Friday, February 25, 2011

Food Friday

This week has been a seasoning packet kind of week at our house. We are trying to eat a little healthier and we are exploring new dishes because we are a bit bored with the same ole ones. So, I picked up some seasoning packets, something I never think of doing.

I bought this one, added chicken breasts, omited the oil, added a drained can of corn, drained can of diced tomatoes and the can of white beans. It reminded us of taco soup with chicken instead of ground beef/turkey. We added some sour cream and avocado on top. It was good and something I can freeze and eat later when Randall is gone planting this spring.

I bought this one and added it to whole wheat noodles. I did not use the full ammount of olive oil and it still turned out fine. I should have used more noodles because it was a bit "pesto-y", as my dear Randall described it. It was something different, but probably not something I will continue to serve on a regular basis. We really like a potato more than a noodle.

And this is the breakfast of toddler champions! I discovered these in the frozen food section last week and it has been received with a little toothy smile. Henry eats breakfast most mornings at school. I am that poor mother who rushes her child to school so he can eat a hot breakfast because otherwise he gets Cheerios or yogurt at home. I am hopeless! On Wednesday's and Friday- Sunday he is home for breakfast and this has been a hit. He loves it and I feel like I have provided something half way decent without turning on the stove/oven. I recommend it. I do cook breakfast on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday...just to redeem myself a bit, I thought I best clarify!
And this is the little foodie waiting on the said waffle.
Isn't he a sweet little morn'in mess?!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Confession

Ok, I'm going to confess. I'm on twitter.

I don't have a business, I don't run an organization. I don't sell anything or have great words of wisdom.

But other people do. And they tweet.

Stephen has been on twitter for quite some time and he would get breaking news and tidbits of information that I wanted to know about too. But no one was sharing those on facebook.

So, I succumbed to twitter. It was a couple of weeks before Stephen found out. I currently have 17 people that read my tweets. Poor people. But I follow amazing people. Al Mohler, Johnny Hunt, Mike the Hot Dog Guy(I plan on visiting him in Little Rock tomorrow to get a hot dog. I'll let you know how they are and if he is amazing!), and friends that tweet instead of facebook.

I don't follow reality show people, or pop culture stuff. My mind is cluttered enough without adding to the clutter. I just follow those people that are encouraging and uplifting to me. Well, that and just funny!

So, if you are on twitter follow me and I'll follow you. I'm Juliekbeavers. Oh the fun we can have!!

Julie

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Lesson Learned

I had a hard time as a mom last week. I was hearing and see things happen in the lives of my children that hurt my heart.

It seemed that each child would come to me with a story of what was said or done to them. It seemed that they only remembered these things at bedtime. So after they spoke of it and were tucked in they went to sleep. I on the other hand, was awake thinking about their feelings and their thoughts.

After prayer God spoke to my heart, urged me to follow up on what they had told me and what had led up to the events that happened.

It turns out that the events really weren't as bad as they seemed. In a couple of instances they had provoked the behavior.

OH MY GOODNESS!!

So today I am offering a bit of advice. Before you spend a night awake and hurting for your child because a friend has done something wrong to them. Ask for the whole story. If I had asked for the whole story my Thursday morning would have been much better. Now, some things happened that were wrong. They weren't provoked or in anyway justified. Because you know what, bad behavior is never justified!! And another bit of advice. Pray! Had I prayed that night, God would have eased my mind. Just like he eased it when I asked Him to Thursday morning. God is good ALL the time, whether we see it or not.


Julie

Friday, February 18, 2011

Food Friday

I love a trifle. They are so fun and usually always super yummy. I want to make this recipe for my next little shindig. Doesn't it look scrumptious?! Seriously, my mouth is watering.

