Saturday, August 27, 2011

Love In Action

Some of you may know this pretty face as my dear friend Paige, but she is also an angel. She was the hands of feet of Jesus this week for a group of us that could not be. I love how Christians pull together and just do it because it is the right thing to do. No fanfare, no bells or whistles, no over thinking, no praise required...we just do it because it is required of us. Knowing we could call on Paige to work with us to show love to someone who really needed it was such a blessing to my friend heart.

This is Whitney. She is a coworker of mine that I have never actually worked with! She had her baby 8 weeks early and it was on the weekend before I started my job here. She has been in Little Rock all this time, living at the hospital praying her baby home. This week we could tell it was starting to take its toll on her (Though you cannot tell. Doesn't she look beautiful!?) . She needed a hug real bad and our arms were too far to reach her. Paige provided the arms for us. Paige took her happies from all of us and gave her a hug and loved on her baby boy for us. It was touching for everyone involved and reaping the goose bumps and smiles that came from it was a perk.

Julie also sent their youth minister to visit Whitney while making rounds in Little Rock. Watching love in action just gets me every stink'n time! Some may ask "why" and I reply, "Because that's just what Christians do!"

Abby

Friday, August 26, 2011

Food Friday

Peanut Butter Brownie Trifle Recipe

I made this sinful delight for our Sunday School party. It is tonight and I am anxious to see if it is a crowd pleaser. It was not too difficult to make and looks to be super yummy and rich tasting. If you like peanut butter and lots of it, I think you will really like it. I heart peanut butter and just assume everyone else does also...we shall see!

1 fudge brownie mix (13-inch x 9-inch pan size)
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
2 packages (13 ounces each) miniature peanut butter cups
4 cups cold 2% milk
2 packages (5.1 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cartons (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed

Prepare brownie batter according to package directions; stir in peanut butter chips. Bake in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack; cut into 3/4-in. pieces. Cut peanut butter cups in half; set aside 1/3 cup for garnish. In a large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set. Add peanut butter and vanilla; mix well. Fold in 1-1/2 cartons whipped topping.
Place a third of the brownies in a 5-qt. glass bowl; top with a third of the remaining peanut butter cups. Spoon a third of the pudding mixture over the top. Repeat layers twice. Cover with remaining whipped topping; garnish with reserved peanut butter cups. Refrigerate until chilled. Yield: 20 servings (1 cup each).


Sassy Tailgate Sandwiches Recipe

I have had these before but had never made them until this week. They were an easy fix and lasted my little family of 3 for a few days. I used plain cream cheese instead of the chive and onion spread. I would go a little lighter on the cream cheese next time, but other than that, it was a winner.


1 pkg. (12 count) Hawaiian bread rolls
1 lb. shaved Black Forest ham
12 slices Gruyere cheese
1 tub (8 oz.) Philadelphia® Chive & Onion Cheese Spread
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp. dried minced onion
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cut all rolls in half. Place roll bottoms in 9x13-inch pan. Place equal amounts of ham on each roll bottom. Top with Gruyere. On each of the roll tops, spread a generous amount of the cream cheese spread. Return the tops to the bottoms making sandwiches. In a separate bowl, mix together the butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion and Parmesan cheese. Pour over your sandwiches and let sit for at least 20 minutes. (You can make these ahead of time and allow to sit in fridge overnight.) Place sandwiches, covered in foil, in a preheated 350°F oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until warmed through. Enjoy! Yield: 12 servings.


I love my little foodie. He had a mouth full of goodness in this picture. He loves to go out to eat and flirt with the people sitting around us. Here he is in action. Eating out is always an adventure with our little Henry.

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ode to the Ipod

Our boys all have ipod touches. Samuel received his for Christmas last year and D&D got theirs for their 10th birthday. Samuel dropped his and cracked it something terrible in March. Tile floors will do that to an ipod. He got a new one when D&D got theirs but he had to pay for his second one. I mean, a lesson had to be taught!

When the pool first opened he jumped in swam a bit, got out, felt his pocket and there was his ipod touch! It was the Saturday before he went to church camp and he wasn't going to need it there, so we put it on the microwave (read it on google), and when I bought rice 3 days later I put it in a bowl of rice and left it there for six days. Six days later it worked! We were so happy, Samuel most of all!

