charlotte Bronte sounds and looks much better than Charlotte Brunty. The Brontes are a very close family and I am looking forward to finding out more about them.

I also have a few Hamish Macbeth paperbacks on my bedside table. I ordered some of the early Hamish mysteries from  I love love love this Highland policeman. He is a lot like Andy Griffith of Mayberry. Both see their jobs as caring for the people in their community as well as enforcing the law. One of the things I love about reading is that no matter what is going on in your life, a book can take you far away from the cares of the day. For that reason alone, I have always felt sorry for people who say they do not like to read! I just cannot fathom it.

I have one more day of vacation today as my DH has the day off. When he is home, I cannot bring myself to do more than necessary chores.  I do have some letters and packages to mail and I must tackle some ironing. Tomorrow I will get back in my routine as my little grands will come to spend the morning. We are hoping we can go to the park! One of our last Nana Schools with Margaret! We are going to miss having her with us each week. I have a feeling Nana and Grandpa will be making lots of trips to Birmingham.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I love quiet mornings where I can just wake up without the need of an alarm clock, or the coffee pot in our case. We always set the coffee the night before and the noise of the coffee maker and the aroma of the coffee wakes us up each morning at six. I slept in a bit but got up to start chores, a woman's work is truely never done!!  Laundry is chugging away and as soon as I finish this post I will be outside working in my flower beds.  It is already HOT here in Alabama this morning so I need to get a move on. Amid all the holiday weekend fun, lets stop to remember those who gave everything so that we can live in the USA. I always think of Lee Greenwood's song, I Am Proud to be an American. And I truely am blessed by God to live in this country. Happy Memorial Day Friends!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

 I thought I would share a few pictures of my grands this morning. Here is Kendall with her book bag, all ready to head to the library.  She picked a pink and green TJ Maxx bag from my "stash" as pink and green are her favorite colors. It was Landon's first trip to the library with us but he did great! He loved playing with the toys and he was so happy to find a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD.
 Here is my silly boy....sitting on the stairs, waiting for me and Kendall. Marvin loves the Brad Paisley song, Waitin on a Woman. Landon will find out that men do have to wait on women quite a bit!! As you can see Bubba was sticking out his tongue at me!
 Yesterday we had the family over for a cookout. Here is Margaret, enjoying a cold beverage while sitting in Grandpa's lap.
And finally, our Baylor Boy!! He has learned to walk!! He is still a bit unsteady and would rather just crawl but it is so fun to see him toddling around.

Hope you all have a blessed Sunday! We are off to church then hopefully a quiet Sunday afternoon here at Nanaland.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

One of the first poems I remember learning in school had this line that sticks in my memory, "In Flanders Fields where poppies grow   Upon the crosses, row on row." Even though I did not have a concept of World War I or Flanders, France, I could picture those crosses in my mind. Thanks to all the brave men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.  Let's remember them this weekend with grateful hearts.

Friday, May 25, 2012

I had my last birthday celebration with my best friends yesterday. You can tell by my gifts that we all love PAPER. We love to write notes, we love to have pretty notepads for our fridges and we just enjoy the written word!! Deborah got me a set of notepads for my fridge...a different one for each month, as well as some Mary Engelbreit notecards and that pretty totebag that will be perfect for trips to the library. Susan gave a  new pad to write on and at the bottom, there are tear off quotes that you can share with others. They are perfect to tuck in a lunchbox, a card or to just leave a sweet note for your hubby. Susan also got me a really useful gift and  I forgot to take a picture of it. I am always hot, especially at night so she gave me a small fan that I can sit on my bedside table. With the temps climbing into the 90s this weekend, I have a feeling my little fan will come in handy. Let's just say that this season of life is really hot!! :)

Today I will have Kendall and Landon for the morning. I am planning a trip to the library. Kendall loved the library last summer so we want to keep up her joy of reading. It will be Landon's first time to go with us. Each child may check out three books and one dvd. Kendall writes in a journal at school so I plan to buy a journal for Kendall and one for Nana so we can practice our writing skills. We will write about all the things we do here in Nanaland as well as all our hopes and dreams. At the end of the summer I will tuck away the journal in her memory box and when she is grown, she can look back and see what her six year old self thought about life.