This was our Valentine's Day dessert. It made me smile. I asked Randall what he wanted and he said "a mousse and a graham cracker". He didn't think I would really serve it to him, but I did! Be careful what you ask for. It was yummy, simple and a crowd pleaser.
I made a box of instant butterscotch pudding. I then added whip cream and cracker crumbs. I found pretty glasses and added the garnish. My boys soaked this up!
It reminded me of my childhood and I wished I had made cook and serve instead of instant. My mama would put chocolate pudding in these pretty little glasses that had a real big silver rim. She would not let us eat it until they cooled all the way. I can remember standing in front of the fridge with the door open, just waiting!
I love this little foodie of mine. He was eating grilled fish and avocado. Only my child would be that excited about such foods. Randall swears he must belong to the UPS man!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Boy part two

I told you about one of my boys last week. I told you of his drive to be perfect and have order all around him. Someone said he seemed a little OCD. He really isn't OCD, just a bit uptight. And the more I say "chill out" the more he is the same! HA!

One of my other boys isn't uptight at all! He is laid-back and easy going. Watching him play basketball Tuesday night, Stephen said that he had never seen anyone more so much without going anywhere. I agreed and he isn't just that way with his movement, but also with his mouth. He loves to talk, sometimes with meaning, sometimes just nonsense.

He loves to cuddle though. And he always has. A lady at church calls him my side-kick. I hadn't really noticed, but he always sits beside me at church. The other three kids may sit with me or may sit with a friend or in the pew in front of me. But not this one, he sits with me. His love for me is evident.

He wants to make people happy. He doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. He will endure hurt, or even ridicule if it means not getting someone else in trouble or hurting someone else's feelings.

He is beginning to look so very much like his daddy. People at church come up to me all the time telling me about the similarity they see. We see it too.

I can't wait to see what God has in store for him as he grows up. I pray that He uses him in a mighty way!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Jesus Loves Me



Henry "sings" Jesus Loves Me. It makes my heart happy to hear my baby boy make a joyful noise to the Lord...even if he has no idea. He will soon enough.

Abby

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day



Well, I was going to gripe and whine about Valentine's Day this year.

It started out good. Stephen gave me two books for my Kindle, actually he watched while I downloaded them. I gave him a filter for his Keurig. We laughed and smiled at each other. No kissing, because there had been no teeth brushing. I don't care what they do in the movies, but kissing before brushing is just gross!

Stephen then told me that he had to go to a senior adult revival, lunch and meetings. UGH! I didn't like it at all. I had a bit of an attitude. And when I say bit of an attitude I mean it, it wasn't that big of a deal. So, no lunch together we still had dinner.

And then he called to say hi and mentioned that he had something to do at church for the evening. This is where I had more than a bit of an attitude. I didn't fuss or yell. I just said ok and was short the rest of the conversation. Girls, you know how we can be.

He then texted me and asked me out. It was so very sweet. I told him no, and asked his forgiveness & told him to do what he had already scheduled. He then texted me and asked for forgiveness and said that he had forgotten what fun we had on valentines day.

It is our holiday. We enjoy this almost more than our anniversary. We were engaged on February 13. It's special. But after years of celebrating we don't look forward to it as much as we used to. I guess kids can do that to you too.

Oh, the kids! I made them pillowcases for Valentine's Day. No, Michelle, not like you would make pillowcases. I bought white ones and wrote on them with red fabric paint. Hokey I know, but my kids love to sleep and I think they will love laying their heads on pillowcases that remind them that mom loves them and so does God. (I put Bible verses on them.) I don't anticipate the pillowcases ever leaving the house for sleepovers but I do anticipate them being slept on every night at home.

So, what did you do for Valentine's Day??

Monday, February 14, 2011

Love Is In The Air

Can you believe it has been a year?!

He was just becoming the little heartbreaker that he is.

This year I had this fun shirt made and matching cookies.
I know you must laugh at me. I can't hear you, but I know you do it.
I had cookies made for his Valentines. It was way cute, and I realize that none of his little friends know they match his shirt, but his mama knows and that is her little Valentine gift to herself!

And here is my sweet little 2011 Valentine. Look how he has grown. Love is in the air, for sure!

He decided to taste test his Valentines, wrapper and all.



Henry wants to give you one of his yummy Valentine treats and tell you he loves you the BIG much!

