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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Love is in the Air!

This cute couple will be tying the knot on Saturday! This is my nephew, Caleb, and his fiance, Brittany. They are high school sweethearts and we are all happy to celebrate their wedding. So with all the family to visit and party with this weekend, I am going to take a blogging break. I hope to be back Monday with some pictures of the festivities.

The Lords of Discipline

After reading The Death of Santini, I wanted to go back and read some of the Pat Conroy books that I had missed, starting with The Lords of Discipline.  Right off the bat, I will tell you that if you do not like bad language and cruel hazing, then this is not the book for you. All of Pat Conroy's books share a piece of the author's life and The Lords of Discipline is no different. Pat Conroy is a graduate of The Citadel, a well known military college in the South. Majoring in English and playing basketball for the school team, Conroy was one of the few graduates who did not sign a contract with the military on his graduation in the mid sixties.  After he wrote this book, his fellow graduates of the Citadel were not happy with him and it was a long time before the Citadel forgave him and actually had him give a  commencement speech at graduation.

Will McLean is looking forward to his senior year at Carolina Military Institute.  Soon he will graduate and wear the RING that distinguishes the men from the boys. However he is approached by Colonel Berrineau, the Bear, and given a special assignment.  The Institute will be receiving its first black cadet in the incoming freshman class, Bear wants Will to be his mentor and to make sure all goes smoothly with his transition. Will is not to help him as Mr Pearce must make it on his own at the school but Will must make sure no one makes it harder for this young man. It is a fine line to walk at the school that engages in the hazing known as Hell Week. All the incoming freshmen are treated brutally the first week of their semester and it lets up only slightly once they have proven that they can take the abuse.

Will becomes aware of a group on campus called The Ten. This group has been in effect since the early days of the school. Ten students are chosen each year to make sure that those Knobs who are not worthy to attend this school soon leave.  And while Hell Week is brutal, that is Sunday School compared to the torture devices of these sadists.  As the book winds to an end, Will is faced with a dilemma, to expose this group and suffer the consequences or to look the other way and let things go on as they have for many years.

This book is a story of friendship, betrayal and the courage to do the right thing. I had a hard time putting it down as the story was so compelling.  Mr Conroy is a writer who can make you feel the emotions the characters feel and I find myself pondering over his books for days after I turn the last page.

Of course after reading this book, I had to get something soothing so I am reading something light and sweet right now!! Next up on my list of Conroy books is Beach Music.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Lemon Jade

I have found another Young Living Essential Oil that is sure to become a favorite....Lemon Jade. This oil was just introduced by Young Living and I thought I would give it a try. Now it is my favorite to diffuse in the living room. It is a rich lemon scent and is much better for me than burning a candle.

This is a great oil to diffuse as it invigorates and helps with clarity and focus. ( Maybe that is why I had an urge to clean when it was diffusing!!)  Many say that the citrus oils when diffused just make you happy!

I may have to diffuse that this morning as I get all three grands dressed and going for the day. We had quite an afternoon yesterday. Landon had an appointment with the ENT doc for sinus and ear issues. We had to cancel the appointment due to our recent ice storm so I was determined to get him to the consultation. So loaded all three kiddos in the car, threatened both girls that they were to be quiet and let me talk to Landon's doctor without distraction.  They did fairly well but three kids in a small room is not for the faint of heart.  Poor Landon had double ear infections so we headed to Walmart to get his antibiotic...of course there was a wait so we walked over to the Subway inside Walmart to get ICEEs while we waited.  The squabbling began shortly after that! By the time we got the med and headed back to the car, Nana told each child that there would not be ONE WORD said on the ride home. I think they knew Nana meant what she said so it was a quiet ride as we listened to Patch the Pirate.  As I posted on Facebook, the last time I took three children to the doctor's office and to the drug store, they were mine and I was MUCH younger!!

Today we will get in the car once again to drive to Birmingham where Margaret will be returned to her loving parents. They have missed her and I know she will be glad to see Mommy, Daddy, Baylor and Elliott.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Birthday Baylor

On Saturday afternoon, Baylor enjoyed a fun birthday party celebrating his fourth birthday!


Baylor loved his balloons!