Hope you all have a great Memorial Day Weekend....we are cooking out on Saturday with the family. It will be a fun start to Summer!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

There has been so much buzz among my reading friends regarding the book, Defending Jacob by William Landay that I had to read it for myself. Maybe there was a little too much hype because I found the book to be Just Okay. This book is about the Barber family...Andy, the father is an assistant District Attorney. Coming from a humble background, Andy has worked his way up the ladder. Along the way he married the golden girl from his college days, Laurie. They seem to have it all, a nice home in the suburbs and a 14 year old son named Jacob.  But when one of Jacob's classmates is killed on the way to school one morning the Barbers lives are forever changed. Word among Jacob's classmates is that he and Ben, the young man who was killed were at odds with each other. Ben had been bullying Jacob and most of the students think Jacob killed Ben. Andy Barber must admit to his wife that he has kept a secret from her for over 30 years of marriage. Andy comes from a family of men who committed violent crimes. His own father is serving a life sentence without parole in prison for murder.  This family slowly unravels as they face the wrath of the court system and their friends and community. Much discussion is given to nature versus nurture. Is there a Murder Gene that might be responsible for the violent behavior in the Barber family? Andy Barber cannot believe his son could be a murderer while mother, Laurie, begins to remember other instances where children around Jacob had been injured...but that was years ago when he was in day care. Could Jacob be a killer? After Jacob's trial is over there are some surprising revelations. Now I have to say, I was not so surprised because this book reminded me of an old movie that really gives me the creeps! And that movie is The Bad Seed. If I could ask the author a question, it would have to be "Did you ever see this movie?" The plot of the book is very similar but brought into the 21st century!  So, if you like police procedurals and CSI, you will find this book interesting. And it will definitely cause you to think about what EVIL really is!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

After lunching with Kendall I came home to meet with my Pampered Chef consultant, Meagan. I had an order to place so she and her darling daughter, Stella, came over to get all the details. While Stella played in the Grandkids Corner, Meagan and I had a good time chatting and finalizing my order.  I met Meagan at our MOPS group and I did not realize she was a Pampered Chef consultant. I love Pampered Chef products and I had a list of items I wanted to purchase. After sharing Pampered Chef catalog with several friends I had enough orders for a "party". Sweet Meaghan brought me some goodies to welcome me as one of her new customers.  I thought that was so kind and generous of her. You can see the pictures of my goodies....a Pampered Chef bag, recipe cards and two jars of oil dipping herbs!! I will certainly enjoy trying those!  I have owned many Pampered Chef items and I find them to be quality products. One of the items I wanted to order is the gallon pitcher with a plunger that is great for making iced tea(A Southern Staple!) I have one but it is ten years old and while it still works fine, I wanted a back up! Meagan shared with me that the new plunger is heat proof. Well I had to admit to her that I had used the original plunger to mix up my hot tea and sugar before adding additional water and I had never had any problems! Another proof of the quality of Pampered Chef.  When I get in my order I will be sure to share pictures of my goodies!

Last night, Marvin and I attended a reception to honor Mrs Joann Spears. Mrs Spears taught all three of our children at Cornerstone Christian School.  After 42 years of teaching, she is retiring.  I think she deserves it although I cannot picture Mrs Spears as a lady of leisure. We enjoyed seeing many old friends from our days at Cornerstone. As I saw many young adults that I had known as children, it reminded me that time passes so quickly, we need to make the most of each moment.   And I was reminded of all the great teachers I know and have known, what a blessing they are!! I hope all my teacher friends have a great summer of rest and refreshment.  The way this year is rushing by, fall will be here before we know it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Do all school lunchrooms smell alike? When I walked into Kendall's lunchroom today, I was transported back to my own days at Eton Elementary. There are some differences. The lunch room ladies do not look like the "old cafeteria ladies" at my school. Milk is served in cartons and not in glasses. Plates are disposable and there is a computer station at the check out where children key in their "number" as they get their lunch.  When I was a child you got a hot cooked lunch for 25 cents. My favorite day was meatloaf day...those ladies put out a mean meatloaf and the home baked ROLLS. I loved the yeast rolls at our school. I would love to have one right now!!