Happy Love Day!
Abby

Friday, February 11, 2011

Food Friday

As you know, we celebrated 8 great years of marriage this week. We were able to head over the bridge to where we fell in love and dine at our favorite place for our anniversary dinner. Hollye, Claire and Thew (our cousins) kept our love child for us, and for that we are most grateful. Meals without precious Henry have become a mini vacation! I thought I would review our favorite spot, because I did not cook anything worth bragging about this week.

If you have followed our blog over the past 3+ years you know Randall and I love Bonefish Grill. It is a chain, and we do not usually favor a chain, but this one has us hooked. We loved living down the road from one and went a couple of times a month before we moved to Arkansas. Now it is more of an occasion to eat there!
I love the atmosphere of a Bonefish and the extra large booths are my favorite. I love that the hostess will seat two people in a spot for 6. My feet don't touch the floor in these booths, but I still love them!

Randall and I love the specials. We both grab for the speicals menu at the same time. It makes us laugh that the strawberry shortcake is always a special! One of us usually orders a dish from this menu. We love anything that has "Imperial" with it. You can't go wrong with a seafood stuffed dish covered in cream sauce.

The Ahi Tuna Sashimi makes my mouth water and Randall's mouth gag. I love this starter. My sweet neighbor from Byhalia introduced me to it some years back and we would always order it and split it. If you like sushi, you will love this.



Bang Bang, baby! If you know Bonefish, you know the Bang Bang Shrimp. Randall loves it and I am a pretty big fan also. We hate they started $5 Bang Bang Wednesday's after we moved, but it was probably best for our waistlines!



I cannot start my meal without the Bonefish Salad. I heart this salad like none other. The heart of palm, pine nuts and Bonefish dressing make my taste buds dance. I made this salad for a dinner party once and it was just as good. I should make it at home more often because I do love it.

Bread is so basic, but their bread is so yummy. Nothing fancy, but really good. Randall usually saves me a half a piece. He is a bread man.

And the entree is always incredible, no matter what I order. If I do not order off the specials, I always get fish (I always order a different type of fish at random. I love trying new things.) with a pan asian sauce. It is wonderful! The garlic mashed potatoes are always the side of choice for me.

So, if you live near a Bonefish, go for Valentine's Day. They are having a fabulous steak and lobster special! They should really send me a gift card or something for this post, you think?!

And Food Friday is not complete without a peek at my little foodie. Here he is helping me unload groceries. The wagon really comes in handy!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby









Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Boy


All four of our children are so different. A couple of them look alike but other than that, they are completely different.

Two of the boys are playing basketball this year. It has been interesting to watch their personalities in action. One is easy-going, playful, and unconcerned about being perfect. The other one is none of those things.

He has been that way since he was a toddler. This boy would always carry a bag with all of favorite little toys with him wherever he went. Even if it was just a trip from his bedroom to the kitchen. He loved having all of his "things" together.

Now, that he is years older and his toys have changed, he doesn't carry a bag anymore. He is very concerned about his belongings though. As he plays with his various toys, he is very rigid, and structured. I love watching him put all his toys in neat rows, clean lines, and knowing where everything is supposed to be.

He wants everything to be perfect. Not just his toys, but his schoolwork and his playtime. He doesn't like to mess up. he doesn't like to disappoint. He thinks that my opinion of him changes when he makes a mistake.

I'm doing my best to teach, tell and show him that I love him and think that he is the BEST no matter what he does or doesn't do. Sure there will be times when he does something that requires punishment but that in no way means that my love, opinion or thoughts of him have changed.

I love him more everyday. I love to watch him. I love to listen to him. I love to hug him.

I think I'll go do that right now!


Julie

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sweet Meep

Oh, how she would love this little crew of ours!



Nine years ago today Jesus welcomed home my Meemaw "Meep", Julie's Grandmother and Hollye's Gran. We hated to see her go, but Peepaw "Peep" and Jesus needed her more than we did. We all three called her by a different name, yet loved her the same. She was a prissy, reserved, tender- hearted, hilarious, southern belle who loved her three brown headed grandaughters.

