Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Miss Kendall was not feeling well yesterday so we were not able to go to our swim lesson. We spent the morning in quiet pursuits while watching Children's Public Television. While we were watching there was an announcement regarding the fall programming and I heard that Daniel Striped Tiger is coming on in the fall. For all of us who loved Mister Rogers, who can forget the shy little tiger who lives in the grandfather clock? Personally, I would LOVE it if PBS would rerun Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I was about 12 years old when Public TV was available out in the country where I lived and I remember enjoying the "new" children's programming, Sesame Street, Mister Rogers and several other shows. When my own children came along, we all sat down to watch Mister Rogers. His show came on at five in the afternoon and it was a good way to wind down and wait for Dad to get home from work. As I have said before, some days, Mister Rogers was the only adult I talked to as I was a stay at home mom.:) Mister Rogers always so kind and caring. I think young children can learn a lot from visiting the neighborhood. So we will give Daniel Striped Tiger a try this fall....remembering the wonderful man who created Daniel.

Monday, July 30, 2012

As you can see we had quite the feast Saturday evening at our Adult Bible Fellowship( that is a new name for Sunday School) dinner. It is always good to be with these folks to sit down and visit. Of course before the evening was over, the women were in one room and the guys in another. But that is ok...we all need our own time together.

I just got home from my morning walk...pretty muggy out there today. Kendall starts her second round of swim lessons today. She just does not like the water but I really want her to learn to swim. Please send up a prayer for her this week and next week.

If any of you are on Good Reads...I spent most of Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon, logging in some of my favorite books. Many of my friends know that I love to read and they are always asking me for recommendations. Well now I can direct them to join Good Reads and they can peruse my list of 500 or so books.  Not that I would recommend all of them but I have rated them on a 5 star basis. I rarely give five stars and I am going to try to go back and review some of my favorite books. Good Reads is a great place to log in books you have read and you can look back and see if there are any that you might like to read again.  Check it our!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

We are enjoying a lazy weekend here at home. I have spent some time this morning updating my books on Good Reads. I used to be faithful to record my reading but just let it slip by me recently. I enjoy seeing the books that my friends have read as well! A good way to spend a quiet morning. Next on my list is working in my kitchen. Keeping the grands has kept me from keeping my house up as I did in days past.  I remember that old cross stitch sampler, Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow for babies grow up as I learned to my sorrow. I do realize that these are precious times that cannot be recalled and what better way to spend my time than in making memories with the little ones.  My cabinets need organizing and wiping down and the floor needs a good mopping. And we have a Sunday School Fellowship tonight...I made a chocolate cake to take and I have all my fruit sliced up for a fruit salad. I just need to assemble it before we leave. It is always fun to be with our Sunday School Friends. We have been together many years and we think of this group as Family.  Hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. See you on Monday!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Here is the Before and the After! Our topiary is really prettier in person as is the case with most photographs of crafts. You can see more of the sparkles in person. Kendall and I stuck straight pins through the green, bronze and orange balls and then pushed them into the styrofoam ball. If I were doing it over, I would have coated the ball with Aleene's tacky glue before applying the balls. The pins held the smaller green and bronze balls well but the bigger orange balls are not as well adhered with just pins. I also went with a green styrofoam ball so that the open spaces that might be visible would not be distracting as it would be with a white ball!   You can also do this project using a smaller styrofoam ball, just make sure your dowel rod and clay pot is smaller as well so the scale is correct. Kendall is six years old now and I felt comfortable allowing her to work with pins with Nana sitting nearby. She did stick her fingers a time or two but she was a trooper and just kept going! You can find all the supplies for this project at Hobby Lobby. The package of autumnal balls was $4.99, both spools of ribbon were $8( and some left over for another fall project), moss was $3(and I have plenty left over for another project), dowel rod was 59 cents, clay pot was $1.34 and finally the styrofoam ball was $3. So for about $20 dollars I have a pretty fall decoration that I can use for years to come. Now I will have to think of some projects to do with my leftover supplies. I do have in mind making some smaller topiaries using unpopped popcorn and green lentils. I have done some of these in the past and they are cute too. Really you can cover the top of your topiary with anything that strikes your fancy! Hope you enjoyed seeing our finished product!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

