I've been missing in action for quite some time. Thought I might catch you up and let you know why. It's been a WONDERFUL summer.....much time at the pool with children, grandchildren, and just husband and me :) It has been so nice to have the kitchen area and bathroom out at the poolhouse so we wouldn't have to come in unless we wanted. There's even a TV hanging on the wall now......that's for my sweet husband.....however, I am enjoying it too. I know that swimming for this year is coming to a close. The water temperature is dropping but we're enjoying it while we can. NOW....the main reason I've been absent from the blog is I'm about to open my own business. I have wanted to do this for years, but never felt that I should until a few months ago. After praying for quite some time I know that God has opened the door and I had to decide whether to walk through. Oh, sure I wanted a big neon sign to appear with the wording...."Open that business.....this is God".....but it didn't. However, I know that He has spoken to me in too many ways to ignore. The business will open October 19th and I'll sell Children's, Heirloom, and Quilting Fabrics, sewing supplies, and gifts. There will be classes taught also.The name is "SEW CLOSE TO HOME". Isn't that neat? My sweet daughter came up with the name because she has heard me say many times that I wish I had some place close to home to buy fabrics, etc. I will post here occasionally to let you know how things are going. My inventory is beginning to arrive and I'm so excited. We're working on the building and it will be ready to move in soon. Right now my dining room looks like a storm has hit. If you have a Facebook page you can visit me there.....it's Sew Close To Home.
Guess what I've been doing? Picking, shelling, cutting up, freezing, pickling, and canning. We have truly been blessed with a beautiful garden this year. I've canned tomatoes, canned salsa, green beans, peas,okra, green tomatoes, pepper sauce, and pickles. My fingers were so tired last night from shelling peas, but these are my favorite thing to eat so I didn't complain too much.
I tried a new recipe from another blog for canning salsa. It took quite some time cutting up peppers, onions, and chopping the tomatoes with the other spices but it really is good. I think it's worth the trouble. I might even attempt to make another making later on if my tomatoes continue to produce. If you've never tried canning okra it is so worth it. I used to try freezing it to fry later but never really liked the way it tasted or looked. Once I started canning the okra I have fried okra throughout the winter months and it is 'almost' as good as fresh from the garden. Gardening is hard but something I enjoy so much.
Two weeks ago we had no plans to leave home for the 4th of July holiday.......however....we received a very special invitation from our precious granddaughters that we couldn't refuse. So.....Granddaddy & I.....along with our daughter, her husband, and three sons spent this weekend in Louisiana with our son and his family. We had SO MUCH fun and the weekend passed too fast. Saturday was spent on the lake in front of their house riding in their boat, tubing, and swimming in the lake. The picture above is Griffin as he is about to tube in the lake.
Shawn, Amy, and Zack are enjoying the boat ride.
Granddaddy had fun tubing and it was my turn next. He hit a wave and off he came which made me decide that I enjoyed riding in the boat too much to get in the water.
Late Saturday afternoon, Randy & Kim (our son's in-laws) took us out on the river in their party boat. We spent 4 hours riding, eating, looking at BEAUTIFUL homes along the river, and spotting alligators later that night.
The kids are all watching for gators and seeing the fish as they jumped out of the water. The weekend was spent with people we love and this will be one of our favorite 4th's to remember. Thanks Amy & Chris (and Randy & Kim) for a great time!
I made a quick trip to Publix after work today before the new sale begins tomorrow. I had coupons for everything other than the bag of potatoes and onions. If you notice I bought 2 pints of Star Bucks Ice Cream, 6 John Frieda Hair products, Bengay, 6 Eggo Waffles, 6 SoBe Waters, 2 Baily's Creamers, bag of potatoes, bag of onions. Look below at my savings and out of pocket money .................
I saved $73.49 and only spent $10.35 out of pocket for all these items. Tell me that couponing is not worth it!!!!!
