Friday, April 29, 2011

Food Friday

I know Easter is over, but this week I have not done much in the kitchen. Here is a recap of our Easter meal. I love to set the table in an overly festive way. I come by it honest. It is in my genes. I also had other great influences in my life like Mama Swords house at the holidays. She was the mother to Daddy's best childhood friend. There are no words for that woman's decor at the holidays...no words! And there is my sweet "Sassy"( Mrs. Carolyn) who could be Mama Sword's sister when it comes to tablescapes. I love thinking of all the women who shaped me into the gawdy tablesetter that I am!! I know they would have loved to have come and sit at my table with me!



What is Easter in a child's home without a bunny cake?! Mama always made a bunny cake for Jules and me. Yes, this is my second year to give up my beautiful coconut cake for a bunny. It is worth it to see Henry go bonkers over it. He kept walking up to it and chomping his gums in the air...it was so cute! These cakes are truly ugly but super easy to make. I made a carrot cake and used cream cheese icing and coconut. My little family ate the tail end of that bunny real quick! The bakery at Kroger gave me the bunny face for free. All you have to do is ask real nice and you never know what you will get. I would have preferred a non pink face, but free is free! I dyed the coconut blue to offset the pink for my boy!





A 4 layer coconut cake makes me think of my Mawmaw. I love that woman! The whole time I was working on this cake I was thinking of her and being reminded of her showing me how to ice and apply coconut. She is such a good little cake instructor. Mine does not hold a candle to hers, but it was pretty enough. She makes boiled icing for hers and mine comes out of a can...just sayin! I took this coconut cake to my neighbors for Easter. Her mother is very ill and I thought if I was in her shoes, I would want someone to bring me a cake!



Easter is not Easter without a deviled egg. I use my cousin Hollye's recipe. There are 10,001 ways to make a deviled egg, but she is the deviled egg queen of our family so I don't dare detour from her egg path. This year I was out of relish. Randall liked them better without the relish. I was glad he was happy and that Henry ate his fair share of them also! Those are Henry's dyed eggs on the platter...love it!


It is not Easter at our house without a hashbrown casserole Here is the recipe. We have had this recipe in our family forever. I did not feel like typing it out, so I found one very similar online and linked to it....ha! Randall fell in love with it the first time I made it, which was our first married Easter in our little apartment. Fun times! It is such a great compliment to ham.






Henry's first Easter meal. Such a fuzzy picture, but such a fun memory. Last year he was still formula fed, so this year he got to enjoy all the tastes of Easter. He loved it all!



We had our meal on Saturday night because no one came to our house for Easter lunch this year. Sad times, but it was actually really enjoyable for me, afterall. It was a relaxing Easter and much needed for this little hostess with the mostess! Randall knows how much effort I put into holidays and the fact that he Henry were going to be the only ones to enjoy my tablescape and yummy dishes....well, the pressure was on him! He did very well and made me feel like all the effort was worth it for my 2 best boys. What a good man! We were able to have a laid back supper and then just warm up plates after church on Sunday. I might make this a tradition!! Randall took this of the little foodie and me at supper on Saturday night. Henry was focused on that rabbit cake! I cherish these sweet times.






Happy Food Friday!


Abby

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are You Sitting Down?

A couple of weeks ago after Sunday morning services Stephen suggested we have a picnic and fly kites. Of course, we were game!! Luckily, the twins had bought kites in hopes that we would fly them one day. Our little town had no kites to be bought. How can that be? Samuel and Anna had to take turns flying D & D's kites.We had sandwiches and snack cakes for lunch. We went to the Veterans Memorial Park to picnic. The park is home to two old army tanks that my kids love to play on. It also has a walking track, a golf range(that we never knew about) and a large open area. It's a great place




The park also has an on-site manager. Its an older couple and the day we were there, he was in the little shed-like building, which I believe he is making into his man cave, trying to get his satellite to work. It was a little unnerving. But besides that, we had a great afternoon together!

And let me just point out that Anna's shorts and headband match! Yes, she is cool like that!
p.s.