Kendall was so excited to see Nana waiting for her in the hallway near the cafeteria. It really made me feel like a negligent Nana for showing up on the next to the last day of school. While we ate lunch, Kendall questioned me about what we are going to do this summer as she and Bubba will be staying with me and their Mimi while Mom works.  I am sure crafts are in our future. Trips to the library and play dates with our MOPs group will add to the fun. While Bubba is content to play quietly with his toys, Kendall likes to be entertained.:) That girl keeps me on my toes!

We are looking forward to summertime...lazy days, a trip to the beach and memories that are just waiting to be made!

Monday, May 21, 2012

I am enjoying a few quiet moments here in Nanaland. My little ones, Bubba and Margaret, were here for the morning and they had a great time together as usual. They were playing together and I heard Bubba say, "Thank You Margaret" and Margaret replied, "You're welcome Bubba!". Now those are moments that you hold in your heart forever. When Margaret moves to Birmingham next month, one little boy is really going to miss her.

The School Year is drawing to an end and I am planning to go and have lunch with Kendall tomorrow. I have had plans to go but never made it so I am going to get there tomorrow. I look forward to meeting her teacher and her little friends. This week includes some doctor's appointments as well as parties ending with Memorial Day Weekend. How is it that this year seems to be flying by?

I finished the kindle book, Charlotte Collins, and I must say it was very good. And it was even better because it was free. Good work Jennifer Becton. You really captured the Jane Austen era. I had to finish up Charlotte Collins because my friend and fellow reader, Susan, called to ask if I would like to borrow Defending Jacob. That book has been the talk of our Book Club and everyone has given it high praise. So I am waiting on Susan to walk down the street to bring it to me. Isn't it grand when your friend lives up the street from you?  I also had a phone chat with friend, Deborah, who is just home from a trip out west. She and her husband asked their grandson to pick a place in the continental USA and they would take him on a trip. Grandson picked The Grand Canyon and it sounds as if they had a GRAND time. These sweet grandparents plan to do this for each of their three grandchildren. I asked if I could be adopted!!

And now it is time to finish up some chores, plan dinner and I hope to end the evening curled up with a good book.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It is always good to get something accomplished that you have been "thinking about doing" for a long time. Marvin and I have had two boxes of photographs etc that belonged to his parents and we were given the job of sorting them out and sharing them with the Grimm siblings. Last week we sorted the pictures into families and eras. Yesterday we scanned about half of them into our computer! What a job!! We still have a lot to do but just getting started on accomplishing this goal felt good. Of course today I am 'stuffy" from all the old dust I inhaled yesterday. At the end of the day, I sat down with my kindle last   to enjoy some reading. If you have a kindle, you should explore E reader and Pixel of Ink. Just google these sites and sign up for their daily email. These sites will direct you to Free Books for your kindle! Some that I have downloaded were stinkers and I deleted them right away but I have found some really good books as well. At the moment I am reading Charlotte Collins by Jennifer Becton. If you are a Jane Austen fan, you will recognize Charlotte Collins as the dear friend of Elizabeth Bennet Darcy. When it comes to books in the style of Pride and Prejudice, I just cannot resist trying them!! As this one is free on Kindle right now, I decided to download it  and so far so good!!  I guess I always had a soft spot for Charlotte as she married Reverend Collins because she knew the advantage of marriage in that society. She knew what she was doing but felt that the pluses outweighed the minuses in this situation. I will share that as the book opens, Reverend Collins is being born to his final resting place in the cemetery at his church. After seven years of marriage and the death of a child, Charlotte must find a new life for herself. I am looking forward to seeing what happens to Charlotte!  And now off to church. Have a blessed day friends.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Today is a day with nothing planned!! Oh how I love those kind of days. Marvin and I have been working on sorting photos that belonged to his parents. We are going to scan them then burn them to CDs for all the siblings. When that is done, we will divide the pictures up between all the brothers and sisters. It is a big job and one that we have been procrastinating on for some while now!! We have sorted the pictures into "eras" and now I need to decide which ones we will scan. Being the organized person(OCD some may say)I am, I have file folders ready to label so I can get on with this chore. I think Marvin and I got the job because I am the official genealogist in the family. It has been fun reading old letters, looking through cards that Marvin received when he was a child...they are antiques now! We have found a treasure trove of old Grimm pictures from the turn of the century. Some are in pristine condition because they were stored in the dark. Marvin says he never saw these pictures when he was growing up. I think Papa got a lot of the old family photographs because in German tradition, the youngest son inherits the family farm. As the Grimm farm was lost in the depression, Papa did not inherit property but he must have gotten all the family photographs. If Papa had inherited the farm he might never have made it to Savannah in WW2 to meet Mama G! It is interesting to look at how God uses all things for our good as we look back in our family history.