"Children's children are a crown to the aged" Proverbs 17: 6a
How true!! See these six "crowns" above? They bring us so much joy. Yesterday was Father's Day and we spent the afternoon by the pool. After church we stopped by KFC and bought a bucket of chicken and sides to make it easy on this mom. By the time we got home the three boys above were already in the pool with their dad, but we had no trouble getting them out to eat. Having the three girls here would have made it even better. However, we did spend some time with them a few weeks ago. After swimming most of the afternoon, our daughter and her family left and it was just us. It sure was quiet, but we both spent time expressing how blessed we are. Children (and grandchildren) are a blessing. Hope your day was wonderful too!
See this yummy crawfish/boiled potatoes, corn, smoked sausage, mushrooms, etc.? Our son and his family brought crawfish when they came up this week and he did a crawfish boil for some of his high school friends and their families last night.
Here's the chef. I caught him with his mouth full. The highlight of the night for the little kids was the slide. It was SO SCARY from the top....but with "swimmys" & tubes.....they mastered the slide. This is Mattson about to hit the water.
So many of the guys have children about the same age. Ella, Taylor, Maddie, Mattson, & Griffin are having a little chat.
The best behaved little ladies of the night were Sophie & Natalee. No trouble at all.....didn't have to worry about them jumping in the pool.
I loved seeing the guys together again and hearing them talk about their days back in school. SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!
As you look around our yard you see flowers in full bloom. The hanging basket above is a geranium that has so many blooms until I'm afraid they are about to break. It hangs between two pots of white petunias.
This is one of the beds at the corner of the pool area. It has just an assortment of flowers. The red ones above have been transplanted several times and originally came from my mother's yard.
I believe the white petunias might be my favorite right now. They are loaded with blooms and will continue throughout the summer as long as I pull the dead blooms off daily. I've always had colored petunias but love the white ones. These baskets are hanging on my side porch by the pool. It's nice to see all the beautiful colors as all of my flowers are blooming now.
Today was a beautiful day and this is what you found us doing after the boys got home from school. There was no baseball games tonight so all three headed over to our house and we had a great time. Griffin is about to do a cannonball, but my camera skills are not too good. As you can tell I snapped the picture too quickly.
I did much better taking this one of Keith. Maybe it's because he jumped higher in the air.
I got Zack just as he was hitting the water. Granddaddy & Gigi had a good time with the boys in the pool. I already know that we will spend most of our time this summer right here.
Sunday is Mother's Day......such a special day. I remember 1996 and dreading this day. It was the first Mother's Day without my mother. It was so difficult sitting in church that day knowing that there would not be a visit that afternoon with my mother. When I sat down after praise and worship there was a card on top of my Bible from a sweet lady in church. It just said that she was thinking about me today. Hope she knows what that meant to me. Mother's Day is much easier for me now. Sure I still miss my sweet mother so much. There are days when I want to pick up the phone and talk to her and almost find myself reaching for the phone. Then I am reminded that she is in a much better place. I am so thankful for precious memories and the things she taught me. I am also very grateful for the gift of my children. Being a mother has definitely been the greatest joy in the world. I thank God for my children and grandchildren. Mother's Day is a time that I can now celebrate having a daughter AND daughter-in-law who are wonderful mothers. These two have given me six precious grandchildren. I will be wishing both of these young mothers a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY. I love you both...... Amy (my daughter) and Amy (my daughter-in-law).
I have an addiction....just got hooked this week.....I'm going to blame my daughter.....It's her fault......She took me with her on a trip last Saturday night.....That's all it took.....I've been hooked ever since. I've tried couponing before but was never organized enough I guess. I also couldn't see any good in buying an item I didn't use.....that is...until last Saturday night. She educated me on Walgreen's and CVS sales and their reward bucks. That was either a mistake....or the best thing that could have happened. I have spent this week searching for coupons and visiting other blogs that are experts at shopping at these two stores. In fact, some will even give you exactly what to buy and what coupons to use. You have to know that you can't buy it all in one transaction to get the most "bucks" back. Patience is necessary in this addiction....but it does pay off. I have been to CVS & Walgreens a couple of times this week and never spent much out of pocket. Today I visited Walgreens and CVS and got all the items pictured above. My out of pocket cost was $12.38 and I got $9.00 back in Reward Bucks to spend at Walgreens. I am so excited. It's so much fun looking for ways to save!