Can you stand it? Three pictures!! I don't know what has come over me!!

Julie



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter at Home

I'm not going to give you excuses as to why I don't have pictures in this post. All I'm going to say is my desktop computer doesn't have internet access at this time. I'm sure if I plugged something in to the proper place it would, but I don't even know where to begin to look for the something or the place. So, life goes on.

We went to Branson on Thursday of last week to celebrate Daniel, David, and, Anna's birthdays. We (except for Stephen) love Branson. The kids love Silver Dollar City and I do too, the shopping is great there too. It was fun, but then it rained. And rained.

Saturday on the way home Daniel began complaining about his stomach hurting. We gave him Pepto and it still hurt. Sunday morning he woke up with the same complaint and asked me to stay home with him instead of leaving him home while I went to church. So I, the preachers wife, missed Easter Sunday services. I also missed the Sunday before Christmas. I'm a preachers wife failure!

The kids looked so nice on Easter though. I took our normal Easter photo, but with Daniel in the back since he had his pj's on! Anna's dress was a Strausburg. It was smocked and long with a bow in the back. She loved it. I loved it. This could be the last year she wears a dress like this. Oh, I'll be sad.

We had a good lunch and supper for Easter. The Easter Bunny was a failure, but the kids hardly noticed. I guess having birthday presents to open that morning took away from the glamour of the Easter Bunny. I'm so glad! Because the baskets this year were BAD!

I hope your Easter was a great day. We didn't do anything special, but enjoyed the day knowing that Jesus was alive!!!!

Julie

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Monday

Henry's 2nd Easter was such a fun time. We loved celebrating all week with him. Last year he was too little to even sit up or partake in any of the activities. What a joy it has been to watch this little guy grow over the past year! He is my little bunny.

When Samuel was about this age he had an Easter outfit that almost mirrored Henry's. I should have scanned in the photo and compared them for you, but I am a slacker! Julie said she wished she could still put 13 year old Samuel in these little outfits, and I know I will feel the same when Henry is 13. They are so precious looking and short lived. I am soaking it up while I can!



Th proverbial Easter morning family photo. This was a self portrait with bad lighting and a camera that is on the brink of death, I fear. Despite the lighting and ill camera, I thought we cleaned up pretty well for Easter Sunday!




I love sharing Easter traditions with my sweet boy. Teaching him about Jesus this year with his little toddler Easter CD has been so fun and showing him how to hunt eggs has been a hoot. I realize he will remember none of it this year, but we are teaching him how we do Easter so next year. and the next it will sink in and stick!




My handsome Easter boys. The EB came to see them both and left lots of goodies in their baskets. My BFF, Melissa finds it fascinating that I make a basket for Randall. I told her Randall is a rotten mess...and he actually got more in his basket than Henry did! I always get a basket from Randall too, but this year I asked to have my nails and toes painted instead of a basket. I was tickled pink with my EB gift too (I got pink nails...get it?! ha). When we got married I set stocking and basket expectations for my man, and he has not yet let me down! Train them up in the way they should go...applies for husbands also, not just children!




Henry loved going through his little basket and we loved watching him. It is so true that you don't have to spend much to please a child. What fun to watch him enjoy things from the dollar bin at Target! ha....of course, he thinks the EB brought them. Sweet baby!!





And look at this princess in her dress! Julie sent this picture of Anna before church yesterday. I almost passed out when I saw what a beautiful, big girl she is in this photo! I loved, loved, loved her dress and pearls. I know Julie has Easter photos of the boys to share and an Easter recap from their house. Aunt Abby just had to show of her best girl!



Happy Easter Monday!

Abby

Sunday, April 24, 2011

He's Alive!


Luke 24:1-12 ESV

(1) But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. (2) And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, (3) but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. (4) While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. (5) And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? (6) He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, (7) that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (8) And they remembered his words, (9) and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. (10) Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, (11) but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. (12) But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

HAPPY EASTER!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Food Friday- Good Friday

Instead of thinking about food for the belly this week, let's focus on food for the soul as we embark on Easter this Sunday.