If you have a lot of old pictures in boxes, I would encourage you to go through and label all the photographs. Who is this person? Where was in made? In what year approximately. We have tossed some old snapshots because we have no clue who is pictured in them. You might also want to think about sharing some of your photos with your children. Give them the pictures now so you can share with them some of your history. Making photo albums for your adult children with your old photos might be a very good Christmas gift! I went through all my own photos several years ago and gave many to my kids. They were very appreciative of the photo albums featuring them from birth to adulthood. I also gave many photos to my nieces and nephews....I kept a few for myself but I knew I did not need every school picture from first grade. Again, they were so happy to get those photos. I have also made copies of some of our really old family pictures of great great grandparents and I gave those to my children to enjoy. My daughter in law, Katy, was amazed at all the old photos we have in our family. They are indeed a treasure. Recently a Tankersley cousin shared with me a picture of my great great great Grandmother. She was born in 1830 and this photograph was taken at the end of her life. It is so precious to me!!  So get out your old pictures, enjoy them and share them but most of all label them for posterity!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

I had a lovely birthday and I am continuing the celebration tonight as I go to dinner in Huntsville with my sweet husband. He is even going to walk around the Mall with me!! And for him, that is a sacrifice. :)  There is nothing like a Facebook many sweet greetings from friends and family. I feel very loved!  I had breakfast with my friend, Diane, this morning and she filled me in on the Dark Shadows movie. When I was a child, Dark Shadows was so scary In fact, my mother would not allow us to watch that show because it was about witches and vampires. But my Grandmother Henderson watched it every afternoon and if we were at her house, we got to watch Dark Shadows. The Scyfy channel did some reruns of the show years ago and I was surprised at how "tame" it seemed compared to my memories. Both Diane and I thought that the music and the scenery added to the atmosphere of the old tv show.  Diane said the movie was entertaining and she thought I would enjoy seeing it. I guess the older you get, the more you enjoy nostalgia. So I just might go and check it out this weekend. Other than that, no big plans for the weekend. In fact, I love a weekend that allows me to do whatever I choose. Chores await! Have a great day friends.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!! I am 57 years old today and proud of each and every year!! I found out that Debra Winger, Olga Korbut and I were all born on the same day and the same year. Other notable people born on May 17th include Henry Fonda, Liberace and Tori Spelling. (Ok maybe Tori is not so notable). I made myself a pretty chocolate cake and posted pictures on Facebook. Several people wanted the recipe so here it is!

Layer Cake from The Cake Doctor....

