Saturday, June 30, 2012

Nothing much to report today...the heat continues to be the main topic of conversation here in north Alabama. The high yesterday was is supposed to be hotter today!

Kendall finished her first week of swim lessons and she did much better yesterday. She could swim if she did not stop to think about it!! We have two more one hour lessons and if we cannot master it in that amount of time, then another two weeks of lessons once we get home from vacation. If you would, please say a prayer for her to master this skill. It is so important to learn to swim and I know it will make her feel better about herself! She has a two year old cousin who is already swimming and that gets her goat!

Another busy week ahead...swim lessons on Monday, daughter Amelia's 32nd birthday on Monday as well. Tuesday I am having some friends over to watch the movie, The Bad Seed. We have all read Defending Jacob and I want my fellow readers to see that the author of that book ripped  off the 1956 book, The Bad Seed.  The movie stars Patty McCormack as the evil child, Rhoda Penmark.  And let me just say, she was wonderful in that role!!! Some of the other acting was a bit heavy handed but it was a popular movie in its time. I was able to order the movie from Amazon for 4.95!!:) Popcorn and Coke will be served!  Wednesday is the 4th and we will be grilling ribs! ( Hopefully the temps will be more moderate by then...some rain may be in the forecast). Thursday is my regular Friend Day then Friday our last swim lesson and grocery day. But at the end of next week, we will start the countdown for our Tybee Island Vacay!!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend....

Friday, June 29, 2012

 Thursdays are my day to get out and about so after lunch with my friends, I had to stop in at TJ Maxx and Books a Million. Fortunately two of my favorite stores are right next door to each other. And really I should not have gone to BAM since I have a stack of books on my beside table....oh well. I will never be without something to read. Both Marvin and I LOVE books and in spite of owning Kindles, we had to have more bookcases built upstairs to store our stash!  If you like cozy mysteries...Ann Purser is writing a great new series about an elderly detective service, Enquire Within. I have read the first two books in the series and just found The Wild Wook Enquiry yesterday. The mystery, Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay, sounded like a good one and when I took it off the shelf to look at it, the cover pulled me in right away. It is about a librarian....knew I had to give it a chance.  I will review them both once I get them read!  I am still reading The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigani. It was recommended by my friend, Deborah. Ms Trigani has the gift of storytelling. As I read her book, it is like a movie is playing in my mind.( Another one of the things I like about reading a good book.) The book begins in the Italian Alps....of course I have never been there but traveling by armchair is quite a nice mode of transportation and no hassles.:) Ms Trigani also wrote for the Bill Cosby show, one of my favorite 80s sitcoms. Look for her novels at your public library!
When I got home I had a mailbox full of JUNK except for one pretty envelope which contained a handmade  card wishing me a Happy Fourth!  I LOVE receiving cards and a handmade card is even more special! Thanks to my sweet blog friend who took the time to make it, write me a note and put it in the mail. She has encouraged me to be more intentional in sending snail mail to my friends. You can see how cute the card looks perched next to my AMERICA plaque on my kitchen hutch.  And yes, I like to decorate for all holidays!! I do not own as many Summer decorations as Fall, Winter and Spring decorations so maybe I can pick up some more at Hobby Lobby. Right now they have all their Fourth of July things on sale. I imagine that Hobby Lobby will have all their Fall Decor on the shelves soon. And I must admit I love all the fall colors and the reminder that these hot temps will be ending in the fall.

If you live in the South you know it is HOT...107 is predicted for today. Please be sure and take care to check on your elderly friends during this time. I can never remember it being this hot even in July or August. Stay Cool!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I was out for my walk at 5:40 am and it is not hot but not as cool as it has been on other mornings this week. We should reach 99 degrees today and 104 tomorrow. I am praying God will intervene and send us a shower to cool things down. I am grateful for an air conditioned home where I am able to ride out these sizzling temps but I realize others do not have that luxury.

Kendall had her second swim lesson yesterday and she did much better. She is learning to trust that Miss Anita is not going to let her go under! Another prayer request is that Kendall will learn to swim before her lessons are over next week.

On the agenda for today...lunch with my besties at Panera. We have not eaten there in quite a while. We would like to try the new Olive Garden some day soon but it just opened on the 19th and the place is STILL covered up at lunchtime. In fact, it seems people like to eat there all day long.:) And I have not made a TJMaxx run in a while so I hope to have time to stroll the aisles there. I am trying to stock up on things we will need at the beach so off to Publix for some of their great two for one deals. Kendall and Landon and I are counting down the days until we go to the BEACH. Every day Bubba tells me that he wants to go to the beach. I am hoping it lives up to his expectations.

Well time to get busy...on the days I do not have the grands, I try to catch up on my housework!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Well after a yummy breakfast with Lori, I was off to get my hair done. It is always a treat to have someone else, wash, trim and style your hair. I go to Kama Salon and Day Spa in Hartselle. It is such a nice salon...friendly staff and lovely atmosphere. From there I stopped at Dari Delight and picked up two chicken finget snacks and headed to my friend, Deborah's, house. She lives in Falkville, Alabama on a small farm and she has the best back porch ever. It has a great big swing, rocking chairs and ceiling fans. We spent some quality time visiting and eating. Back home,  I did some chores before Landon and Kendall arrived to spend the night with us. Another swim lesson is on the agenda for this morning.