We are ALMOST finished with our pool house and I can hardly wait to get in the pool. It was such a pretty day today, and I was so tempted to get in but the water is still just a little too cold for me. My husband and son-in-law have the pool house within days of completion. All we really like is plug covers and the bathroom fixtures to be installed. I have a feeling we will spend most of the summer right here.
This is our view from under the pool house.
If you notice you will see my cat has already claimed his spot. Two of our grandsons have already been been swimming. I think we will be joining them in a week or so!
We had a SWEET weekend. We spent Thursday, Friday, and some of Saturday with our son and his family in Louisiana. While there we saw several places that was selling strawberries and decided to buy some on our way home. They had the car smelling like berries by the time we got home. After eating a few/many and making a delicious strawberry cobbler, I made 12 jars of strawberry jam.
It was indeed a sweet visit.....not only the delicious strawberries, but loving on three precious little girls.
........Planting Flowers ........Longer Days ........Warmer Days ........Flip Flops ........Irises ........Having my windows open ........Dogwoods blooming ........Smell of freshly mowed grass .......Grilling & Eating outside ........Hummingbirds ........Ferns hanging on my porch
We had a BUSY weekend. It started yesterday morning with the annual Easter Egg Hunt our church sponsors. Above you see a small area with eggs everywhere. We hid 8,500 eggs this year. Actually, there was no way to hide this many eggs so most of the area was covered with eggs. The weather wasn't as nice as we had hoped, but everyone had a great time, even with a some raindrops falling.
This was one section of the gym prior to the egg hunt. Our children's pastor told the real story of Easter and then we dismissed for space bounces, face painting, hotdogs, drinks, and eggs.
After church today our family went to my husband's brother's home for food and hiding eggs again. Above you see Keith & Griffin looking through their eggs for money. Our neighbor fills eggs with money and the kids throw the eggs stuffed with candy aside as they look for coins and dollar bills.
This is my daughter and her family. Our son and his family were not able to come home, but hopefully we'll see them soon.
Notice my pictures are in no certain order. This picture shows some of the adults holding the kids back before the start of the egg hunt. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time with those who mean so much to us. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.
I really like spring because I enjoy working outside. Yes, I really enjoy the dirt and planting flowers and watch them as they grow. Yesterday I received the BEST surprise from my neighbor. Look at these CUTE shoes. Do you not love them??? They are so comfortable and all you have to do is just hose them off. I love them so much that I have them on a work today.....it's casual day. Thank you so much, Sally. You really know when I need a "pick me up".
You are looking at 5,449 eggs that have already been stuffed with candy or a small toy. There's also large prizes in the office. We still have MANY eggs to stuff before April 3rd. That is when our church will have their annual Easter Egg Hunt. We always have about 400 children from the community and it's really so much fun. There'll be several space bounces, face painting, food, and prizes to be given away.
Here's Angie.....she is in charge of this large event. She is surrounded by cases of juice, plastic eggs, and candy. This is what you will find her doing most of the day this week. I leave my desk to sit down to help and the phone always rings at that time. We've had so much fun as we get ready for this event.
Look what is welcoming spring at my house. It was time to dress the bunny for the holiday so last night I made a stop at the thrift store to buy an Easter outfit. I got the dress & hat for a total of $2.48. I love to look there for Bunny's clothes since they can't be saved because of being out in the weather for several weeks. The bunny is to the right of my sidewalk as we come up to the house. Today is windy and cool, but it's not raining so I enjoyed getting her all dressed. I'll be putting other spring decorations out this week too.