This song is a great description of Good Friday and what Easter is all about. I used to sing it at our church in Mississippi and I cried every time... and in turn made everyone else cry. Nothing like the power of Jesus! This song tells the story of Easter so well.

Happy Good Friday to you and I hope you, dear blog reader, know that Jesus died for you on that cross. All your mistakes, shortcomings, goof ups, and rebellious ways. What a joy to know that no matter what we do or where we go, we can never be separated from the love of Jesus. I pray that if you do not know Jesus today that this post will stir something in you and that you can have a true reason to celebrate Easter this year!

Abby

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Junk!

I've been checking my email junk folder for the last few days looking for a reply to an email I sent someone. And I have come across some interesting emails. I don't normally check the junk folder, I figure it doesn't do me any harm just sitting there. But, I'm pretty sure it would do some damage to my computer if I opened a few of these..... Sender Subject Latino Singles More Amor latino dating info (really?) Walk in Tub be safe during your shower (how old do they think I am) Mr. Lamindo Sanusi Urgent massage to you (an urgent massage? I don't think so) bra shop our selections of bras find me love still single? read this (no thank you, even if I was single) bra find quality brand name bras for less BOX of feelings for you i wanna spend my life with u ( thats exactly how it was written Asian singles online asian dating sites for anyone (even me!) underwear (as if emails from bra weren't enough) find your favorite style of underwear cowboy boots cowboy boots for men and women bra ( seriously, bra needs to get a new name!) bras you can depend on shop plus size fashions full-figured women need clothing too (I love this one!!) Engr. Frank Thabi crude oil partnership ( I wish this was true!) To think that people would open these kind of emails scares me. And the thought of someone sending these emails scares me more! Do you have a junk folder? Does it look like mine? Julie

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Celebrations and Sirens...What A Week

We started our Easter week with Daddy home because of all the rain. It is a catch 22 having him home...it is good, and bad. Oh the life of a wife of an agri man, I tell ya! Anyway, he likes to crawl in Henry's bed when he wakes up and surprise him. It about does me in , but it is cute, so I deal.




Henry got to experience his first Easter egg hunt this past weekend. He was so cute! I made his hunt bucket and had his shirt made. He is rotten, you know?!




It was a windy, windy afternoon but so much fun. Henry was a little unsure while all the other children were running at warp speed, but he soon took off and went after the "balls" and he managed to get 4 of them. We were proud, and even prouder when we found candy and quarters inside the eggs!




We had the hunt with some of my friends and Henry loved seeing everyone and playing at the park!




His little class had an Easter Sunrise Breakfast this week and I loved being able to go and sit with him. He loved showing me all his little tricks at school. It was cute.





His little friends are so precious and gobbled up all their Easter goodies. Henry got up and danced to Veggie Tales for them and made the parents laugh. I fear I have had my father's child!




Randall's mom came for a little visit this week and was kind enough to do my hair while she was here. It was WAY past due and she is the queen of color, so I was excited she came with her first aid hair bag!




It is not Spring here without a little visit to the closet. Henry and I stayed in the closet for 2 hours this week, while the storm passed through. The tornado siren is right outside our house so it is rather freaky when it goes off. The power then surged and the house alarm went off. I really thought I might meet Jesus at that very moment...just sayin! It was a siren roaring, wind roaring event, but my baby slept through the whole thing, thankfully.

We are looking forward to a few more celebrations before rounding out our Easter week. I love this week. The build up from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday is magnificent. I hope your week has been half as exciting as ours...ha!




Abby

Monday, April 18, 2011

Birthday Trio

It is that time of year again! Birthday week is here!!! Woo-Hoo!!! A week full of birthday cakes, wrapping paper, gifts, streamers and special days. It's my favorite week of the year!

Anna will be 7 tomorrow! Her party is today. She has designed her cake and we have decorated the dining room as birthday central for this afternoon . We're excited. And when I saw we I mean just the females of the family. The three boys aren't sure what they're going to do during the party, but they really don't want to be a part of it! HA!