If you will check my blog roll, you will see a new blog I came upon thanks to Rhoda at Southern Hospitality. It is Dixie Delights...written by a Savannah native. Whenever people hear that Marvin is from Savannah they always want us to tell them some things to do while visiting the city. Well today Miss Dixie Delights shares her thoughts on visiting her hometown. I must say that my husband, Marvin, grew up in a modest Savannah home and as he puts it, "Before Historic Preservation, Savannah was not the pretty city it is today." After THE BOOK(Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) Savannah became an overnight sensation. Now Tybee Island is seeing an influx of tourists thanks to the movie, The Last Song. I thought I would take the time this morning to tell you what we like about Savannah. ( And our list will appeal to the budget minded tourists).

Ok, our favorite family restaurant in Savannah is Carey Hilliards. They have the BEST fried shrimp plate in Savannah. And if you have small children who are picky eaters, Hilliards has a menu that will satisfy all tastes. If you want a moderately priced fancy evening....The Crystal Beer Parlor is a good choice. My husband loves their scallops!  Our favorite breakfast spot is Sunny Side up...yummy breakfasts at a good price. And you cannot beat Krispy Kreme on Skidaway Road when the HOT sign is on!!  One of our favorite things to do is driving down Washington Avenue and around Ardsley Park. We just like looking at all the pretty homes and it is free except for gas!! There are many places to walk and "look" downtown but I must say that Parking can be a pain so be prepared. We are fortunate that our sister, Mina, has a family business on Whitaker Street and she and the Smiths(Smith Beauty and Barber Supply) allow us to park there if we need to do so.  River Street is nice but after you have seen it once, that is enough in my opinion. Although the pralines at Savannah Sweets are delish! City Market is another nice place to meander..we love the Ray Ellis gallery and have several of his prints in our home. Now, I am probably going to cause some people to get mad but forget Paula Deene's and go to Mrs Wilkes. The last I heard, Mrs Wilkes children and  grandchildren had taken over her Boardinghouse Restaurant.  It is located on Jones Street. They do NO ADVERTISING except word of mouth. You will see a line forming around lunchtime. Mrs Wilkes serves a large country cooking lunch, served around big tables boarding house style. You eat with whoever is next to you in line!!  Long ago when I was first married, I remember going there for lunch. Mrs Wilkes even came out and prayed before the meal was served. Be sure and check to see if they are still open....after the death of Mrs Wilkes, the restaurant was closed for a while. Leopold's Ice Cream Shop is another must to visit while you are walking around downtown. And if you are not used to heat and humidity, you will need some ice cream!  One of my favorite places in Savannah is Byrd Cookie Company. Lots of samples and a good place to buy gifts as well.  Just remember they are closed on Saturday! We love Tybee Island. It has changed a good bit in the 36 years I have been going there. When we were first married, there was NOTHING down there. A few small Mom and Pop hotels, Sugar Shack and an Arbys. It is still not as developed as many beaches are these days and I think that is a great part of its charm. Again, thanks to Mina and the Smiths, we were able to stay at their beach house which is part of the old Ft Screven.  Nowdays we rent out own place to stay and this year we are staying at a nice house on the Northern part of Tybee. We are not South Beach people. We like the peace and quiet of the north beach.  There are quite a few restaurants and shops at Tybee now and we are looking forward to a week visiting family!  If you have never visited Savannah, give it a try!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We made it through our swimming lesson without too much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth! Miss Anita is a very calm and patient lady. You can tell she has been doing this for years as nothing rattles her and she knows all the tricks to getting little ones to cooperate.  I never learned to swim as a child and I was determined all my children would know how to swim and now, the grands need to learn as well. It is a valuable life skill.  If Kendall learns, then it will be Bubba's turn. If Kendall doesn't learn, then two more weeks of lessons for her after vacation.

We enjoyed a delicious meal at Charles and Nancy's home. Halmuni made one of my favorite dishes, slivers of lightly fried cod fish. We also had a very flavorful beef and it has a name but the Korean word escapes me at the moment. Halmuni has enjoyed her time in Alabama and is headed back to Connecticut today. Charles was glad to have her with them as Halmuni helped him keep his garden weeded. She is just a delightful lady and although she does not speak English, you can tell that she has a very sweet, Christlike spirit.

And this morning I am hosting my friend, Lori, for breakfast. Sausage and Biscuits along with Orange Mandarin Salad is on the menu. Lori and I have been friends for years but she teaches at Cornerstone Christian School so we try to make the most of the time she has off in the summer. There is a nothing like a friend who knows all your "history" and prays for you and your family. I am blessed that Lori is that kind of friend. We also enjoy talking "decorating" of us always has a project going on.