It becomes easy to come home from work and prepare a "quick" supper....especially when you have a husband who never complains about a meal. Many time it is he who will say, "Don't cook a big meal....I'm fine with ____". He had a men's meeting at church last night (they always have a meal at their meetings) and I told him that I was ready for some country cooking. Actually I said, "I'm like Aunt Rosie. I want something boiled." My aunt was 93 years old when she went to heaven, but at age 92 she would cook cornbread and vegetables several times a week. I can hear her say that she got tired of eating sandwiches....."I need something boiled." Guess that's me today. I wanted something that took a little more time to prepare, but delicious......so it's country fried steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, field peas, and turnip greens. Aunt Rosie....you would be proud. I wish you were here to enjoy them with us.
I am so excited because I was the winner of this beautiful necklace that Shannon was giving away. You can see where she is getting this piece of jewelry and visit that blog also. I had no idea that I even had a chance to win....especially when I saw that over 200 people had entered. This goes to show that you should visit blogs and enter their giveaways. You will love Shannon's blog. She is so creative and is expecting a little boy soon. Her nursery is just precious. Leave her a comment and tell her that I sent you.
Last week my husband and I spent several days keeping our granddaughters while their mom and dad were out of town. We had such a good time and I wanted to share some of the fun we had with you. There are many pictures but you will be able to see just how much fun two grandparents can have with three special little girls.
The older girls had school (and preschool) during the day. Below you will see Breanna as she was ready to catch the bus.
Here's Maddie all ready for preschool. Wish you could see her pink boots she has on.
Granddaddy is getting some good lovin' from Emma. She loves her Granddaddy!
This next picture may tell just why she loves him so.......I was folding clothes and had the girls panties all folded. Emma gets two pair and puts one on Granddaddy's head and another pair on her head. (This picture was made before she discovered how to put them on her head). I told Granddaddy that this picture would be on my blog....don't know if he believed me.
The girls also played "beauty shop" and they each fixed Gigi's hair.
We traced each others hands......over and over and over and over!
Granddaddy stayed in the floor most of the time doing whatever Emma wanted. This is a picture of her telling him they needed to do the puzzle AGAIN.
Emma playing with her toys.
And.........the first thing every morning we played with the cat.
The week was great. It's so much fun being grandparents.
I have been searching for a homemade bread recipe that tastes like one I had years ago and I finally found it!!! THIS IS IT!!! I remember buying this bread from a sweet lady who sold it for missions at her church. I'll admit that I have tried numerous recipes and none have come close. However, this past week I found a recipe while reading a blog that I enjoy. You must go to The Maddox Family blog and you'll be a regular visitor. I saw her original post earlier in the week and didn't quite understand so I left her a comment with a question. She did another post to make sure those like me had the directions down pat. I will give you the recipe, but when you visit her you will see pictures of each step. I promise you will love it. I have made 6 loaves (since Wednesday) and only given away 3 of them. Add it up.....that means we have 3 for my husband and myself!! I'll also give you the recipe for some DELICIOUS Honey Butter that you will love.
This is a slice of hot bread with the honey butter on it. Oh, my goodness.....THIS IS THE ONE!!!
Mrs. Linda's Bread Recipe:
Starter: 2 cups warm water, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 1/4 tsp. yeast, 3 Tbl. instant potato flakes (not flavored). Put in quart mason jar with little holes in the lid and let stand in a warm place for 8 hrs.
Dough: 6 cups bread flour, 1 Tbl. salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cups warm water, 1 1/2 cups starter. Mix and cover with a towel to rise for 6 - 8 hrs.
Punch bread down and divide into 3 greased bread pans. Let rise 6 - 8 hrs.
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. DELICIOUS!!!!
By the way....it's ok if you go over the 8 hrs. by a little. I let mine rise for about 9 and it was fine.
HONEY CINNAMON BUTTER
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (more if you like)
Combine and beat until light and fluffy. I leave mine out in a covered container so it will be soft.