(The same kind of thing happened with David and our garage door opener last year. We didn't put it in rice or on top of the microwave and it has never worked since!)

Anyway, I love their ipod touches. Love them. I just knew I was going to get one for my birthday, but I guess Stephen decided to let me continue to borrow the ones we already owned. And I borrow them frequently! One of the boys is much nicer about letting me borrow his than the others. I won't tell you who, but Daniel has been winning the Favorite Son award around here a lot lately!

So, I started out writing this about ipods. I know I had an idea of what I wanted to tell you, but for the life of me I can't remember what it was. I've sat here for some time now thinking of what it could have been, and I have come up blank.

Blank.

So, I guess this will end up being the Beavers Ipod Story. Sorry, so very sorry.

Julie

Can You Hear Me Now?

Henry loves to "listen" on the phone with his Marmie, Juju and her crew, and his Grandaddy. They are always wanting to talk to their little guy and he is always up for the fun. I am so glad they take the time to invest in him on weeknights when they are all so tired from the day and we are too. I love that my little nuclear family from days gone by still show love the exact same way...the love my heart aches for after a long weekday. Thank you God for my "people".

This week Henry actually talked more than normal and they all loved it! I love hearing my Daddy laugh at my child through the phone. It makes my heart feel good. I love to hear my Mama smile through the phone when my sweet boy says her name. It is medicine for my soul. When Henry finally said "Juju pretty" to my favorite sister after months of poking and begging, my insides danced a little jig. Seriously, there is nothing cuter than him knowing his "people" even though he rarely sees them in person. He knows who David "Day Day", Daniel "Danel", and Anna "An-ne-na" are from our photo in the den and our occasional Skype sessions. I am sorry, Samuel, but he looks at you and says "baby"! I say all this to say, even if you live away from your family, you can still be as close as you want to be. It just takes a little time and offers a great reward package! Call someone you love today, shoot them an email or even better....send them snail mail. I challenge you.

Abby

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I don't know about you but the last few days have been bus-y.

WIth the pool closed it seems like I have a jillion things to do. Friday night I went to a dinner for Pastor's wives in our association (the local area of Baptist churches). It was such fun. The food was good and those women are funny! I have a heart for ministers' wives. They are such fun women and so often misunderstood. Please remember to pray for your ministers' wives. They are the heart and soul of your minister!

Saturday was a women's conference that I help with. This year my friend, Melinda Bunyard spoke. I just love her and listening to her teach. It was a great conference. I ran home after it was over and went to the pool with my family. And then we ate out. Could there be a better Saturday??

If there is a women's conference (and you are a woman) in your area, go. GO! Even if you don't know the speaker. As long as it is a reputable church putting it on, GO! You will love the time with other women, and God just may speak to you while you're there.

Love ya'll!
Julie

Friday, August 19, 2011

Food Friday

As you read earlier this week, we went to the beach. When you go to the beach you have to eat seafood. It is a given. We LOVE seafood, so we were in heaven. In fact, one of the reasons we went was for the food. We are pathetic, I know.

The first night we were there we ate in Mobile at the Original Oyster House. It was the cutest place on the outside and had a fun playground for Henry to play on while we waited a half hour for a table. They had live music and Henry enjoyed dancing, of course. The open air smoking was a bit much for me though. We are not used to cigarette smoking, so that was a little much to take for all 3 of us and we left the play area before our table was ready to find clean air.
Once seated we had a very nice waitress. The salad bar was yummy and the kids meal was a good portion and price. The entrees and oysters left a lot to be desired though. I don't eat warm oysters....just sayin! I must say that it looks like a really cool place, but my $50 could have been spent elsewhere and I would have been fine with that.

The second and third nights we ate at Bubba's. He was across from our hotel and it worked out well that we could just walk over and walk back. The seafood was good and well priced. The service was great and the atmosphere was laid back and "beachy". Henry's meals were large and after a long day in the water, he needed a large meal! The oysters were to die for and cheap! We ate 4 dozen oysters on our trip. We love them! I would recommend Bubba's to anyone visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast. You won't be sorry!

We ate lunch one day at Mellow Mushroom at Hattiesburg, Ms. We love stuff like this, so it was a must try. We got a pizza with an olive oil base instead of a pizza sauce. That is our favorite. It was a monster pizza that left us in that after lunch coma you hate to be in, especially when you have a long drive ahead of you. I would recommend this to anyone who lives near one. I am jealous of you if you do. I want one in our town! It was a fun atmosphere, I just wish they had kids meals. I fed my child cut up bread sticks and pizza sauce...lunch of little champions!