Today we will be trying to keep cool here. The hot weather that has been plaguing other parts of the US has arrived in Alabama. We were expecting 100 degree temps all week but a cold front may come in and give us relief(temps in the lower 90s!). So far the humidity here has not been bad and as all true Southerners avow, "Its NOT the Heat, its the HUMIDITY that makes it miserable in the summertime." Stay cool friends...wherever you may live!

Monday, June 25, 2012

 We had a GRAND time in Birmingham yesterday! We sure do miss Margaret and Baylor even though they are only about an hour or so away! Here is Grandpa on the floor with Miss M. Believe me, at our age that is a sign of Grandpa's love!!
 "Come on Grandpa!"
 We had lunch with Grandpa's sister, Mina, and Gloria. Gloria is on the left in this picture. The Martins lived just around the corner from the Grimms in Savannah and Mina and Gloria have been friends since they were little girls. Mama G and Viola, Gloria's mom, were childhood friends also!  Gloria lives in Birmingham but plans to move back to Savannah when she retires.  Margaret kept calling Gloria, "Miss Glory". I thought that was so cute.
And here is Dad with Baylor and Margaret. An armload of love for sure!

Another big week ahead for Nana and Grandpa. We are looking forward to having dinner with Charles, Nancy and Halmuni( Nancy's grandmother) tonight at the Grimm home in Harvest, Alabama. Halmuni will be flying back to Connecticut tomorrow. And Kendall starts her second round of swim lessons this week. Please pray that she will learn to swim...she is so nervous about it. We are doing private lessons this week and next week.  I know it will be a big accomplishment for her when she masters swimming.  And the HOT weather has finally arrived in Alabama, there are rumors of 101 degree temps by the end of the week!! The Beach is looking better and better!!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I totally agree with this Pin from Pinterest!! So I promised you a list of books that were suggested as winners by my group group. I must say that I have not read these so I cannot totally endorse them but I plan to look for them at the library and give them a try!

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty....recommended by our children's librarian.
Southern Charm by Tinsley Mortimer
The Midwive's Confession by Diane Chamberlain
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
Naughty in Nice by Rhys Bowen
Caleb's Crossing by J Brooks...this was recommended by one of our male members. It is the story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and this was back in the 1600s. It is a fictionalized account of a historic moment. This one is at the top of my list of books to look for!
1000 Gifts by Ann Boschamp
All the Pretty Girls by J T Ellison
Bombshells by Teresa Elliot Brown
November 22, 1963 by Stephen King....another one I would like to read.
The Last Love Letter from You by Jo Jo Moyes
And be on the lookout for The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton which will be released soon. I LOVE her books...she really knows how to tell a story.

Our group is pretty diverse and I have been challenged to read some books that I would have never chosen myself. One of these books is The Elegance of the Hedgehog and what a wonderful book it is! Support your local library...check out books and spend the summer reading!

Friday, June 22, 2012

 I want to share some pictures from nephew Will's graduation from officer training school.  He is now a second Lieutenant in the United States Army. Marvin said it was a very nice ceremony and lots of friends and family were in attendance to honor Will.
 Mom, Barbara, Brother, Douglas and Dad, William with the graduate. Will's other siblings, Maggie and Caleb were unable to attend as they are serving as camp counselors in Pennsylvania.
Uncle Marvin, Aunt Mina, Will and William.  It was a long day but Marvin was so glad that he was able to go to the ceremony. While Mina was traveling, she decided to visit an old friend in Birmingham so we will get to have lunch with Ben, Katy, Margaret, Baylor and Mina on Sunday.

And in other good news, Lanier's mom, Dottie, was moved to rehab yesterday. Hopefully after two weeks of therapy, she will regain some strength in her arms and legs. She wants to be able to hold her great granddaughter and namesake when she arrives in two weeks or so! Our niece, Sarah, is expecting a daughter who will be Dorothy Sykes Curry and will be called Dottie. That is a nice old fashioned name that you do not hear very often.