Anna, You are a beautiful girl. Your smile melts my heart, your voice makes me smile. You have such a funny personality. This year we've seen you mature. People are commenting that you aren't as shy as you used to be anymore. There are still times you hide behind my back, but the majority of the time you are out front, smiling, and showing everyone the beautiful girl that God blessed us with. I am praying that this year is another year of growing in maturity and in your love of the Lord. I love you sweetheart!!





David! Is that not the cutest picture?! David is a great student. He strives for perfection in all things. And as you can imagine, is let down quite a bit. But he is learning to handle it really well! We had a time yesterday when it was just the two of us and I told him why we named him David. He had caused me great pain while in the womb while his brother had not. When I was being wheeled to the OR, Stephen asked who was going to be named what. I told him that we were naming the first baby David. David, from the Bible, was known not just for his love of the Lord but also for the trouble he caused. And the first baby to be delivered had certainly caused me some trouble!! But just as David in the Bible had a great love for the Lord, and sought Him earnestly, I believe my David will be the same kind of man. One that loves the Lord and wants what the Lord wants for his life. (Can you wait to come back in 20 years and see how David grew up??? Me either!!)

Daniel! This picture was taken last summer while he still had a cast on his arm. Oh, what a summer we had. Daniel keeps me laughing, his sense of humor is a blessing. He is helpful around the house, and with his siblings. Daniel enjoys being around me, I'm sure he'll grow out of it so I'm making the best of it!!


I always thought I would have two children. I wanted three boys but I thought I would just have two. And God showed out big in our lives and we have four children!! There are days when I want to sit and cry because I'm so tired of being a mother (I'm not the only one, right?!). But then I see their smiles and remember how blessed I am and I thank God that they sleep all night long in their own beds. Which gives me some time to renew and rejuvenate!


Happy Birthday Anna!

Happy Birthday Daniel!

Happy Birthday David!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food Friday

This is an interesting/unique spin on Food Friday. Henry and I have had Strep this week so my kitchen has been closed and honestly the thought of swallowing any type of food has been on the bottom of my list, as you can imagine. So glad to be on the mend now and excited to share this fun egg post with you. Let me start this by saying that Easter is SO much more than eggs and bunnies, it is all about Jesus. Jesus is the reason for Easter. Eggs are so symbolic of the tomb though and I love that. I have been wanting to make some blown eggs but was so intimidated by it. I am part of a club of really neat girls in town and one of them is real artsy and she showed us how to blow out eggs at our club meeting last week. I loved how simple she made it look, so I dove right on in and tried it.
My sweet little mama was at my house when I did this and she captured it in photos. I will share only this one because the facial expressions on the others she took are so embarrassing! It was quite the experience and we had quite a few laughs.


Our great-grandmother "Granny" made beautiful decoupage blown eggs before I was born. My grandmother "Mawmaw" gave me a basket full of them last year and I have wanted to recreate Granny's steps ever since. I remember the eggs growing up. I was never allowed to touch them, only to admire them with my eyes. Her trusting them to me last year was so special. I felt such a sense of pride, in a humble way.


I loved having Mama make them with me. I know without a doubt our Granny was beaming from her craft room in heaven as she watched us make these. Mama took the easy job of cutting and I got the yucky job of blowing out the egg yolk and gluing the paper on. It was messy but so rewarding to create such delicate little masterpieces like Granny's.


Here is how we did it:

We took an egg and poked a hole in both ends with a needle. One hole was bigger than the other. We put a nasal aspirator on the little hole and blew the yoke out of the big hole (Granny blew the yoke out with her mouth because no one knew this little trick back then). It was gross, but sort of neat. We ran water through the big hole and kept sucking until it blew out clear water. We let them dry.

We then went through my basket of party napkins and cut pieces of them up. I mixed Elmer's glue and water in a bowl. I brushed the thin napkin piece on with a paint brush full of the glue mixture. (Granny did all this the same way except she lifted the scene on the napkin with some sort of solution and made it a lot thinner and more beautiful. I am not that patient!). We then let them dry on a cooling rack. After they sat for a few days I added ribbons and beads with a hot glue gun and put them on the tree! Granny sprayed her eggs with shellac, and I will eventually do the same.