1 pkg of White Cake mix
1 cup whole milk
8 T butter (melted)
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9" cake pans.
Combine ingredients and beat on low speed one minute. Scrape down the sides and Beat two minutes more.
Divide into pans and bake 27-29 minutes or until done.
Cool in pan ten minutes before removing from pan. Cool 30 minutes or more before frosting the cake.

Chocolate Icing... Memphis Junior League Cookbook
1 stick of Butter(room temperature)
4 squares of unsweetened chocolate melted and cooled
4 cups of Confectioners Sugar
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 tsp vanilla

Beat butter til fluffy, add melted chocolate. Mix well. Add Confectioners Sugar gradually adding milk as needed. Beat until creamy. This recipe makes a generous bowl of icing for a two layer cake. ( You might need to add a little more milk than the recipe calls for...I know I did. Just add it by small amounts until the icing is creamy. And I might have used half and half instead of evaporated milk but who's telling???)

This is my go to recipe for a chocolate cake...the Cake Doctor's recipe for the layer cake makes it taste like a cake from scratch. I use this recipe for the layer cake of my Caramel cake as well. And this chocolate icing is so tasty and easy to spread!! Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yesterday I showed you what my sweet husband got me for my birthday and today I will show you what I got for myself!! About a month ago I saw this pretty  Vera Bradley duffle in the new summer color, Priscilla Pink. I just could not resist getting it so I decided it would be my birthday gift to me from me. I just love all things pink and girly. I took it to Embroid Me to have my monogram added. Embroid Me is a new business here in Decatur and it is much needed. We have had several speciality stores that provided monogramming but many have fallen by the wayside and the others are hard to deal with( the monogrammer is not here today come back tomorrow) so I was thrilled to find Embroid Me. They are there every day and so kind and helpful. When I explained I wanted a monogram, they pulled out the computer so I could choose a font then and they showed me how the monogram would look on my bag.  I was very pleased with that service as I have picked out fonts in the past that I have been less than satisfied with the final product.  And I must praise Vera Bradley as well. I love a nice leather purse but I find as I get older that by the time I load up my big leather purse, it is so hard to tote around. Vera Purses are so lightweight and they hold all I need without breaking my shoulder! The pretty prints just brighten up any outfit. I used to be a matchy matchy girl....but I got over that when I became a Vera Fan. I find that when I am carrying a Vera purse, it is a real conversation starter. Even at MOPs the other day, a fellow Vera Lover and I began comparing notes on our purses. Anna had received her purse as a bridesmaids gift. She said she almost squealed with delight as she opened her gift. I would have been excited too Anna. Basically I am a BAG LADY, I have met very few purses and bags that I did not like.  And I seem to have passed on that trait to my granddaughters as they like purses too!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This is my birthday week and I am celebrating all week long!!  Because my birthday and Mothers Day are so close together, I sometimes get a Big Gift for both special days. Marvin and I have been married long enough that he always asks me what I want! The first year we were married he made a major boo boo when he got me Down Pillows for the bed for my birthday gift! He told me "Well you said you loved Down Pillows!" Yes I did love down pillows but I did not want them for my birthday!!  I have to say in his defense that he was listening at least!! And over the years he has surprised me a few times with gifts that were unexpected and LOVED.( A Ray Ellis print for my 40th bd and Louisville Stoneware pieces for my 50th bd!)  So this year when he asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told him that I wanted some new chairs for my dining room table. I love antiques but the antique chairs that went with my table were so uncomfortable. I had replaced the seat covers last year but it just did not make them any more pleasant to sit in while dining.  I had been looking at decorating magazines and got the idea to use parson chairs as a replacement.  My dear friend, Susan, sent me an email last Sunday to tell me that Steinmart had a great sale on Parsons Chairs and they had several styles to choose from as well. So now I am the proud owner of six new chairs! I think they look great at the table and they are much more comfortable than the old ones. Son Charles had complained for years that the old chairs were awful and even he gave these chairs a thumbs up. I got two linen chairs to use when I have a full table but otherwise they are placed on either side of my buffet and I can pull them out to use in the living room when we have company.  I love to purchase things that make my home more comfortable for my family and guests. So I am a happy camper this week....Happy Birthday to Me.