I had a good day yesterday...much was accomplished. I got lots of book recommendations at Book Group and I will share those with you tomorrow. Today I have Kendall and Landon and we are going shopping for some bathing suits to take to the beach. I want to get  matching suits for Kendall and Margaret and a set of matching suits for Landon and Baylor too. It seems that around July 4th, summer things are on the way out and fall things are already in the stores so we need to get bathing suits quick!! Also Kendall is taking some private swim lessons and she needs a one piece suit for swim school.
Have a great day friends!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When I was growing up the motto at our house was "If nothing happens" as in " If nothing happens we will go on a picnic on Saturday" or "If nothing happens we will go to town tomorrow". Maybe it was our ScotchIrish background but nothing was considered definite at our house. We knew that if God had other plans, then His Plans superseded our own.  I was looking forward to seeing my brother in law and sister in law last night as they were going to spend the night with us. Their oldest son, Lee Jr, just finished his residency at UAB and Lee and Lanier had planned to attend a dinner in honor of all the young doctors who had completed their work at UAB. Well, only Daddy Lee got to attend the dinner as Lanier was at home with her sweet mother, who had a stroke early this week. It was just another reminder to me that none of us know what the day may hold for us. Lee decided he would drive to the dinner, then once it was over he would drive back home to Memphis. As Lee and Lanier were not visiting us, my Dear Hubs decided that he would take the day off and attend our nephew's graduation marking an end to his officer training school in the Army. So as I type this, Marvin is on the road to Columbus, Ga. Nephew Will is the first Grimm to join the service since Papa G served in WW2. Will was assigned to Artillery so we are hoping he might spend some time at nearby Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. It is amazing to think that just "yesterday" all these kiddos were little they are going out into the world to do big things. Brings a tear to an aunts eye! I would have gone with Marvin but I have several things going on here at home and since I have the curse of the competent, I did not feel I could put them off. At nine I will attend our planning meeting for next years MOPs group. What a lovely group of young women I work with at MOPs. They have enriched my life so much in the last year. They make me feel young again!! Then at noon, I will help serve lunch to some amazing young people who serve as volunteers at the Neighborhood Christian Center. And at one, I have my book group meeting, which is always one of the highlights of my month.  So a busy day here in Alabama. If you would, pray for Miss Dottie, Lanier's mom. She is a very spirited octogenarian and will work hard to overcome the effects of this stroke. Also pray for traveling mercies for all my family members who are on the road today!  I am thankful for praying blog friends!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

 I really enjoyed hearing Mary Kay Andrews speak at the Library Benefit Luncheon yesterday. She is a lady who I think I would like to live next door to so we could sit and sip Sweet Tea and talk about books and our grandchildren. First, I must say that Ms Andrews is a beautiful lady. She shared with us that she recently lost 55 pounds. She visited a nutritionist and began implementing some healthier eating habits. My hat is off to her, as we get older it sure is hard to shed any pounds!!
My friend, Donna, took the picture of Mary Kay speaking to our group and the  picture on the bottom  is an older publicity photo. You can see that she is a pretty lady. My first introduction to Mary Kay Andrews writing was in the form of her mysteries, written under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trochek. She wrote a series of mysteries featuring Callahan Garrity and her band of cleaning women who also solved mysteries. They were just right...funny without being too cutesy! And they were set in Atlanta so I recognized lots of the places in the novels. Then I heard that this favorite author of mine was writing chic lit and  she had changed her name. She explained that change to us yesterday...she was moving in a different direction with her writing and her publisher felt a new name was in order. She took her pen name from the names of her own children, Mary Kay for daughter Mary Kathleen and Andrews from her son, Andrew. Mary Kay also shared how she comes up with some of her ideas for novels...her newest effort came to her in a dream. She had a dream that she was sitting behind a pretty young woman at church. When she asked the woman what she was doing at church, she answered that she was there to see her ex husband get married. I will not give away any more of the book, Spring Fever but I can assure  you it is an interesting book on several levels. I just started my SIGNED copy last night and it is good! My other favorite MK Andrews book is The Fixer Upper...all her novels are great books to read while on vacation. They are light, fun reads.

Our group also learned that MK likes "junkin" and she has a booth at the Seaside Sisters on Tybee Island, Ga. One of MK's goals with her writing was to earn enough money to buy a beach house. She owns the Breeze Inn on Tybee so if you would like to take a gander at her retro beach house, google it! We will be in Tybee in about three weeks so I have a visit to Seaside Sisters on my list of things to do while we are there!

And if you like mysteries, the Callahan Garrity series will be re released in the fall. I am looking forward to reading these books again as it has been some time since I first read them.

All in all a day I will fondly remember and the money raised went to help our library. I am a big fan of the public libraries. They really provide a wonderful service to the community. Books have been a big part of my life. I cannot imagine laying down in my bed at night to go to sleep without reading a few pages of a book that is on my bedside table. We all need to support our Libraries!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I am so thankful for old fashioned Doctors!! Yesterday I took Bubba for his regular checkup at the pediatrician's office. We love Dr M. He is nearing retirement, and could already be retired if he wanted to be I guess but he keeps on going. I do think he is just seeing his old patients and is not taking new ones because we were the first appointment and we were not there until ten am. Bubba is our shy child and I was a bit worried about the possibility of a Hissy Fit (that is how we describe temper tantrums down South!) But Dr M was so sweet with him. He chatted with me for a bit then he talked to big Sister, Kendall before focusing on Bubba and that was the perfect way to handle our little fellow. Dr M would let Kendall demonstrate( checked her ears, eyes etc) then he would let Bubba do the same thing. There was not a peep out of Bubba but lots of giggles when Dr M told him he saw Peanut Butter in his ears!! Dr M told me that Bubba is doing great and I was glad to hear it. I had bribed the children with the possibility of a Chic FilA lunch if they were sweet at the doctors office so I had to pay up!! I have to say that Kendall is just a model of fine manners lately. She is always careful to answer, Yes Ma'am and Yes Sir as well as Please and Thank You. That warms a nana's heart. Bubba is coming along too...his favorite phrase is "May I please see your I Pad?" I am enjoying this time with these little ones...before I know it, they will be teenagers. And Grandpa and I are looking forward to a trip to Birmingham on Sunday to see Margaret and Baylor!! We sure do miss those two!! Another busy day today as I have my Library Luncheon!! Looking forward to spending some time with one of my favorite authors! Life is Good.