 I thought I might share some other goodies we got while in Savannah last week. Marvin brought home the McCoy Chef cookie jar that sat in his Mama's kitchen.  We decided to display him on our bookshelves upstairs as he is an old man now! I did look him up on a McCoy website and he is worth about $90.  I did get excited when we found these old Captain Kangaroo plastic cups. Before calling Antiques Roadshow, I looked them up on the internet and found they are only worth about $8 in good condition. Marvin's cups were slightly worse for wear!! We decided to display them upstairs as well. They look cute sitting on Marvin's bookshelf alongside a picture of him and his older sister, Mina.  We are glad to have some mementos from 19 Oleander Drive, the home that Marvin grew up in.
I had Kendall and Landon yesterday and Kendall and I tackled the topiary project. Miss K is quite the crafter. She worked patiently along side me until we reached the part that Nana had to do alone. I will share our finished project tomorrow. I am so glad Kendall enjoys crafting! Landon enjoyed looking at a Thomas "I Spy" book while sister and Nana were busy.

Today it is Friends Day and I am looking forward to lunch with the girls. I have a few errands to run as well so it will be a busy day. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

 I received this beautiful wreath for my front door yesterday and could not wait to share it on my blog. One of my MOPs moms, Christina, made this for me for a very modest price! Christina is very crafty and was in charge of crafts for our MOPs group last year. One day she posted some pictures of wreaths on her Facebook page and when I saw this one, I knew it would perk up my front door until it is time to hang a fall wreath. I think wreaths on a front door are so welcoming!  This wreath would also be pretty for February's Mardis Gras season here in the South. Mardi Gras colors are green, purple and gold!  My pretty wreath spurred me to go to Hobby Lobby as I have been negligent in the crafting area lately. Of course Hobby Lobby is already decorated for Fall and while I was there, I noted that Christmas decorations are going up as well! Of course, if you are a crafter, you need to start Christmas crafts early so they will be ready for December. As I was wandering the aisles, I came upon these sparkly balls in autumnal colors(as Martha would say!) and I thought they might make a pretty topiary. So I got some other supplies, clay pot, styrofoam ball, dowel rod, moss and ribbon!  Now it might turn out to be a hot mess but I am going to give it a try. Be on the lookout for my finished product!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

 Thanks to daughter Amelia, I have some pictures of the children on the beach! They had so much fun playing together enjoying the sand and the surf!
 Bubba, Margaret and Baylor making sand castles.
 Our own little beach boy!
 Grandpa and Kendall checking out the beach on our first night at Tybee. the way Amelia's phone makes these neat photos.
Great Aunt Amy is helping Kendall, Bubba and Gabby with sand castles.

We really enjoyed the beach. It would be nice to live there year round!

Monday, July 23, 2012

 While we were at Tybee, Marvin had a chance to go to his sister's warehouse at the beach to go through some of his late mother's things. We came home with several treasures, so we feel like it is Christmas in July! The little stocking says Merry Christmas at the top and it belonged to my hubby when he was a little boy. Stockings were much smaller then, holding tiny treasures.
 This ceramic set sat on Mama G's living room table for many years. Her best friend, Viola, made this for her. Mama G kept all the Christmas cards she received in the little sleigh! of my favorite things.  I had a big collection and during one of our moves, Hubby dropped the box the angels were stored in and many were no more. I assured him that they are just things. The only things that cannot be replaced are Marvin, my children and the grands.
 Isn't she sweet...
 And I love this Coca Cola polar bear cookie jar. We gave this to Mama G years ago and I was so happy to find it once again. After a run through the dishwasher, he looks like new.
And here is another cute cookie jar...I am giving it to Amelia since it will remind her of her precious Grandma.

Hope you enjoyed my Christmas theme this morning! Before we know it Christmas will be here!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I was able to read The Guest Book while on vacation at Tybee Island. As I mentioned before, I was chosen to receive a free copy that I would read and then do a book review on my blog.  I have been "friends" with Marybeth for years in the blog world. I knew that she had a passion for writing and I was so happy for her when her first book, The Mailbox, was published. I thought her writing had really improved in her second book, She Makes It Look So Easy and I was really looking forward to book three. I must be honest and say that this is a book that is a nice beach read but it is not a gripping story that will stay with you for days after you read it.  So here goes my thoughts on the The Guest Book.

