Monday, June 30, 2008

The Nashville Flea Market

This past weekend, we had the pleasure of hosting some dear friends of ours! We had a great time visiting, playing, slipping and sliding, Guitar Heroing, and eating. On Saturday, Aimee and I ventured out without the kids to the Nashville flea market. Before kids, I loved going to places like this in good ole K-town and I was not disappointed with this flea market! It was huge and there was so much to see (we were told it was a light flea market so I can't imagine a heavy one!) It would take you many days to feel like you had seen everything and we only stayed for a couple hours. It was so much better than any I had been to in Knoxville. I got a great deal on some vintage pyrex with glass tops to continue replacing my plastic food storage. Aimee got some great deals on a wooden doll cradle for her little girl, a croquet set, and some books. Looking around makes you realize how much junk has been produced over time and how ones man's treasure is another's junk! I so wish I would have remembered my camera to take pictures of some of the funnier things we stumbled upon for sale but alas I did not. I guess I will have to remember it for next time! I will definitely go back and I really hope Aimee will come back in October for the biggest month of the Nashville flea market!

After the flea market, Aimee and I ventured to historic downtown Franklin. I have always wanted to go and poke around there and was so glad to get to! We visited an amazing fabric store that puts a certain nice fabric store in Ktown to shame on selection and prices. It would take hours to go thru all their amazing fabric. I will definitely be taking my Mom there next time she visits this way. I saw plenty I would love to have turned into cute clothes for my little clothes horse! We also ate lunch in a great little restaurant: H.R.H. Dumplin's. We had a wonderful girly morning and afternoon!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

HJ's Pancake Breakfast

I thought I would share this yummy recipe for homemade pancakes. My kids love them! HJ requested them for breakfast this birthday morning. I usually won't make a big breakfast on a day when we have to be somewhere (Pirate art camp for HJ!) but I made an exception for such a special day! They are super easy and yummy!


1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup veg. oil

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

Whisk all ingredients together. Drop a silver dollar size dollop of batter on a hot skillet. When edges appear to harden, flip the pancakes and finish cooking the other side. (These are great with either blueberries or chocolate chips added to the batter.)

No Longer a Baby

Back in March, I blogged about my feelings about losing my baby to boyhood. I feel like today it is really official. HJ turned 5 today. Five sounds so old to me. When you are five you are old enough to go to school and really marks the end to babyhood. I just can't believe my son is five. These first five years have gone by so fast and have been so precious. I am excited though to see the boy he is becoming and to enter this new phase of life that involves doing and going much more than the first five. We can do so much more with HJ now, that going places is exciting and fun for all of us. This birthday is bittersweet for me though as it officially ends babyhood and begins boyhood.
We celebrated HJ's birthday with his friends and grandparents on Saturday at a really fun, cool place called Glow Galaxy. Apparently in Nashville and the surrounding area, you can find anything and everything to do for a birthday. HJ had gone to a birthday party here earlier in the year and would not consider having his party anywhere else. It is a really cool place that has lots of huge inflatable slides, obstacle courses, and moon walks (not to mention putt-putt and a cool interactive dance floor) but it all glows under black lights. It is uber cool! We all had a blast watching HJ play with his friends on everything. I enjoyed not having to do anything but sit back and enjoy the party! Unfortunately, with my camera broken, I did not get many good pics. The little pocket cameras just don't take good pics in the dark! The group pic above is as good as it gets.

Today, we woke HJ up with a family sing of Happy Birthday. I made his favorite breakfast of pancakes. We will go to his pick of places tonight to eat. I think he wants pizza. It will be a small celebration in comparison to Saturday, but sweet.

Happy 5th Birthday my sweet, sweet boy! I am so proud of the boy you are becoming. Your compassion toward others inspires and awes me. Your intelligence blows me away everyday. Your love for life is a joy to behold. Your love for your Lord and Savior and hunger for his word humbles and inspires me. Having the blessing of you in my life is one of my greatest joys. I love you more everyday and am so proud to be your mother!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Slippin' and a Slidin'

After reading the 5rings Weblog, which is the blog of an old work friend of KJ's, and seeing how much fun he and his family and friends had on their homemade slip and slide, we were hooked. We went to the good ol' Home Depot and purchased 100 feet of plastic to go in our side yard to create our own slip and slide. We had our first slip and slide party with some friends last night and had an absolute blast! Everyone got soaped up with dish soap and away they went. As the evening went on, both the men and kids got more and more creative with their slides. It was a blast to watch! Last evening marked the first of many more slip and slide parties, I am sure.

All lubed up and ready to slide!