Monday, June 18, 2012

I took the day off from blogging yesterday. We had a quiet Fathers Day here at home. Marvin received several text greetings and he enjoyed eating some more of his Banana Pudding. I called my Daddy and chatted with him. Then both Marvin and I enjoyed a nap!! One of the best things about Sunday afternoon is naptime.

I am gearing up for a busy week. Today I will take Bubba to the pediatrician for his yearly check up. I am hoping that we will not have a long wait! If the kiddos are good we will get a Happy Meal for lunch.   Tuesday is our Library Benefit lunch featuring Mary Kay Andrews.  Wednesday, Lee and Lanier are stopping to spend the night with us. On Thursday, our Sunday School Class is doing a lunch for some young people at the Neighborhood Christian Center and I will be helping there, followed by my monthly book group at the library. Then TGIF...another Friday. It seems the weeks are speeding by as usual.  And somewhere in the midst of the busy ness, I have to find time to do all my regular chores. I am thankful that I am able to be so busy, it is really a blessing that many do not know!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another beautiful morning here in Alabama. We are having a cookout for Dad today. I did most of the prep yesterday. I do have a bit of cleaning today this morning as well as getting a few "happies" together. Grandmother Kim will be coming with Charles and Nancy. She is visiting from Connecticut. Charles says she has enjoyed their new home and has been working in the garden that Charles and Nancy have planted. I always like to show a little Southern Hospitality to visitors. I also got a little something for Charles and Nancy for their home. Amelia will be joining us too but Kendall and Landon will be spending Fathers Day weekend with their daddy. Ben and Katy are not able to make it up from Birmingham so no grands here today.:( But we will have a good time eating and visiting. On the menu for today is Grilled Pork Loin, Grilled Conecuh Sausage( a fine Alabama product), mac and cheese, Oriental salad, Fruit Salad, Baked Beans and Rolls. For dessert...Dad's favorite, Banana Pudding and a Chocolate Cheesecake for the chocolate lovers. Back to dieting next week!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Ok, I admit it I am a Nerd of my favorite tv shows is about Physicists and I own it! My hubs is a physicist and several people could hardly wait to tell us about The Big Bang Theory tv show when it came on four or five years ago. I have to admit that there are some aspects of the show that I do not like but when it is just the scientists hanging out together I really enjoy the dialogue. Sheldon Cooper is the character that we all find fascinating. He is a super smart guy who has no idea how to function in society. Yet he has endearing quirks and one of them is his love of the song, Soft Kitty.
Soft Kitty Warm Kitty
Little Ball of Fur
Happy Kitty Sleepy Kitty
Purr Purr Purr

His mother sang this little ditty to Sheldon whenever he was sick and as an adult, he still wants to hear this song when he is ailing!  Sheldon, to everyone's surprise, now has a girlfriend named Amy Farrah Fowler, played by Mayim Bialik. You may remember Mayim as "Blossom" from that 90s tv show. Sheldon and Amy remind me of some nerd couples I have known over the years, proving that birds of a feather flock together!

I once worked as a nurse at Oak Ridge Hospital(Oak Ridge Tennessee, home of the Manhattan Project) and I had the opportunity to care for many scientists while I was employed on there. Believe me, these super smart people are a breed apart.  One thing I have noted is that most of them have a dry sense of humor which can catch you off guard!  My own dear hubs has that gift and I love subtle smart humor.  So if you have a free Thursday evening, you might want to check out this show and find out if science humor is your cup of tea!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

 Just had to share some pictures of the Birmingham crew made it back to Decatur on Monday and fun was had by all!! Here is Bubba. He does not like to have his picture made but this one is one of the best I have ever gotten of my shy boy.
 The Girlies....They were not being too cooperative so I had to just snap away and hope for the best!
 Best Buds...Landon and Margaret.
 Our Baylor that sweet smile.
 My big girl and helper, Kendall Elizabeth.
 Jumpin!! These two love to jump. And I had to smile when I saw Baylor sitting in the background, calmly looking at a book while all the activity was going on.
Time to read...I love being a Nana!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I was so glad to be able to share a pan of lasagna with my friend, Diane, who had surgery last week. While I was cooking, I made two pans, one for the Wileys and one for us. My pan of lasagna will be our supper this evening. The Wileys posted on Facebook that they enjoyed it and wanted the recipe. Another Georgia Friend chimed in asking me to post my recipe so I told them I would post it on my blog.  