Mama and I found this cool tree for cheap, cheap at a sidewalk sale in town that same day for next to nothing. I really felt like I had hit the jackpot, I must say. I loved hanging my eggs on it with a few of Granny's eggs in the mix. The large egg is a goose egg that Granny made. I love that egg. She bought those eggs from a farm in Fort Smith. It sat where Logan's Roadhouse, Waffle House, etc sits now. That egg is old! The scene on it with the two little girls and one little blonde haired boy makes me think of playing with my cousin's Sa and Zach at Granny's.


I love the difference in the size of the eggs from her basket and my fridge. If you don't believe our dairy is now pumped with hormones, I urge you to come compare these eggs. It is almost scary!

Mawmaw added some ribbon to Granny's eggs some years back to hang from a tree. Knowing that 4 generations have been involved in these little eggs makes my insides smile as I look at my tree sitting high on my living room mantle so little Henry Patton won't also feel the need to get involved in them just yet. Actually, I hope he never gets involved with crafting ....just sayin! I will pass this on to Anna instead!


These eggs are so special to me. I displayed some in a beautiful pottery bowl I bought from the man who made it in rural Mississippi, some years back. He was selling it cheap because it had flaws in it. I never saw the flaws and loved the price. My favorite egg in this bowl is the one of Baby Jesus in the manger and a little girl/angel at his side. Knowing Granny passed on so much more than eggs to the generations after her, is so special. She showed the love of Jesus in all she did in the community and with her family. I cracked one of my eggs and went ahead and kept it and put it in this bowl with her eggs because we are all cracked and beautiful, just like that egg...and that flawed bowl.


And no Food Friday is complete without the little foodie. Here he is hard at work on the grocery list while Mama and Marmie did Egg crafts!


Happy Food Friday!

Abby

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Thursday Food Friday

Abby is so diligent about posting Food Friday blogs. But I wanted you to know that I cook too. You knew that already though didn't you? The kids new favorite breakfast is doughnuts. They are terribly easy to make and cheap too! Use cheap biscuits. In Star City we call them "whopp biscuits" because you "whopp" them on the counter to open them. Pinch a hole in the center of each biscuit and place them in hot oil. I use my fry daddy, but you can use a skillet if you need to. The skillet may give them a crispier coating (I don't like that so much). Take them out of the oil when they are slightly brown. You can use any topping you want to coat your do-nuts. We use cinnamon & sugar, you can use powdered sugar or melted chocolate. These are so very good!!! For lunch yesterday I made chicken salad. We were given some left-over fried chicken Sunday night and I knew we weren't going to eat it so I took the chicken off the bone and made chicken salad with it. Genius, I think! We like a chunky chicken salad so this was perfect for us. I added mayo, ranch dressing, soy sauce, pecans, an egg, pickle relish, onion, salt, pepper & seasoned salt. On toasted bread, this is a great sandwich! Supper is my hardest meal to think of. We are all together for almost every meal every day, but supper is our traditional big meal. And I feel the pressure. Daniel has fallen in love with enchiladas. I don't like them very much, but everyone else does. Brown the ground beef, add 1/2 a can of enchilada sauce and 1 cup of cheese. Fill a flour tortilla with the meat mixture wrap it up, place it in a 9x13 dish. Once they are all in the dish (I have to use two 9x13's for my family) cover with the remaining enchilada sauce, a cup of cheese and bake on 350 until brown. I add refried beans, and Mexican rice. Sometimes we just have corn. The kids love these! So, I know there aren't pictures but you aren't surprised are you? Try these out and let me know what you think! Julie

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zoo Fun


We took this little curly headed cutie to the Memphis Zoo the other day.


He loved the farm animals a lot. I think because most of his animal toys make farm animal sounds, so he was familiar with them. He called the donkey "mama", but he called the gorilla "daddy", so that made it all better!