Monday, May 14, 2012

I want to give a shout out to Sweet T Makes Three and you can find this neat blog on my blogroll. Jenn posted some great pictures from our last MOPS meeting. Love Love Love these ladies!!
I subscribe to Hoffman Distributors(Needlework Business) and every Friday they send out pictures of the latest cross stitch patterns for all of us cross stitch nuts. When I saw this sampler on Friday, I knew that I had to have it!! I started stitching when I was a little girl. My mother taught me to embroider then one of my Nursing school Friends taught me to do crewel work, which was all the rage in the 70s. When I was a newlywed, my friend, Rebekah, introduced me to Counted Cross Stitch and I never looked for another hobby. To this day, I love to sit down and cross stitch. The patterns now are much more elaborate than they were in the late 70s and early 80s. I have done some of the elaborate designs but my favorite patterns are samplers. I find that when I sit down and stitch, the world and its problems fade away. I begin to relax as I stitch with pretty DMC floss. Now days I work on linen and I have to use a magnifier to see those small stitches but I continue to stitch away. I have found that when I am facing problems in my own life, stitching helps me to calm down and think clearly. My sweet mother in law, Mama G, was a gifted crocheter and she told me that she had crocheted many of her cares and worries into the various pieces she produced. I can identify. As I look at some of my framed pieces of cross stitch, I can remember exactly what was going on as I stitched!! Right now I feel like the sea billows of life are rolling and I know that I need to remember whatever my lot, it is well with my soul! So when I finish the piece I am working on now, I see this sweet sampler in my future!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

 Happy Mothers Day to all the Moms, Mothers, Mamas and Mommys out there in Blogland! Here is a photograph of me with my three children. Charles, Amelia and Ben. Thanks to Katy for getting a snapshot of me with all my children and one picture of  the whole Grimm Bunch.(Actually we do not look too Grimm!! pardon the pun!)
We had a nice lunch yesterday and I received lovely gifts and cards from my family. As all moms know, just being with the children and grandchildren is the best gift!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Well except for the epic fail at cake baking yesterday, I had a really nice day! I am not sure why my "idea" did not work but it is a reminder that baking is basically chemistry and some things just do not work together. The chocolate version of the cake is still great so I will stick with that!

I started off yesterday by attending our last 2011-2012 MOPs meeting. The MOPs board did a great job at making us all feel pampered by hosting a Spa Day. It was fun to try new beauty products and receive a mini chair massage by our own sweet Ashby. I think I just might become a fan of massages!! There was also great food to munch on as we visited while checking out all the different spa stations. I was very touched to receive a beautiful cross to place in my home along with such sweet notes from the MOPs ladies. I know God placed me in this group this year...there is no doubt in my mind that HE knew I would need the love and support of these young women. It is just fun to be around younger ladies! They have so much enthusiasm and they long to be good mothers. They take their jobs very seriously! I am looking forward to being the Grandmother of Preschoolers again in the fall. In the meantime, our group has play dates planned so we can visit together during the summer months.

After MOPs I was off to the grocery store to get all the fixins for the Mothers Day lunch I will have with my own children later today. We are having Mexican Casserole, Guacamole, Rice and Salad. ( Nana will have to get some chicken nuggets for the grands...Mexican is not their favorite!) I decided to go with Gooey Butter Cake for dessert. It will be yummy with the strawberries and whipped cream I had planned for my cake. Gooey Butter Cake is also known in the South as Chess Bars. If you are a Paula Deen fan, you can find this recipe on her website along with a number of variations to the recipe. One is very rich!!

In the evening, Marvin and I watched the final episode of the Jeopardy Teen Tournament. Three very smart young ladies competed to be the winner and we were happy to see all three take home money for their college educations. After that we watched GRIMM...I must say it is a very entertaining program but kind of scary too! So all in all a good day in Nanaland. I am looking forward to time with the kiddos today..hopefully I will have some pictures to share tomorrow!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Major Fail!