We have posted about her several times. You may remember the Charlie Pride post. That is one of many funny memories of her. She was a hoot. My Meemaw made me laugh a lot and most of the time she didn't mean to!


As a young lady in my thirties, I still feel nervous when chewing gum in church because I remember the glares from the choir loft because little Abby had some Trident in her mouth. When I put my son in knee socks and "funny little outfits" (as my Daddy calls them), I smile and think of her. When I make a casserole or a pecan pie I always think of her dining room in that parsonage in Garland, TN. When I see a mall walker it makes me wonder if she is mall walking in heaven or if she just skipped the walk and headed straight to Perkins. When I give my little portion to the food bank or speak with a smile to the disabled young man who has spoken to me loudly in Walmart, my heart smiles for her. And when I see a one day sale at a department store my heart starts racing and my legs start running. She is with me all the time.


I feel so blessed to have had so many wonderful, formative years with my little Meemaw. I could go on and on about my Meemaw, Julie's Grandmother and Hollye's Gran, but I will spare you the drive down memory lane. My husband tells me it can be a boring drive for others after a certain point! I love that she met my sweet husband right before she died. I even told her one Saturday night when she felt really ill, "I'm going to marry him, Meemaw" and she smiled back at me and sipped on the Ensure milkshake I had made her (I could make a "mean" one!). She died the very next Saturday morning. I think she needed to make sure I was taken care of before she left us. I was her baby and she made no bones about it. I think Randall (she called him "Ronald" ) was a little angel for both of us.



I love you and miss you terribly, sweet Meep!


Abby Jo

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Great Eight

"I have found the one whom my soul loves"
Song of Solomon 3:4

Eight years ago today I married the only man I have ever given my heart to (besides Jesus, of course). I feel incredibly blessed to have only loved one man. There were many years I waited impatiently on my man, and thought the wise women in my life were full of bologna when they told me God was sparing my heart for one wonderful catch. Indeed, they were right. The best part about the whole deal is that I am also the only woman he has ever loved. So, I'm extra incredibly blessed to have this sweet man's whole heart without any missing pieces.


I laugh at how things have changed in our eight years. From our tiny little one bedroom apartment in East Memphis, to our first house in Byhalia, to our current home in Jonesboro where we have started our family, love has been the theme in all these special places over the past eight years. In these eight years we have been through many career moves, vehicles, magazine subscriptions, propane, 4-wheelers, tennis shoes, digital cameras, powdered sugar and diapers. I laugh when I think of all the things that have come and gone in our short marriage and wonder what fun things are in store for us in the future.


I count this life long journey with my Randall as joy. This past year has been the most interesting one yet. If you would have told that silly, naive 24 year old bride that she would be in this place eight years later, she would have laughed because she would have never thought she could be this blessed!



Happy 8th Anniversary to My Randall and Me!

Abby

Monday, February 7, 2011

One of Those Days

Have you ever had one of those days where you just missed someone? That is today for me.


I miss my mom.
I know there are missionaries and soldiers and soldiers families that haven't seen their moms in months or even years. I also know that if we win the HGTV dream home in Vermont ( I can dream, right?!), that I will soon be acquiring a Vermont driver's license and that would put me further away from her. But I miss her.


I miss my sister. I have seen her cute face three times since I've seen mother but I miss her terribly too.


I also miss two men who chose to leave this life without asking me first. I hadn't seen these guys in years before they left, but just knowing they were in this life with me was a comfort.

And then today I found out that a dear lady in the faith, a great lady with a beautiful legacy of God's love died. She is dancing in Heaven today.

A facebook status of a facebook friend today said to finish the sentence "what I love about Grand Avenue Baptist Church is..." GABC is my home church. Where I was saved, baptized and married. When we visit there, I stand and look at all the people. The men and women that shaped me spiritually. The people that committed to teaching Sunday School every Sunday. Training Union on Sunday nights, and Bible classes on Wednesday nights. The people that loved me, and taught me spiritual truths. And not just me but my husband too. Our family is a legacy of all of the people at GABC. I miss them. But, as I've said before I'm so glad to be a part of a loving church family here in Star City. I love how God works!