Henry and his daddy were admiring the ducks in this photo. I am not sure they were admiring them the way the zoo intended....admiring them from a duck hunters prospective, of course.


Henry loved taking in all the sights and smells of the zoo while riding the Once Upon A Farm train.

Henry loved getting out of the stroller and running his daddy all over the place. It was truly too cute.
"moo!" He was looking at the cow and saying, "moo".


It was not as cool as we anticipated that day, and this poor little fella got hot in his stroller, but he was a trooper. He loved looking at all the animals and soaking up all the other children around him.


We had so much fun taking Henry to the zoo. We took him at Christmas for Zoo Lights, but we saw no animals, so this was his first real zoo visit. Randall and I have many childhood and adulthood memories of the Memphis Zoo. We are excited to share many more special ones with Henry.



Abby

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thanks for the Memories

The last time I saw my mom she gave me some mementos from my childhood. Pictures, report cards, class pictures. Oh, the memories.

She even gave me my baby books. Stephen and I spent the evening looking though everything. He made comments like, " oh, this was a mistake" when he saw pictures of me in typical 1975 attire. I'm so glad he loves me for who I am, not what I look like (or looked like).

While reading the baby books I was surprised to see a couple of dates that didn't jive with my memory.

I have always thought and told people that I was saved and baptized in the month of April. As it turns out it was October. I have no idea why I thought it was April but I'm just glad that God doesn't care if I can remember the date of my decision. He just cares that I made the decision!

I also realized that I broke my thumb and began the school year with a cast in 2nd grade. I have thought it was 3rd grade, but never could make that work in my mind with other events that happened in 3rd grade. So, it was good to know the date now, but disturbing to know that the way I have remember things has not been accurate.

It makes me wonder what other things I've been wrong about all these years. do you have this problem? Is it normal? Please say yes!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Little Marmie Love

Yay! Marmie came to see us over the weekend.
"Marms" got here in time to go with me to pick up Henry Friday afternoon. He had not seen her in a terribly long time, yet when he saw her at his door he smiled and reached for her. It was the sweetest thing.
He loved Showing "Marms" all his tricks and toys. She took pictures of everything he did. I stole most of these off her camera. She is truly a grandma!



Henry loved playing in Marmie's room (our guest room) because he is rarely invited in that room for play. He is a mess and she is a mess for encouraging it!


We spent a lot of our weekend swinging this little turkey! He loves his tree swing in the front yard and would stay in it all day if it were allowed.


We had so much fun with Marmie and loved every minute of our visit. This was a shot Marmie took of Henry eating his kids chicken strips, fries and bbq beans at Couch's BBQ...."nothing fancy, just good food!"



Abby

Friday, April 8, 2011

Food Friday

My friend Brittni and her daughter came over to hang out with Henry and me last weekend while Randall was planting. She is a fellow foodie, and I love her for it!
She came with Dump Cake ingredients. I failed to take any pictures that night, but luckily found these online. Nothing like a friend who bring 2 sticks of butter to your house....ain't that right?!
It tasted heavenly! I had never had it before and I loved it. Super easy and super yummy! There are a gillion and one ways to make it, so google it and find which one you like best.


I am loving some sweet potato fries these days. Henry is a big fan too! I found some in the frozen food aisle at our local grocery store and they are super yummy. I bake them and we eat them plan, no salt or any dipping sauce. They are good!


Henry has found the love of Sonic through the $1 tater tots. I love that child! I go for my Happy Hour Diet Coke (I am omitting the lime and omitting vanilla these days, and I like it plain much better. Who knew?!) and he gets a tater tot. We play our Sunday School Songs CD or our Praise Baby CD, open the sunroof. He dances and I sing. It is fun times for $2!! I am sure the Sonic girls think we are weird, but who cares.


Here is my little foodie eating Sonic after church on Sunday. He got chicken and tots. Daddy was off planting and I was lazy. Henry really liked it, and that made me not feel near as bad about feeding him junk for lunch!


Happy Food Friday!

Abby