The best part of the drive back up to Jackson, MS is all the produce stands. We stopped at 3 of them. We came home with an assortment of goodies. It has been so fun cooking with them this week. I made a peach cobbler with a dozen fresh peaches. Randall looked at me at the dinner table with a mouthful of it and vanilla ice cream and said "this is the very best cobbler I have ever had in my mouth!". Sweet thing.

Cake Mix Peach Cobbler

12 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread peach slices evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. If using canned peach juice, pour 1 cup of it over peach slices. If using fresh peaches, combine water and sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve, then pour mixture over peaches. Sprinkle cinnamon over peach slices, followed by dry cake mix. Top cake mix with pats of cream cheese. Dot cobbler with butter or margarine.Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, until golden. Serve with vanilla ice cream, of course!

*next time I will mix the cake mix and cream cheese together before adding




Here is the cute little foodie dining at Bubba's begging for an oyster. Don't worry....we didn't give him one!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life

Weren't Abby's pictures just precious? Henry is such a doll and could not be cuter. Since Stephen and I have been married (18 years) we've probably vacationed on the beach 13 of those years. We have NO family pictures on the beach. So, when I saw Abby's I told the boys and Stephen that we were going to have pictures made when we go this year. They all said "NO!" at the same time. They let me know that it was vacation and there would be no family pictures taken. It makes it easier for me, I don't have to plan outfits for six people to wear on the beach for pictures. I guess its a win-win situation!

I was reminded this week of how different my life is now than just 2 or 3 years ago. I have friends that have young children and when I look into their eyes sometimes I see despair. And I remember that feeling so well. The realization that I could not run to the store by myself, Stephen and I couldn't decide to go on a date at the last minute, I couldn't close my bedroom door and take a nap on a really hard day. It wasn't an easy time. I have been reminded to pray for those moms of young children. Their time is not their own right now. I pray that you who are reading this will also vow to pray for those moms, and if you are one of them please know that I am praying for you!

Stephen and I will be going out tonight. In the last year Samuel has begun babysitting the other three kids for us. He doesn't like it too much, but we are showing him that we trust him and that is going a long way in our relationship with him. Life changes so fast. Sometimes we don't eve realize it until we look back and see where we've been and then we can look ahead and see where we are going. In a little of two years Samuel will be driving alone! AAHH!!!

Julie

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beach Bums

Henry took his first trip to the beach this past week. We visited Orange Beach, on the Alabama Gulf Coast. It was great fun for all 3 of us....yet Henry had the most fun, I think!

It was such a joy to watch him get hit by his first wave. I love that I actually captured it. His squeals and laughter will be stored in my heart forever. He is just too funny. I love that child.

We had our photos taken on the beach one morning while we were there. I am a social media junkie...though I am trying to cut back some for fear the state may come take my baby if I don't mop the floor more often...but it my social media escapades I found a new friend on the Alabama Gulf Coast who was kind enough to lend her photography talents to my little crew.

Henry did not pose for any of his shots. I know some of you who have seen the full online album are in awe at his photos. I am afraid he is a natural...like his Mama! ha. I love how Michelle captured him in true Henry form in all her shots. It makes my little Mama heart so happy to look at all of them.

I love the saggy pants in this photo and his hand...don't you just want to reach up and kiss your screen?! What a doll.

And this is true Henry speed. This is really why the floors don't get mopped. After I chase him all night I am too tired to see straight. I am too old for a toddler I think, but I sure love it! He loved running after the seagulls and playing in the "wawer"

Our trip was so fun. Watching him play in the hotel pool and on the beach was a trip in itself. He was the entertainment for everyone around us. They all knew Henry and when he retired for his afternoon naps they would ask "when will Henry be back". All the pregnant ladies, grandparents and teenage girls were smitten for Henry Patton. He cried "beach" on the way home so I am pretty sure we will do it again next Summer, and the next, and the next....

Abby


Monday, August 15, 2011

Anniversary's and Books

August is not only my birthday month it is also my anniversary month.