Please don't think I'm sad, depressed, down or anything of the sort. I'm sitting here typing this with a smile on my face and one in my heart. How about you? How are you feeling today?
Julie

Friday, February 4, 2011

Food Friday


Ritz Mock Apple Pie
I made this for the first time. I am sure I have eaten it before, but I don't recall it. I kept running into the recipe, so I tried it. It was interesting and worth a try, yet I don't think it was any easier than making a real apple pie. Cheaper, yes, but easier, no.

2- 9 inch pie crusts
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers - crushed
2 cups sugar
2 tsp cream of tartar
1.75 cups of water
1 grated lemon peel
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out 1 pastry sheet and place in pie pan. place cracker crumbs on top. Mix sugar and cream of tartar in saucepan. Gradually stir in the water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add lemon peel and juice. Cool. Pour syrup over crackers. Dot with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. place the other crust on top. Trim, seal and flute edges. Place slits in the center of the crust. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool.

Tasting Parties
I love this idea. Very clever, cute and fun. My friend Sara has introduced this concept to her little boys. It is so cute to hear her tell of all the fun things she serves in random glasses (shot glasses, sherbet glasses, wine glasses), small bowls of all shapes and sizes, and trendy pieces she has collected for hosting tasting parties. Her sweet boys are eating Greek yogurt every afternoon and have no idea! I love it.
The ideas are endless. I am excited to think up a reason to throw a tasting party! I love the display of it all, and the portion control that comes with this concept. Pier One has lots of neat pieces and ideas. if you are interested in learning more, look it up or go to a local store to get a brochure that tells you all about it. Pretty neat!


And the little foodie is cruising through the produce aisle! This was his first time in this little contraption and he was an instant fan. I loved watching him and so did everyone else in the store. he waved all through the aisles like he was in his own personal parade. I love this child's personality!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Show Some Love


February is known for a lot of things. Heart Health Month, Black History Month, Groundhog Day, Presidents Day, and Valentine's Day. It is a plethora of celebrations, really. My favorite theme for this month is love. Red is everywhere and all the Valentine junk at "the Walmarts" make me feel the power of love!

Some years back, our pastor in Mississippi challenged us to make February an acts of love month. Each week had its own theme or challenge. I loved it! That month is when I really met my sweet neighbors and it was through that German chocolate cake I took over to them on a Tuesday night, that they became like family to us.

This year I am all about doing that again, but it my own way. Each day I am challenging myself to show love in a way that is out of my norm. It makes me feel loved to love others. They are small, random acts of love. They don't cost much and don't take too much time. I encourage you to spend the rest of this month showing love in a way that you might not normally do so.


Here are some examples:


Bake something sweet for your neighbors

Take your neighbor's trash can back up to the house from the road

Bake your families favorite dessert and surprise them with it

Offer to keep your friend's child(ren) so she can have a little break

Clean your spouses car

Send a card and tell someone you love them

Message someone who needs to hear from you

Send photos of your kids to family who love away

Put a note in your child's lunch bag

Write a love note in lipstick on the bathroom mirror

Take unexpired canned and boxed food to your local food pantry

Take unused coats and blankets to a local homeless shelter

Take outgrown toys and new undergarments to the women's shelter

Visit a shut-in from your church

Have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked

Smile and speak to someone who looks like they need it

Tell someone about Jesus' magnificent love!


Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV)

"Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law."