This is a really easy lasagna recipe and I must admit I "stole" it from my sis in law, Barbara. When I asked her for the recipe, she told me it was on the Muellers Lasagna Noodles box!! So much for secret recipes but when something works, it works!! There are several good points about this lasagna, it does not require much meat. If you are entertaining on a limited budget this is a great dish to serve. boiling lasagna noodles and dealing with all the mess and torn noodles. The noodles go in uncooked and bake in the sauce! Three, even the pickiest of eaters likes pasta. So this makes it great to take to a family with young children.

So here it is!  

Best Lasagna
1/2 # ground beef
1 large onion...chopped
2 cloves garlic...minced
2 13 0z cans of tomato sauce( I use the 15 oz and add only 1/2 cup water)
1 c water or tomato juice
1 tsp basil
15 oz tub of ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt( I leave this out as ricotta is pretty salty)
1/4 tsp pepper
9 to 10 UNCOOKED lasagna noodles
2 c Mozzarella cheese...grated
1 c  Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cook meat until lightly browned...add onion and garlic. Continue cooking for three minutes( I brown it in a large dutch oven) Add tomato sauce, water/juice and basil. Bring to a boil then turn on low and simmer for five minutes.
Combine ricotta, egg , salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside. 
In a 13 by 9 dish...layer 1 1/2 cups of sauce, half of the lasagna noodles and all the ricotta. Sprinkle one cup of Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese on top of ricotta. Add 2 cups of sauce to the top of the cheese layer. Add another layer of noodles. Top with remaining sauce, 1 cup Mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. 
Cover tightly with foil...Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before serving. 

You can also make this ahead...earlier in the day or the day before and store in fridge. Just let it come to room temperature before baking. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

 I know that many of my favorite bloggers enjoy "paper" as much as I do. We also share a love of the written word as well as a love of writing. So you will not be surprised that I am trying to pass on my love of writing to granddaughter, Kendall.  Kendall learned to "journal" at school last year  and I thought it would be a good idea to make  journals so that she and I can write down some of our thoughts. And it will give Kendall a chance to practice her handwriting over the summer vacation. I purchased these simple notebooks at Staples. We sat down yesterday with scrapbook paper, stickers and glue to decorate our notebooks. Kendall preferred to keep hers simple while I covered the front of my journal with scrapbook paper. Sometimes I can get a bit OCD doing crafts with Kendall so I told her that she could do whatever she wanted to her notebook and Nana would only help as needed!
Here is my girl with our journals. We were laughing as we took pictures because Kendall's eyes always crinkle up when she smiles. I told her to close her eyes and on my count of three, open eyes wide and smile. Well here is the result. Big eyes, little smile. We are looking forward to writing in our journals. We may draw a few pictures in them as well.

Speaking of Paper...when was the last time you got a real letter in the mail? I get lots of emails and facebook messages but very few written missives. Yesterday when I opened my mailbox I found a REAL letter from a dear blog friend. I could hardly wait to open it...even the envelope was decorated!! My friend shared with me that one of her goals was to return to letter writing. She has encouraged me to think of doing the same thing. I am always purchasing stationery so now I will try to be more intentional in USING it!!  Letter writers of the world UNITE!:)

Monday, June 11, 2012

 Since Fathers Day is coming up this weekend, I thought I would post some old pictures of me and my Daddy. This is the one that I chose as my profile picture on Facebook this week.  I think it was taken when I was an only child! I look rather dazed but I love the picture anyway.
 And here is one with me and Daddy and Kristi...It is on our front porch. You can see the swing in the background. It reminds me of how our house has changed over the years. My parents still live in the house where they brought me home from the hospital after I was born. Not many people can say that in our mobile society!
And one last picture of Daddy, me and my two younger sisters, Kristi and Leta. We were dressed to go to church when Mother snapped this one.

I am planning a lunch for Marvin on Saturday so he can spend the day with his kids. And some pictures will be made to mark the day. On Sunday I will call my Daddy to wish him a Happy Fathers Day. I will also remember my other "fathers' who are in Heaven, Papa Swanson, Granddaddy T, Grandad H, and Papa G, Marvin's father. I was blessed with many fine men in my life!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I thought I would share this picture of my three "babies" this morning as I am feeling rather sentimental. Yesterday I attended a baby shower for a young woman I have known since she was a little girl. Sometimes it is hard for me to believe that all these younguns (as we say here in the South) are growing up and starting their own families. My young friend, Dana, and her husband have decided that they do not want to know the sex of their baby and would rather be surprised when he or she is born! Frankly, I do not know if I would have the will power to hold out!! When I had my babies, that decision was not open to me and we were surprised each time.  Dana's nursery will be done in a Noah's Ark theme that is appropriate for a boy or a girl. Everyone had a good time at the shower...lots of good food and fellowship!  Dana's sis in law, Lauren, came up with a cute shower game. She called out an animal and you had to say what that animal's baby was called...for is a joey.  We had fun and learned some new information to file away. And of course all of us Older Moms were amazed at all the great new gadgets that are available to modern mommies. My gift to Dana was something I had never seen before but it is a great idea. I got her two Swaddling blankets that have velcro closures so you can wrap baby up snuggly for sleepytime. As a nurse, I learned to Swaddle babies but some of the stronger babies can wiggle themselves out in no time...velcro might just be the answer. Dana told me that several of her friends highly recommended that type of blanket as it promotes a more restful sleep for baby. I think that babies like to be swaddled because it reminds them of the close quarters they lived in before arriving at their new home.:)  I am looking forward to finding out if Dana will have a son or a daughter. I am also waiting for a new grand niece in July. Her name will be Dorothy as she is named after her great grandmother but she will be called Dottie, a nice old fashioned name! And in August we will have a new grand nephew but the parents are not going to tell us his name until he arrives! So different strokes for different folks...that is what makes life so interesting.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