Well I just took my pretty vanilla version of the cake out of the oven and after sitting in the pan to cool, it fell into a mushy mess. So I guess only the chocolate version works!! Looks like  I will have to make a real pound cake for tomorrow!!
I am always looking for new recipes to try and I found a cake that is a KEEPER! We receive a monthly magazine from Alfa Insurance and while I seldom read it all the way through, I quickly turn to the back of the magazine where the "cook" of the month is featured in an article. It is usually a farmer's wife who has been cooking for years and she shares her favorite recipes. Last month there was a recipe for a simple cake that sounded so good I knew I had to try it. Our Sunday School Class enjoys a little snack with coffee each Sunday before we begin our lesson and I thought I would make this cake to take and share with the group. It was so good and so easy...sorry I do not have any pictures of it to post but trust me, it was a pretty cake as well as a tasty cake.

Chris's Easy Cake
1 box Butter cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 small box instant chocolate pudding( I used Jello Chocolate Fudge)
1 T vanilla
4 eggs
1/4 c. water
1 8 oz sour cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and lightly flour a bundt pan( I use Bakers Joy Spray as it is much easier!) Mix cake mix, oil, pudding, vanilla, eggs and water with electric mixer until smooth and well  blended.STIR in sour cream and chocolate chips by hand. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour or until done. Cool in pan for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar before serving if desired.

I skipped the powdered sugar and it was fine just by itself.  It is a really moist cake and if you like chocolate I think you will enjoy it. I always follow the recipe to a T the first time I try a new dish but I like to experiment with some of them on the second time around. I am going to try this with vanilla pudding and white chocolate chips for our Mothers Day lunch here at my house tomorrow. I plan to serve it with Whipped Cream and Strawberries. I will let you know if it is a thumbs up or thumbs down!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Well after taking a blog break, I have decided to rejoin blogdom! I realized that I missed sharing my life with all my friends and family. And I just enjoy writing!

I have changed my blog name to Nanaland as being a Nana is the most important calling I have in this season of life. Kendall, Landon, Margaret and Baylor are pure joy to me and to Grandpa! Kendall is now six and is finishing up Kindergarten. She loves crafts, making up games and playing on the computer. Landon is three and Thomas the Tank Engine is his favorite toy. Grandpa recently got out his boyhood train and he and Landon have such a good time playing trains. Soon Baylor will be able to join in the fun as well. Margaret is two and what a whirlwind of activity she is! She loves her "Bubba"(Landon) and she loves to talk. The David books are still the books that Margaret and Bubba ask me to read over and over again!! Baylor is one year old now and cruises but has yet to let go and walk. I am sure that will come one day soon. He is a sweetheart with a smile that lights up the room.

On the Grimm family front, there have been some changes. Ben and Katy are moving to Birmingham in June. While it is just an hour and 20 minutes from Decatur, it will be a big adjustment for all of us. Grandpa and I are glad that gas prices are going down as we will be burning up the road to Bham. Amelia is now a single mom and working part time. Nick's mom, Debbie and I keep the children. We are glad that we have a good relationship with Nick and his family. Charles and Nancy continue to work and play hard. They have planted a garden this year and we hope they will share some of its bounty with us.

I am finishing up my year as a Grandmother of Preschoolers at our MOPs group at First Bible Church. I have enjoyed it so much and I look forward to returning as a GOP in the fall.  Our Library Book Group at the Decatur Public Library is another activity I look forward to each month. These ladies and gentlemen are dedicated readers and I love being a part of that group. Many of us will be attending a fundraising luncheon in June on behalf of our public library. Author, Mary Kay Andrews, will be the speaker and I am looking forward to hearing what she has to share with us!

So now that I am BACK, I plan to share some of the projects I have done around the house in the last six months. Sharing them on Facebook is just not the same!!  I have some new recipes and some books to recommend too!  Thanks for visiting with me!!!