Riding alone got boring so the kids devised new and improved ways of going down the slip and slide! Riding on Daddy's back is a very fun and faster way to get to the bottom of the slide, than riding alone.

Riding one at a time on a Daddy, turned into everyone piling on a Daddy for a pyramid ride to the bottom!

Piling onto the Daddies, quickly turned into a game of knocking kids off the Daddies by the Daddy not being piled onto. It is like bowling for kids!

The men really got into it toward the end, with lots of races to the bottom at full speed! I am not sure who enjoyed the slip and slide more, the men or the kids??

Thursday, June 19, 2008

S'mores and Lightening Bugs

We had the pleasure of going to KJ's college pastor's house for dinner last night. It was a wonderful celebration of summer. They have gotten a fire pit so the kids got to roast hot dogs over it and then later s'mores! They had a ball with it and brought back fun memories of camping while creating new ones with good friends. CG was so funny eating the smore's, as chocolate is her passion in life, so she picked out the gooey chocolate bar from the smore and ate it first and then went back and ate the marshmallow/graham cracker sandwich.
After dinner, we let all the kids stay up late and run around the backyard catching lightening bugs. It was HJ and CG's first time catching lightening bugs, as they are usually in bed before it gets really dark. They both had a blast and have asked to do it all again tonight. A perfect, almost poignant, summer night!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Banana Pudding Queen

Last Friday, we had KJ's college pastor over for dinner with his oldest son. His wife and three other kids were out of town. We had our Friday pizza night and, because we were having guest and everyone knows you can't have guests and not have dessert, I asked my hubby what he would like me to make for dessert. I was expecting him to name something chocolate as that is ALWAYS my preference. Instead, his first choice was graham cracker creme pie. Now you have to understand that this is an old family recipe that his Grammy is famous for. It is fairly complicated and you really need to be a blood relative of his Grammy to be able to successfully make it. Moreover, I did not want to attempt to make it and have my hubby say that it wasn't as good as his Moms or Grammy's. I mean no disrespect to them but really what wife wants to be told their food is just not as good as their Mother-in-laws or Grammy-in-laws, even when you love the two a lot! So, I told him to choose something else. Well, low and behold, he choose another item that I have never made and that my friend Joy is considered the queen of in my house: Banana Pudding! I was worried that if I tried making banana pudding the way Joy does, I would be in the same boat as being told it was good just not as good as Joy's. Well anyway, I subscribe to a lot of cooking blogs and a couple of them have mentioned Paula Deen's Banana Pudding and how unbelievable it is. I am not a huge fan of banana pudding but this sounded too good and was raved about to much not to give it a go! So I made it, and it was heavenly, and I am now queen of the banana pudding in my own house (though KJ did say, he still likes banana pudding the way Joy makes it and would like to have it that way soon, but that he loves it Paula Deen's way too, he needs a side by side taste test)! Yippee! My son even told me it was his favorite dessert. He was scraping and licking his bowl. So without further ado here is Paula Deen's recipe for Banana Pudding.

Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

* 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessman cookies

* 6-8 bananas sliced (I used 4 and thought that was plenty)

* 2 cups milk

* 1 5oz box instand French Vanilla pudding mix (I used 1 1/2 3oz boxes)

* 8 oz cream cheese softened

* 14 oz sweetened condensed milk

* 12 oz frozen whipped topping thawed

Line the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch dish with 1 bag of cookies. Place bananas on top of cookies.

Blend milk with pudding mix. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk together. Fold in whipped topping. Add this mixture to the pudding and stir until blended. Pour over bananas.

Cover the top with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until serving.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Is it Bad?

Is it bad that, though I am excited about what my kids will be learning at Vacation Bible School, the most exciting thing for me is that KJ and I get to drop them off at 6:00 pm and then not pick them up until 8:30 pm? We get 2.5 hours to ourselves each night for 4 whole nights!!!!!!!!!! We LOVE our kids to pieces but are excited to be having some adult time too!

Friday, June 6, 2008

By the Grace of God

I just ran 20 minutes without stopping for a walking break!!! You would have to realize that a short time ago, I could barely run a minute without stopping to know what an accomplishment this is for me. I am so excited to see that I could do that and I know it is only by focusing my sight on God that I did it because it is not in my nature to push myself past discomfort. Trust me it was super hard but it is such a high to know that I can do it!

*Those aren't my feet, they were downloaded from google.*

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Completely Traumatized!