 Marvin and I just received some new t shirts in the mail the other day. My sweet sister, Leta, mailed these to us. We had purchased these in honor of a good friend of ours who is fighting Leukemia.  Floyd "Perk" Welch is one of my Daddy's best friends.  I have known him since I was a little girl. He has always been a horse lover and rode horses in horse shows as well as "driving" a horse drawn wagon in my home town's annual Wagon Train. I did not know his given name was Floyd until I was a teenager. Everyone called him Perk. Apparently he got this name as a little boy. He was playing cowboy and his mama asked him what his name was and "Perk" was  his answer. So he has been a cowboy at heart for a long time!
Perk was diagnosed with Leukemia about three years ago and he has gone through treatment that has been hard on an 80 year old man. But he is one tough cowboy and continues to fight this disease. Because of his active membership in the local Saddle Club, the members are getting behind him to raise support for a cure. These t shirts are one way that Marvin and I can support our dear friend since neither of us would make it on a trail ride.:)  So here is to our Cowboy Perk....we are so thankful for his friendship to us over the years.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Swim Lessons! Kendall is standing by the side of the pool and practicing her bobbing. She has a love hate relationship with swim lessons. She enjoys going but does not like putting her face under the water. Kendall is her mother's daughter, Amelia hated that as a child and is still not too fond of it today.  I am hoping that she learns to love swimming! One more week to go!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

 Seven Up Biscuits....that just sounded too interesting to pass up as I was browsing on Pinterest. I pinned this recipe to my Breads Board and decided to try it one day. A Breakfast Supper was on the menu at our house this evening so I decided it was a good time to experiment.

Seven Up Biscuits
2 c. Bisquick
1/2 c sour cream
1/2 c Seven Up
3 T butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While oven is heating up, put butter in baking pan to melt. I always use my iron skillet to make biscuits. In a bowl  mix Bisquick and sour cream...stir until crumbly. Add Seven Up( I substituted Sprite as I had that on hand.) Stir until dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Turn onto a floured surface and knead gently...never over work biscuit dough or you will have tough biscuits! I just use my hands to pat the dough into a circle, then I cut out the biscuits with a biscuit cutter. Place biscuits in pan and bake for 20 minutes.
 Here is my Before....
And here is the After! My sweet husband told me that my own homemade biscuits were better. But these were quite tasty and a great recipe for a beginning biscuit maker! Thanks for sharing this recipe Pinterest Pinners!
June 6, 1944....D day in Normandy, France. 180,000 Allied Forces descended on France to fight  Nazi Germany. Five thousand ships and 13,000 aircraft gave support to the troops as they descended on the beach. 9000 men were killed or wounded that day but 100.000 men began the march across Europe  that would defeat Hitler.(thanks to the US Army website for this information!). My father in law arrived on the shores of Normandy 12 days after the initial invasion.  He spoke of the joy of the French people as they were liberated....the ladies kissed the soldiers, the men cheered them on. Papa G was just a farm boy from Minnesota...he was a third generation American. His family still spoke German in the home and in fact, Papa did not speak English until he started school as a child. Some of his fellow soldiers viewed Papa G  with suspicion as he still spoke German. They wondered if he was a REAL American. But Papa was an American through and through. His ability to speak German did come in handy one day. Papa drove a truck in the war...he was in a convoy that was moving rapidly across France and  was separated from his fellow soldiers. While trying to find his convoy, he came upon two SS soldiers and captured them. As Papa so modestly put it, he did not have to do much to capture them as they were tired and starving. I guess those Nazi soldiers were surprised to hear a Yank speak German to them.  Papa did find his convoy and on he went to the Battle of the Bulge fighting with his fellow troops on the  way to victory. Papa took many pictures of a defeated Germany. Some of his photographs are disturbing...particulary  pictures of one of Hitler's Death Camps.  When I read that approx 100,000 American soldiers lost their lives in the Battle of the Bulge, it reminds me to be  thankful that my father in law was one of the fortunate ones who made it home to his girlfriend, Saramina. She would become his wife and my husband and his siblings are here today because of that great blessing. Papa was a patriot for the rest of his life. You would always find the flag waving from his front porch. He knew what a great price had been paid for the freedom we love in the USA. And I agree with Tom Brokaw, the young men and women of WWII were the greatest generation!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Isn't this a lovely painting? I love to dabble in painting and it has been months since I have put my hand to the canvas. Kendall asked me yesterday, "Nana, when are we going to paint?" Kendall is my partner in crafts! We enjoy making things, painting, gluing and taping! Kendall painted a lovely butterfly last year and she wants to do a flower to go with it!!   I am glad that I can pass down my love of crafting to Kendall. Her mom was never really interested in crafts as a little girl so I did not push her to do any. Amelia did cross stitch one little sampler and declared that was enough for her! I am hoping Kendall will enjoy cross stitching too..then we can stitch together.