Macy Dillon is a young single mom to five year old Emma. Her life is in disarray. She is working a dead end job at the local grocery store while  in her heart, she would love to go to art school and develop the God given talent she possesses.  Emma's father has arrived on the scene after a five year absence, hoping to reconnect with the family he left behind.  One of the problems I had with the book was that Macy allowed this dead beat dad to stay at her house, sleeping on the sofa no less while she tries to decide if she wants to rekindle the relationship. Notice to ALL girls...have some self respect and know that if someone leaves you when you need them, they are not the man for you!!  Meanwhile, Macy's mom is finally beginning to move on after the death of her husband. Her husband died ten years ago but she still has a shrine to him in her home. Macy's older brother struggles with a drinking problem  and Macy enables him to keep it a secret.  Brenda, Macy's mom, suggests that the family take a two week trip to Sunset Beach, a place that was special to their family. Brenda hopes the trip will help them to finally put some of their grief to rest and allow them to move in new directions.  Macy remembers drawing pictures in the guest book at their beach house as a child. Every year when the Dillon family returned to the beach house, a little boy had drawn a picture for her. After all these years, Macy is still intrigued by her mystery beau. She would love to find out who he is! She has a feeling that he is her Prince Charming.  The main plot of the story is Macy's search for the boy who is now a man. I had a hard time connecting with Macy but one character that is very well developed and likable is Avis, the older cashier and Macy's fellow worker at Ward's grocery. I would like to know more about Avis. In fact I could see a book about her! Maybe Marybeth will grant my wish!

I do not want to give away too much about the book so that you will read it for yourself. But I have to say that it took me a while to really "care" about these characters. About half way through the book, I started to understand who was who and what motivated them! And I think the ending was a little disappointing. One of the Amazon reviewers thought that Macy picked the wrong man and I tend to agree with that reviewer.  The whole book  left me a little frustrated. I think the characters just did not click with me as the characters did in She Makes It Look So Easy.  So if you are looking for a book to take to the beach for light reading, try  The Guest Book. And I will be looking forward to reading Marybeth's next book which she is working on right now. I have found with most authors I enjoy, there are some of their books I love and some that are just so so. That does not make me think any less of the author, I think in most circumstances, it is just my own view of the book.   But I always encourage everyone to broadens your horizons.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

 We are back after spending a family vacay at Tybee Island, Georgia (formerly Savannah Beach!)We had a fun time with family. I just realized I have NO beach pictures...I did not want to get sand in our good camera. And I was too busy just enjoying the sun and sand. The grands loved making sand castles and playing in the surf.
 Kendall enjoyed playing with all her girl cousins and she finally got to meet baby Dora. Kendall just loves Rachel and her husband, Don, and could hardly wait to meet their sweet Dora.
 Marvin and I got to reconnect with one of our Sunday School Teachers from 30 years ago! Lillian and Jim Neal had a heart for young married people and made such an impression on me and Marvin. Jim passed away in April after complications from open heart surgery. We are so happy to know we will meet him in heaven one day.
 We spent some time reading Caillou Rides a Bike...Margaret's favorite!  Great Aunt Amy listened in as we read.
 Lots of good food and family time.
 Our little girlies...Margaret, our two year old granddaughter, Gabby, our four year old niece and six year old granddaughter, Kendall. Kendall plans to write some letters to her cousins!!
 Our nephew, Benjamin, prepared a pound cake for dessert.He and his wife, Ami, have a precious little house in Savannah. They have done a lot of rehab on it and it is darling.
 All the Grimm Men....Charles, Marvin, Ben, Edward, Douglas, William and Will.
 Believe it or not, Gabby is first cousin to all these old guys.:)
 Gabby and Kendall just Loved playing together.
 Not sure how these pictures got connected but the top photo is the Grimm Women...Barbara, Monique and myself! The photo on the bottom shows the grands playing together one afternoon.
And here are Grandpa and Bubba...alseep after a morning at the beach!