Yesterday Stephen and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary! We didn't do anything special. We went to church, ate lunch, I went to the pool he took a nap, we went back to church and came home. The end!

We had planned on going out to eat sometime over the weekend or even today, but things happened and going out to dinner was not one of them. You know how that is, don't you?

School is going good. We have finished up day 4 and no one is worse for the wear. (Where did that phrase come from?)The pool is closed during the week now, so I anticipate getting fall & winter clothes out for a consignment sale I always participate in and cleaning the house. Going to the pool every afternoon didn't do anything good for the house! She has suffered quite a bit this summer.

David set a goal at the beginning of the year to read 100 books before the end of the year. Well, he did it! Some of the books were a little short, but he still read 100 books, so Stephen and I took him for lunch today. He chose Subway and we had such a fun time just the three of us. I guess that's as close to an anniversary dinner as I'm going to get this year!

Julie

Friday, August 12, 2011

Food Friday

This week I thought about going down memory lane through food. I will highlight some of the things I have eaten this week that have caused me to take a few trips along the way...

Greens. I crave them lately and watched Paula Deen cook some on her show and it made the craving worse. Who craves greens? So odd. Anyway, it makes me think of wonderful memories in my Mawmaw's kitchen. We celebrate big in the kitchen when we are all together. She is the only one I know who makes greens...at least the only person who has served them to me. I want her to show me how to make them when I go visit her this fall. I sometimes just crave her kitchen.

Daiquiri ice. This is a Sisters favorite and a Summer time must. Our Granny managed a dress store in the Phoenix Village mall, back in its hay day, and her little friend ran the Baskin Robbins in the middle of the mall. Mrs. Breedlove was her name. Julie and I always got daiquiri ice and to this day it is our favorite. I still think of that mall when I eat it and that mall has been a dead deal since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Somethings just never die though...

Tater tots are a favorite at our house these days. Henry loves them and they are an easy thing to feed him on the go. They make me think of Julie every time I eat one. She loves a tot...prefers a tot over a fry even. She is odd like that, but I love her.


Microwave popcorn. What a love/hate relationship. My coworker pops some now and again and shares with me. The smell and each bite reminds me of dreadful days of dorm living. It is a depressing snack, really.


Peaches. I love the smell of a fresh peach, the feel of the fuzz on the peel and the taste of the fresh juice. We bought some at the produce market last week. Carrying my little sack of peaches made me almost cry for my Meemaw. I have not ever encountered a peach that did not make me think of my sweet "Meep". She loved to stop in Clarksville and get peaches each Summer. She put them on everything....cereal, ice cream, sandwiches, cobbler, pie, etc. I miss that sweet peach.

My little foodie is now using his utensils. He still requires help, but he is getting the hang of it real well. They grow so fast! And yes, that is ketchup on his cheek because all good meals include ketchup. It is amazing what we can get the child to eat if it is dipped in ketchup!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just a few things

These things have been on my mind recently...

** Why must they sell clothes to fit seven year old girls that look as if they were made for ladies of the night? Seriously!

** My sister is the sweetest thing. Her birthday post for me made me smile. I'm so glad I don't have to do life without her.

** School starts for my children today. We are doing a few new things this year, I'm hoping they take to them well. Schools are always doing new things, why not us?!

** My kids are the best at celebrating birthdays! I had streamers, balloons, breakfast in bed and cupcakes made for me, all by the kids. It's great being me!

** We are headed to the beach in a few weeks and I can't get it out of my mind. I'm making lists in my head of what to take, where I want to eat, what I want to eat in the condo, and if I should buy a new swimsuit.

** The answer to if I should buy a new swimsuit is going to be a big no! Good grief, I must go on a diet!

** I get to see my Mamaw and Uncle David in a little over a month. I am so very excited. I haven't seen their faces in just over a year, and that is just too long. I so wish they lived near me!

** The pool closes for weekly swimtime Friday. It will just be open during the weekends until Labor Day. My soul is sad, I love laying by the pool in the afternoons.

** I'm hoping that since we are going to be in more a routine I will blog more. I have so many ideas to blog about, but can't seem to put sentences together anymore!

Julie

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Julia's Day

Happy Birthday to my older, stylish, sweet and sassy sister!
Julia, I hope you have a blessed day because you being on this earth is a blessing to all of us. It is a joy to know Mama bonded us together in her womb and then Daddy chose to make us sisters...sisters that hold tighter than crazy glue! It makes me smile to know you are another year older and wiser than me and there is not a thing you can do about it!