Jesus replied:

"Love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"



Abby


Warm Fuzzies

When I was a little girl we had warm fuzzy programs at school. I remember it fondly. My sister came to my grade school one time to lead a program. I thought I was so cool because she was my teenager and at my school. I was one of the few in grade school who had a sibling in high school. Anyway, the warm fuzzies were cool, and so was my sister! They were made out of yarn (the warm fuzzy, not my sister). I loved the lesson it taught us. Now as an adult I see the lesson a lot better than I did then. On a wet, cold, gray day, I am finding the warm fuzzies around me....here goes:

Making bread with my new big rolling pin my mama gave me for Christmas is so fun on a yucky winter day. I was going to through my starter out after Christmas but Randall convinced me to keep it. He likes the cinnamon rolls!

Looking at my wooden fish on the side of my fridge while I roll out dough makes my heart so happy. My little David made me this for Christmas. It was honestly my favorite gift. I just melt when I look at it. I hope Henry makes his Juju a fish when he is 9 and she loves it as much as I do.

Discovering that putting my sweet boy in a larger sized diaper at night will prevent wet winter mornings for my Henry makes me want to run out in the rain and do a pee pee dance! Thank you Melissa Jane for telling me to try it. It works and we are all dry and happy on this cold winter morning.

I love getting into my dresser on these cold mornings for a fleece and looking at my newest Willow Tree sitting on top. My Aunt Babs gave it to me for Christmas. It looks just like Henry and me. (when I sport the long hair).


I love giving my baby boy a bath. He squeals, he splashes, he throws the animals, and he loves having his teeth brushed. On a cold, boring day a bath can heat things up for a bit... and who doesn't love a good smelling baby to snuggle with?!


The Snoozies my hubby gave me for Christmas are truly a warm fuzzy. I love a polka dot and fleece. I also love a houseshoe that can be washed. He scored big on this purchase. They are keeping my purple painted toes really warm on this cold day.


Seeing an empty passenger seat and floorboard in my car makes me so happy on a winter morning. I can get in my car and take a deep breath and know it may need to be vacummed and shampoed, but it is clutter free! I know it makes my husband happy, not that he ever rides in it, but he looks in it often.

Having the shoes paired up and in order by the back door makes me want to give my husband a big fat kiss! We end up throwing our shoes off and letting them pile up when it is cold outside. We then trip over them. Randall took advantage of the good weather over the weekend and organized his garage. His garage is between the actual garage and the house, all attached to each other. It is odd, but really handy. The only bad thing is that it becomes a catch-all for everything. Poor guy, he is always out there organizing the mess on the pretty days.
And yes, those are polka dot rain boots you see in the back right. My sister, who has no cute rain boots (see her post yesterday) gave me some for Christmas. See, I ask for the right things! hee hee

Warm Fuzzies To You!
Abby




Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rainy Day Ramblings

It is a rainy day here in southeast Arkansas. Sure wish I had some cute rain boots! I should have asked for some for Christmas. Why do I never think of the right things to put on my Christmas list?? Are you like that? My Christmas list is always so generic. Sweater, shirt, necklace, something cute for my house. Cute rain boots should have been on the list! Maybe for my birthday??!!

Anyway, enough of Christmas! This is February. Can you believe it? January just flew right by. It didn't seem like it at the time of course. It never does. Its a lot like being a parent. People always tell you that your kids are going to grow up so fast. That one day they'll be babies and the next day they'll be graduating from high school. What they forget to tell you is the day to day struggles can seem like one day lasts 18 years!

Go here to see last year's birthday post for our Aunt Janet (TBEO). Today is her birthday and we both wish we were with her to celebrate it. I would probably make her a cake, a King Tut cake! (She made me a Raggedy Ann cake for my birthday one year and I thought it was a King Tut cake! She went to so much trouble for me, and I didn't even recognize Raggedy Anna. But in my defense, we were studying King Tut in school.)

Oh, the rambling. It seems that is all I can do lately. No cute succinct posts from me. You'll have to wait until tomorrow to get one of those from Abby. She can string some words together! You should hear her talk!! HA!

Since I don't have any cute boots to play in the rain with, I'm going to go make a cup of coffee in Stephen's Keurig and add some hot chocolate to it (Yummy!!) and sit by the window and look at the rain. I really enjoy rain. Not a lot of it, but one day I can handle!


Julie