It was a good vacation but as usual I was glad to get home!! Nothing like sleeping in your own sweet bed!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another day of rain yesterday but oh how it is needed so it was a good day to stay inside and "piddle". I did finish another book and it is also by a blogger, Heaven is Here by Stephanie Nielson. Daughter Amelia introduced me to Nie Nie and her blog about a year ago. It is not on my blog roll but I do check it out from time to time and after reading her book, I may just add it to my blog roll. Stephanie started blogging as a young wife and mother who was living far away from her family. Stephanie and her husband, Christian, are both from big Mormon families and she did not want the family to miss out on watching her children growing up. Her blog became quite popular and I can see why. She is such a sweetie and has  a great love of home and family. After living in New Jersey for a while, Christian got a job in Meza, Arizona and they were so glad to move closer to family. Christian had always had a passion for flying so he begins to take flying lessons and earns his pilots license. One weekend, he asks Stephanie to join him and Doug, his old flying instructor to take a trip to his family ranch in Utah. Stephanie arranges for her four little ones to stay with family and off she goes for a nice day at the ranch. As they are leaving, Doug is at the helm of the plane and it goes down on takeoff, killing Doug and injuring Stephanie and Christian. Stephanie wakes up three months later...she had been in a medically induced coma because of her severe burns. Christian also suffered burns but they were not as severe as Stephanie's burns. The book chronicles Stephanie's journey back to wholeness. She is very honest about her feelings as she goes from a pretty young mom who loved red lipstick and cute skirts to a burn victim who causes people to look away in revulsion at the face that was so horribly burned. Stephanie also bears a lot of guilt as her mom had asked that she and Christian never fly together. Now her mom's worst nightmare has come true. But it was also a story of courage and I was amazed at how the blog world came together to help this young family! Nie Nie's sister kept her blog going while she was recovering and eventually Nie Nie gets back to blogging and it is a great help to her as she faces many challenges as she takes back the reins of her former life.

Right now I am reading Fairy Tale Interrupted by Rosemarie Terenzio. It is a book about John and Carolyn Kennedy, written by John's personal assistant. From what I have read so far, John was a good boss and caring friend. Carolyn is also very personable and becomes good friends with Rosemarie as they each love and care for one of the most recognized men in America. Sadly, their lives end with a plane crash that leaves no survivors. I definitely need to read a lighter book next!! 

We are heading off for vacation soon so I will be taking a blogging break but I promise to be back!! Have a great weekend friends!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Look what the UPS man left at my door yesterday!! The Guest Book is the newest novel by my blog friend, Marybeth Whalen. I was one of her lucky readers who was chosen to receive a copy of her book and I promised to read it and blog about it! I will also be handing out these pretty bookmarks to encourage others to look for her book. Thanks Zondervan Publishing for allowing me to promote this book.

Marybeth's blog has been on my blog roll for years! I cannot remember how I found her blog but when I first read her posts, I realized that we were kindred spirits. Marybeth is REAL in her blogs...she does not sugarcoat her life as the mom to six children! One of her latest posts was on Tatertot Casserole and her previous quest to be like Michelle Duggar. I had to smile. Tatertot Casserole would not fly at  my house either!!:) One of her posts that has really stuck with me was in regards to Mothers Day. She recounted a Mothers Day where her family had  put no effort into honoring her and she had a hissy fit. Now any woman who will own up to a good ole Southern Hissy Fit is my kind of gal. We all have those moments when we just come apart but if we learn something from it we can grow and move on. Marybeth shared that she had a big Hallmark Mother's Day pictured in her mind and when it did not happen she was truly devastated. Her point was that unrealistic expectations can only lead to disappointment. Learn to be like Paul...content in whatever circumstance you find yourself. That is a message I needed to hear as I often get caught up in the same trap!  I recently read an article in my Momsense Magazine, published by MOPs, that warned of ER moments. When we start comparing ourselves to people who we perceive to be richER, thinnER, smartER  etc. we fall prey to Satan's trap of discontentment! I am thankful for blog friends like Marybeth who encourage me to pick my self up after a fall and keep pressing on!

I have read both of Marybeth's previous books, The Mailbox and She Makes It Look So Easy. I enjoyed both books but She Makes It Look So Easy really hit home with me.  It is a book about two who seems to have it all together but does she???Appearances can be deceiving!!  I will be writing a review of the Guest Book and I am sure it will not disappoint.  Check out Marybeth's blog as well as her novels. Let's support our blogger authors!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Welcome to the world, Dorothy Sykes Curry..."Dottie". Dottie is our newest great niece and arrived yesterday to join the Curry family of Trent, Sarah and Rob.  Dottie was named after her great grandmother, Dottie Barry, or Dot Dot as she is known to all her grands. 89 year old Dot Dot was there to greet her namesake yesterday and it was a happy day. Dottie was born on her Gigi's birthday (her great grandmother Grimm). It was a nice way to remember Mama G who would have loved sharing her birthday with this little one.  All are doing well so we thank the Lord for another addition to the extended Grimm family.

Speaking of the Grimm family, Marvin and I finally completed our family picture project and we have cds of old family photos to share with all the siblings next week! It was fun to look at pictures of Marvin and his brothers and sisters when they were little. I have some Tankersley pictures that I need to  put on cds as well. It is a labor of love.