Join me in wishing a HAPPY, HAPPY day to my favorite and most beautiful sister, Julia Kathryn (Or you can just call her Julie) with a little celebration, Bobby Sherman style!





I used to play this record (yes, a record) when she married and moved out when I was 15. I would cry and hyperventilate because I missed her so bad. I have always loved that girl!




Abby

Friday, August 5, 2011

Food Friday

Eggplant Casserole

This is a recipe handed down by our great-grandmother, our Granny. She made this often and it was a favorite amongst our clan. It is one of Mama's favorite dishes and she makes it really well too. There is a cast iron pot it goes in and when I get ready to make it at my house I find myself looking for that red cast iron pot and then realize...duh, I am not at Mama's house anymore!

It seems like a strange dish and one that would not please the masses, but it does. My hungry hubby actually really likes it, and that is a shocker. he does not branch out in the veggie category real well. We add garlic to ours and a 1/2 stick butter with saltines or Ritz crackers on top...just the way Mama and Granny made it!

I made it this week after our weekend outing to the produce stand we love so well here in our area. We had fun making fresh meals this past week and this was one of our best dishes of the week. Enjoy!

(this recipe card is an image I found online and it is not from my Granny, but it looked like her writing, had Julia at the top, and it is basically the same recipe without the garlic, butter and crackers added to it. I can just see Mama, tbeo, Mawmaw, Aunt Donna, and Julie trying to figure out where I got this card...so I thought I would clarify! ha.)



My little foodie in the kitchen helping me cook our veggies part of the time, and then heading out to the grill to help his Daddy with the meat the rest of the time. What a sweet little helper we have in Henry Patton!

Happy Food Friday!
Abby

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My Boy, My World

This little curly headed booger bear of mine was born 20 months ago today...so hard to believe.
Some days it feels like 20 months, but most days feel like it was just yesterday he became our whole world.
My boy is so, so busy and has a little mighty mind of his own. I love the blooming personality I see more of each day. It makes me laugh, cry and moan. He is going to be a preppy little pistol, that is for sure.
My boy is very head strong, has great wit about him and smiles with his big ole brown eyes. A winning personality already. I prayed for him to have a fun personality and God answered my prayers, I know that is true!
My boy loves to make us laugh and I adore it more than words can express. He is my heart, the cutest line leader you ever saw, my chatty twin and his Daddy's funny little know it all. He is such a sweet little mix of his Daddy and me. Just the way it should be.
I am soaking up all of these days of discovery and wonder and hiding them in my heart and on my camera card. Thank you God for this fussy, funny, challenging and loving big blessing we call Henry Patton.

P.S. In case you wondered...I stopped the monthly photos at 18 months. It was time. He had his fill of them and so did I!


Abby

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back Home

We're home from Siloam. And laundry is washed, dried, folded and put away. Can I get an hallelujah for that? Camp laundry is the worst because it contains, clothes, towels, sheets and blankets for all of us.

This year Samuel was too old to participate at Siloam (it was children' only week) so he spent the week with Stephen's parents in Branson. I got a text from him on Wednesday saying he had ridden Wildfire 22 times. Wildfire is a roller coaster that I've been on twice and I don't see anymore rides in my future. But he loved it. He now holds the claim-to-fame for riding it the 2nd most times. The most times on one day is 50. I can't imagine 50! He said he was " epically dizzy" after the 22!

Siloam was great fun. I got to see my blog friend Judy (she is just the sweetest and most beautiful person) and my friend Melinda who is also beautiful and sweet. Neither of them had to endure the heat of camp because they just camp up for a short amount of time but it was great to see them!

This was the best year at Siloam I've ever had. Including the year I had my first kiss in pavilion 22 with a boy from the town I'm currently living in. If you are looking for a camp to send your kids, children or youth, to, this is it! You will not be disappointed!

David & Daniel both came home with girls that liked them. I have a strict no boyfriend-girlfriend rule. They can like them all they want, but we are just not going to have those titles. They can save that for when they're older and know what it means. Anna didn't come home with a boyfriend. Thankfully there weren't any boys there her age!

It's good to be home and getting back in the groove of things. Blogging, school, laundry. What have you been doing?

Julie