When I was a little girl, I loved reading biographies of colonial women...Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross to name a few.  All these women as little girls were expected to learn to stitch by making samplers. Stitching samplers also taught the girls letters and numbers and most of all they learned patience and perseverance.  Mother often made Daughter take out stitches that were not up to snuff.  Maybe it would be good for all 21st century girlies to learn the patience of stitching!

And now I am off to have breakfast with a dear friend. She teaches school so we do not get to socialize a lot from September to May! And by the way, she is a crafter too....even has a craft room!!  Have a grand day friends!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I have really enjoyed watching all the festivities in London honoring the Queen on her Diamond Jubilee. Sixty years on the throne is an accomplishment for any monarch. And Queen Elizabeth seems to be going strong despite being an octogenarian. BBC tv aired a program last night called The Diamond Queen and it was such an interesting program about a dynamic woman. Queen Elizabeth was a young wife and mother when she took the throne! How hard it must have been to take on royal duties when she had little ones. She had hoped that her father would reign for many years but it was not to be. With all that she had learned from her father and leaning on the advice of wise men, she stepped onto the pages of world history. One man commented that Queen Elizabeth has outlasted many of her advisers and has a wealth of knowledge about the workings of world politics. Many see her as a rather dowdy lady with a purse on her arm.(And by the way, I have always wondered what was in her handbag!) Most people would be surprised to find that Great Britain's ruler is quite savy on many subjects. It was noted on the tv program that The British Monarchy has a Facebook page. I will be going over there to LIKE it today! The queen reads every paper delivered to her in her  daily "boxes" from 10 Downing Street. She wants to be prepared for her weekly meeting with the prime minister. And speaking of Prime Ministers, her first prime minister was Winston Churhill. HRH has outlasted many PMs as well! The queen feels that God placed her on the throne and she has a duty to Him and to her people to do a good job. In an era where duty is considered a dirty word, it is refreshing to see it lived out in the life of Queen Elizabeth II. God Save the Queen!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another cool morning here in Alabama. I was so thankful for the nice weather that we had yesterday. It made moving day much easier for Ben and Katy. Any day when the humidity is low in the summer in the south is a good day!  Ben, Katy, Baylor and Margaret spent the night in their new home. When we arrived with the children, all the furniture was in the house but it will take a while to get settled. Thanks to Aunt Franny and Granny Pat, both cribs were set up and ready for Baylor and Margaret. I know they were glad to sleep in their own beds last night. Thanks to Uncle Charles who helped with the move! It is good to have families who will pitch right in. We found out that it only takes a little over an hour to drive to see the grands. Praying that Ben and his little family will be blessed in their new home!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Up bright and early this Saturday morning as I had two cuddle bugs in the bed with me. Baylor and Margaret spent the night with us as their parents are busy with the move to Birmingham. We went to the park last night, had pizza and a big time in the tub before turning in. Around two in the morning, Baylor decided he did not want to sleep in the pack and play so he joined us in the bed!! I really wonder if advocates of the Family Bed, ever get any sleep!! But Baylor and Margaret seemed to wake refreshed, just not Nana! Grandpa and I will be busy today entertaining our guests then we will take them to their new home in Birmingham. Grandpa said he needs to know the quickest way to go see his grands.:) And Nana agrees.

Friday, June 1, 2012

 After months of searching, we finally have a day bed in the Grands room! My sweet daughter in law, Nancy, kept an eye on Craigs List for me and found this bed listed last week. It was just what we were looking for and it was located in Hartselle, Alabama so it was close by! When Marvin and I went to check it out, the seller offered to deliver it to us as well. We could not beat that!! The drawer that holds the trundle is still in the garage as we need our strong sons to help get it up the staircase. Then it will be just perfect as the bed matches all the case work in the room. Yesterday I went to TJ Maxx to look  for bedding and found this nice neutral quilt as well as two cushions that matched one I already had! Of course, I may have to look for more cushions just to make it cozier. I informed the grands that I did not want to see them on the bed unless they were taking a nap! So they gave it wide naps for this crew!
I love that the bed fit just perfectly under my Sampler Wall.  Isn't it nice when everything turns out just as you pictured it in your mind's eye?

Friday will be busy for me. I will have a grocery run with my two older grandchildren. I have already promised them ICEEs if they behave in the grocery store! Then this afternoon Margaret and Baylor will arrive for an overnight stay while Mom and Dad get everything moved down to their new home in Birmingham.  These are the good old days and I am trying to enjoy each and every day with these little ones. Have a good weekend friends!!