KJ and I are pretty sure our son is going to need some psychological help to deal with the abject terror he felt for his life, not once, but twice last night!!!!
It all started with the remodel of our bathroom. There are some pretty interesting looking tools around the house right now. HJ has been warned not to touch them. However, the air compressor that is currently in our bedroom (come on I know everyone keeps one in their master bedroom, right) proved to be too much of a temptation! It is bright orange and has lots of fun looking knobs and dials on it. While KJ was talking to Drew last night in the bathroom, HJ must have been examining the air compressor. I was in the family room straightening up when I hear a very, very, very, loud hissing sound. A moment later, my son is screaming louder than the hissing and running faster than I have ever seen him run, down the hall from the master bedroom to the family room, and upon reaching me he makes an enormous leap into my arms, throwing his arms around my neck and anchoring his legs around my hips and burrowing his head into my neck. I am still bewildered trying to think about what the very loud whooshing/hissing sound is and if my son is hurt. The noise stops and Drew and KJ come out of the bathroom laughing until they see how absolutely terrified HJ is. He is sobbing uncontrollably and shaking violently from abject terror. It takes me 30 minutes to completely calm him down! Whereupon, we learn that when he pulled the release knob on the compressor, he got a face full of compressed air and a loud noise erupted from the machine that he wasn't supposed to touch because we told him they are dangerous. We think he thought he was going to die for a moment. It has put the fear of God into him, in regards to all the tools!
So after that terror, we finally get the kids to bed. I head to the kitchen and my bigger child, I mean my husband, goes down to the garage to play with his brand new toy, a gas blower. Being brilliant and too excited to think clearly, he starts the gas motor up inside the garage (luckily the garage doors were open!) and proceeds to check it out by blowing all the tile dust from Drew's tile cutting out of the garage, not paying any heed to the smoke coming from the blower. It sets the smoke detector off, but my child, I mean husband, can't hear it over the roar of the blower. Because all the smoke detectors are wired to each other, this sets off all the smoke detectors inside the house! Now, I have never heard the smoke detectors go off in our new house and they are ear drum shattering loud inside the house. They are so loud that I think the burglar alarm is going off, which is Drew's first guess too. So I am frantically punching in the code for the alarm over and over again to no avail! Drew gets the idea to hit the # and * button together thinking it will reset it. What that does is set the burglar alarm off and is the code to directly call the police department. Once the alarm goes off, we realize it is the smoke detector going off not the alarm and quickly turn the burglar alarm off. However, by that time the police have been called! I turn around to find my son, standing behind me shaking and sobbing, which I could not hear over the wail of the smoke detector. He thinks there is a fire and thought we had forgot about him in his room and he was going to die!!!! I scoop him up and try to console him over the wail of the smoke detectors. They finally go off once Drew goes down to tell KJ what is going on and he shuts his blower off and fans the smoke out of the garage. However, my son, not quite recovered from the night's earlier trauma is bewildered, terrified, and confused. He did not understand why the smoke detector went off accidentally and I had a really hard time convincing that this happens and we would never, ever forget him! I praised him for coming downstairs. THEN, the police arrived, which set off another round of questions and concerns! After laying with him for 30+ minutes and going up numerous times to calm him down after that, he finally fell asleep. My poor little boy is still talking about the terror of last night. Thankfully, it is behind us and hopefully we won't have that terrifying of a night ever again!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Matthew 6: 26-27
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

God has greatly blessed me thru my early morning runs. I am getting to the point where it is not that hard to get up and run. I used to dread it and now I find that I am looking forward to it. My Heavenly Father has used these runs to speak to me, encourage me and teach me. These runs have truly been a blessing.
This morning I saw the deer again. They let me run closer to them than they did last time. It is amazing to me how beautiful they are. They seem to be able to look into your soul with their huge eyes. Seeing them is a reminder to me at how awesome our God is!
Friday morning, the Lord used my run to show me an awesome truth. Before I continue with the story, I must remind everyone that I am a little slow to pick up on things. You will see why in a minute! Anyway, back to the lesson.
For the past few months, events and people have weighed heavily upon me and I guess I tend to worry and fret about everything. Anyway, while running, I have always noticed how many worms there are all over the road. I never understood why until Friday. Now I am sure there is a scientific explanation as to why the worms like to come out and be on the road. However, there is also a much more basic explanation and it finally dawned on me Friday what is going on (I tell you I am slow!) Friday, I finally noticed what all the birds are doing. The birds are eating the worms! Then Matthew 6: 26-27 popped into my mind and it was like a revelation or awakening for me. The birds do nothing to store away food and yet the Lord provides a feast for them. I finally found peace and understand that God is in control and my worrying is not going to do one single thing. The birds and the worms were a visual picture to me as to how real and true scripture is and another reminder how much He loves me. It is truly amazing!