And finally, we got some much needed rain last night. What a blessing that was!! Thank you God for giving our lawns and gardens much needed rain.

I have Kendall and Landon this morning...we are going to attempt to get Bubba a haircut. He is not very cooperative but I have promised a new "Thomas" train car or engine if he will be do not remember ever bribing my own children with anything but a spanking if they acted up. Nana is a softie compared to Mom. We will also look for some new flip flops for Kendall.  I am sure they will be pink and sparkly! Hopefully we will find a sale as the stores are already putting out back to school clothes. In the afternoon I am meeting some friends for coffee at Panera. That is my reward for being a good girl this week!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

 It is always a happy day at my house when a thirtyone order comes in!! If you have not heard of thirty-one products, the company gets its name from Proverbs 31. My friend Jaime Emerson is my 31 lady and you can check out her website at  Thirty-one sells bags and organizational products.  Their products are so pretty and I love their monogramming!
 Here is an older utility bag of mine with a brand new product, a clear vinyl topper. It is rather hard to see but it will come in handy at the beach, keeping sand out of our things!! I put my utility bags in my trunk when I make a grocery run. As  I unload my cart of groceries( which are packed in about 30 plastic bags!) into the car, I put all the bags inside my utility bags and it is much easier to tote everything from the garage to the kitchen when I get home. And I use them for all sorts of things around the house and traveling. They are a workhorse bag and truly worth the investment.
 Can you have too many of these large utility bags? I have three and would like a few more. Last month these great bags were on special for $10 with a $30 dollar purchase. The print is called Minty chip and while I am not usually a "brown" girl, I loved this design.
 Here is my $30 dollar purchase...what I call my Nana Bag. It is the large organizer bag. It is roomy inside and has six pockets around the outside of the bag, making it perfect to tote along all the things a Nana needs when she is out and about.
 Both of my goodies!
And as I have said before, I never met a monogram I did not like!! They do really nice monogramming at thirty-one.  If you are looking for a sturdy well made bag..check out thirty-one.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We had a nice weekend. Ben, Katy, Margaret and Baylor came for a visit on Saturday. Amelia, Kendall and Landon joined us as well. The Cousins were so happy to see each other!! Since we are all going to the beach together soon, I did not even get out my camera to snap some pictures. Landon is so excited about the Beach...every day he wants to know if it is the day we are going to the beach. I hope it lives up to his expectations.

And we did receive some rain along with a vicious thunderstorm yesterday but hey, we will take it. Our lawn and plants were happy to get a good long drink of water.

My reading marathon continues. I finished The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain. It was "ok". It would be a good beach read. College friends, Noelle, Emerson and Tara have remained close in the years after graduating, living in the same town and sharing each others lives. When Noelle commits suicide, Emerson and Tara are shocked to learn that their friend had kept many secrets from them over the last 12 years. One secret involves a baby that was switched at birth. I thought parts of the book were fairly predictable but it kept me reading just to see how the novel resolved itself.  Now I am reading, The Reading Group. It is an older book that I found at the Booksale Room in the Library. Set it England, it follows the lives of a group of ladies who meet once a month to eat dinner and discuss a book. Being an Anglophile, I have enjoyed this book and I am almost at the end! At the rate I am going I may have to make a Booksale Room run before we leave for vacation.

Back to swim lessons with Kendall today! She has been practicing and is eager to show Miss Anita what she has learned!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

We "might" get some rain today! WE are all hoping this weather prediction comes true. Since it has been so hot, I have been doing more reading than usual. I just finished True Sisters by Sandra Dallas thanks to my friend, Susan. As she so eloquently put it, "In a moment of weakness I joined the Doubleday Book Club and I have some new books to share with you!" Thankful for a generous friend!!(She ordered some really good ones).

True Sisters tells the story of one of the Mormon migrations from Iowa to Utah. Ms Dallas is not a Latter Day Saint but grew up in the Salt Lake City area and was always interested in a statue that she saw featuring a family pushing a cart filled with all their possessions as they traveled to Zion. She relates the story of the Martin company, a group of Mormons who head out in the late summer to go to Zion...or the Salt Lake valley as it is called in the book. Most of these "new" Mormons are recent converts who came to America from Scotland and England. They have been won over to Mormonism by the charismatic preaching of Mormon Missionaries who promise them a religion that will make them rulers in the Celestial Life, much different from the dour Presbyterian church and the formal Church of England.  True Sisters is told from the view points of five very different women who take on the trek to Utah. Most are going willingly but one is only going because her husband told her that he would go with or without her. Loving her husband, Anne puts aside her own feelings to follow her husband's leading. The women find that life on a trail, pushing heavy carts is no picnic. Several are pregnant, a few are older and infirm but encouraged to trek to Zion anyway! There are wagons for the sick but in this big group, there are not enough wagons to transport all those who are ailing. As they approach the mountains they must travel through to get to the valley, snow begins to fall and they are trapped with very little in the way of clothing or provisions. They have had to pare down the things in their carts just to be able to push them along. They hope for rescue parties that come only when many are beyond help. Ms Dallas noted that more men than women died on this trip....proving that women are stronger than men in some ways!  Eventually the party makes it to the Salt Lake Valley and find new lives there but their struggles and losses have changed them forever.

I have heard that the Mormon church has rewritten much of their history but Ms Dallas does not sugar coat the struggles of these people. She is very blunt about the leadership of the church and how the rules for them were different than the rules for the converts. She also deals with plural marriage in an open way and reminds us that in 1890 plural marriage was "abolished" and all the men had to choose just one wife to live with in the family home. It made me wonder what happened to all those other sister wives who were not chosen?  It was an interesting book and I am still thinking of those women this morning!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I have always loved crafting. From the time I was a little girl, I enjoyed embroidery. As I grew up I took up crewel, cross stitch and sewing. I have dabbled in quilting, crocheting and knitting. And I love making pretty things for my home....floral arrangements, table scapes etc. So when I heard there was a new television show called Craft Wars, I knew I wanted to check it out. I dvr'ed it and sat down yesterday to watch as Tori Spelling assigned challenges to three "crafters" with the winner receiving $10,000 dollars. I only watched about half of the show before I totally lost interest. Maybe it was me but I was disappointed with the program. I think I am missing the old days of craft shows, like Aleene's Crafts. The inventor of Aleene's Tacky Glue had a program on tv that was so enjoyable. She and her family showed us how to do crafts and I always learned something new. HGTV is another network that has changed a lot. In its first days, they offered some crafting shows and several shows geared to "regular" people decorating. ( I miss Matt and Shari of Room by Room). Now it seems that a lot of their programming is aimed at making us all dissatisfied with our own homes because we do not have granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and walk in closets. Now I do have a walk in closet but honestly, I get so aggravated when I see the newly wed couples on House Hunters turn up their noses at any house that is not perfect. Come on people, this is your first house, it is not supposed to be your dream house.  All this to say...could we please have some good craft shows to watch again?  Our PBS station carries some good shows on Saturday afternoon but most are about sewing or quilts.  For now I will just enjoy pinterest and attempt some of the crafts I have pinned on my board, Crafty Lady!! I really need to sit down and MAKE some of the great projects that I have dreamed about!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. We had lunch with Amelia and her children then just spent a quiet afternoon here at home. I did step outside last night to see some of the fireworks our neighbors in the next s ubdivision were setting off. They were very pretty but I was worried about a spark and our dry grass. Fortunately no fires this year!!

On July 3rd, I had some friends over to watch the movie, The Bad Seed. We had all read the book, Defending Jacob and we thought we would compare the book to a movie with a similar theme. Both are about children who Defending Jacob, the young man was 14 while in the movie, The Bad Seed, the little girl was 8 years old.  There were similarities between the characters. Friend Susan, who is a voracious reader, had read the book The Bad Seed so she filled us in on the differences between the movie and the book. We had an interesting discussion on Nature vs Nurture.  All the friends who attended love to read and share their thoughts on the books they have read so we always have something to discuss. I may make Movie Tuesdays a regular monthly get together!

Susan brought some zucchini bread to share with us and it was DELISH. If you have some extra zucchini this recipe would be a good one to try. You will have two loaves of bread, one to enjoy and one to share.

Chocolate Zucchini Bread
3 large eggs
1 3/4 c sugar
1 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 T. Butter
6 T cocoa
2 c shredded zucchini
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 c chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips
3/4 c chopped pistachios( you can substitute your nut of choice)
2 T flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans. Combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla in a large bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, melt 2 T butter and 6 T cocoa. Stir over low heat until blended. Set this aside to cool while you grate your zucchini. Add zucchini and cooled cocoa mixture to ingredients in mixing bowl. Blend well. In separate bowl mix 2 c flour with baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir gradually into mixing bowl batter, stirring just until blended. In another small bowl combine 2 T flour with chocolate chips and nuts. Toss well then fold into batter. Spoon batter into loaf pans and bake 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

Susan said her husband thought the bread had too much chocolate but he has to be mistaken because is there ever TOO much chocolate in any recipe?? All of the chocolate lovers here on Wednesday thought it tasted just fine!! So use up some of that extra zucchini and enjoy this yummy bread with your morning coffee.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July Friends!! Celebrate your freedom while remembering all those who have sacrificed so we may live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!! Taking a blogging break today to celebrate with my family. I will be back tomorrow with a great recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

96 was the high yesterday....much better than 106. God sent us some brief rain and cloud cover so we did not bake another day in the terrible heat.  At least we have power. I feel so badly for all those who had terrible storms that knocked down power lines. My brother in law and his family live in Charlottesville, Va and they have been without power since Friday. We were in the same boat after the 2011 tornados in April but at least our weather was cool after the storms.  We will be in the 90s all week but we are used to that in July and August!

Since we did not have swimming lessons, we had a slow Monday. The kiddos played and I got some cleaning and laundry done. I also ran out to get our ribs for the 4th. My hubs makes a mean country rib and I will be serving those along with hash brown casserole, baked beans and corn on the cob. We will be celebrating Amelia's birthday so we will also have some of her favorites, quacamole with chips and chocolate chip cookies. A cheesecake might also be on the menu.  Hoping Ben, Katy, Margaret and Baylor will be joining us. Baylor has had a fever so we are praying he gets better. Kendall and Landon really miss their cousins. 

And while I was out doing errands, I had to stop at BAM and check for Due or Die. They had one copy left so I  brought it home with me. I hope it is as good as Books Can Be Decieving.  Today I have more cleaning to do before some friends arrive to watch The Bad Seed. I may have to start some regular movie days here at the Grimm homestead during the summer. Movies are always better with friends.  And the popcorn is free here!!:)

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hot Weather continues...I will not say we are getting used to it but we are learning to live with it. It was also very hot 32 years ago today. How do I remember that? Well I was pregnant and my legs were so swollen I could hardly walk before greeting our daughter, Amelia, at 4:12 in the morning. Happy Birthday Girlie!!

We took a trip to north Georgia to visit my parents over the weekend. It is HOT there as well, but they did get some rain last night so their garden may not dry up like the ones here in Alabama.  While traveling in the car over and back, I had time to finish two books. I know some people cannot read and ride without becoming car sick. I am so glad I can read while riding as it sure speeds up the trip.

I finished, The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigani.  It was a very good story! The book opens as young Ciro, and his brother, Eduardo, are left at a convent in the Italian Alps because their mother cannot care for them. In a village up the mountain, lives a young girl named, Enza. She is the oldest of five children and a great help and comfort to her poor family. At the age of 15, Enza confronts a tragedy in her family and Ciro comes into her life. They have an instant bond but many years pass before they meet again in America. You will be enchanted by this love story.  Ms Trigani is a master story teller and according to the notes at the back of the novel, this book was written to honor the love story of her grandparents who met in Hoboken, NJ after immigrating from Italy.  My only complaint about the book is that the ending seemed rather rushed. Maybe I just hated for it to end.:)

 I also finished Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay. It is the first in a series of mysteries to be written by Ms McKinlay. Light mysteries are my favorite sleeping pills. I ususally have one on my bedside table to peruse before going to sleep. I pride myself on solving the mystery before the killer is revealed but I admit that this one stumped me. Books Can Be Deceiving takes place in a coastal Connecticut town filled with unique residents. The  main sleuth is Lindsay, the head librarian at Briar Creek Public Library where she has instituted a Crafternoon Book Club. Crafts and books...what could be better? In this mystery, Lindsay and her best friend, Beth, the childrens' librarian, are compelled to investigate when a local author is found stabbed to death in his home. Beth is the main suspect  in this murder as the author was her boyfriend and she had just broken up with him.   Of course the pretty cover on this book lured me in and I never met a library I did not like so this book was calling my name from the bookshelf at Books a Million. I give Books Can Be Deceiving five stars and  I am on the look out for the second in the series, Due or Die.

No swim lesson this morning as Miss Anita is sick so the kiddos and I will have a fun morning at home trying to stay cool!