It was a Yo Gabba Gabba theme and Grobee is one of Baylor's favorite characters.  Baylor is wearing his special birthday shirt as well as his new ID bracelet. Katy ordered it from a site that offers this service for children with autism or other special needs.  Autistic children are known for being Wanderers and this bracelet gives Baylor's information in case he should get away from Ben or Katy.   It gives us all peace of mind.


Here is my son, Ben, with Baylor. Baylor was excited to get his Max and Ruby DVDs and a big Max bunny that he can sleep with at night.

And since Baylor loves balloons, Katy filled the basement with balloons for Baylor to enjoy on Sunday morning. No big sister was there to spoil his fun as she was at Nana's house.



We could tell a big difference in Baylor at his birthday party this year versus his three year old party. He was much more engaged and enjoyed his gifts.  He is still not very verbal but we think he will get there!  Thanks again to all of you who have prayed for our sweet boy! He is such a blessing to our family.

And here we are four years ago!! Time does fly by...enjoy those little ones while they are little!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wishes

Every time I hear the song, When You Wish Upon A Star, I am magically transported back to the 1960s. Most Sunday evenings we watched The Wonderful World of Disney. I can remember watching the clips from Disneyland(before Disney World) and wishing that someday I could go there. I did make it to Disney World for my honeymoon so wishes do come true. This afternoon, daughter Amelia and granddaughters, Kendall and Margaret  and I were magically transported to the land of fairy tales as we watched Cinderella come to life on the big screen.  If you have not seen this movie, I give it a big thumbs up.  Downton Abbey's Rose played Cinderella while Downton's kitchen maid, Daisy, played one of the wicked step sisters!  It was beautifully filmed and both my grand girls said their favorite part was when Cinderella was magically transformed into a princess for the ball.  If you have a special little girl in your life, grab her and take off for the theater. If you cannot find one, then just go by yourself.

On a sad note, when I got home from the movie, I sat down with my computer and noted that Kara Tippetts, author of the blog, Mundane Faithfulness went home to be with the Lord this afternoon.  While I am sad for Jason and the children, I am sure that Kara received a Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant as she arrived in her heavenly home. Although I only knew Kara via her blog, I felt she was a friend and I am really going to miss her thoughtful posts. The blog will go on but without Kara it just cannot be the same. Please remember Jason, Eleanor, Harper, Lake and Story in your prayers. I know they have a rough road ahead of them as they have lost a beloved wife and mother.

I am posting this evening because I have Margaret visiting for a few days. I get up early in the morning but when she hears me moving around, she bounds out of bed! It reminds me of when my own children were young. I tried the get up before they do routine but without fail, the minute they heard my feet hit the floor, they were all up too! ( Of course this was before they were teenagers!)   I have to say that having a little one to read bedtime stories to and to get sweet hugs from is Number One in my book!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Cheese Straws

In the South, Cheese Straws are a Party MUST.  If you do not know how to make them you will pay a pretty penny to have someone else make them for you! I have long wanted to learn to make these tasty treats but finally got up the courage yesterday to give them a try. I do have to say that you need a good mixer and my new one was perfect for the job! You will also need a cookie press. Sis Kristi had given me one for Christmas a year ago just for this purpose and it was just sitting on the shelf in my pantry.

I was pleased with my first effort but feel the next batch will be even better now that I know what I am doing.  Here is the recipe...

8 oz of sharp cheddar( I bought the block kind, let it sit on the counter and then grated it)
1/4 c soft butter( I used Margarine as it was all I had on hand and it was fine)
1 c All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp sale
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper( My family said they were not hot enough so I will add a bit more next time)

Preheat oven to 350

Combine butter and cheese and beat until it mixes together.
In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper and whisk together. Add slowly to the cheese mixture. Now this is where you have to let it beat a while in the mixer and I am so thankful for my Kitchen Aid that mixes on its own without me having to push the bowl around like I would have on my old stand mixer.  After it beats for a while, the dough will begin to smooth out and form a ball, similar to dough.

Put the dough in the cookie press. Mine was a Wilton and it worked great.  My cookie press says to avoid using parchment paper when using this press so I used my big non stick cookie sheet. You will place your cookie press parallel to the cookie sheet and pull back. There will be a long ribbon of dough. I just used a knife to cut the pieces apart and I placed the cheese straws fairly close together on the tray. They do not rise so you have room.  Place in oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes. It took about 30 minutes for mine to become crispy, which is how I like them.

I am taking my batch of cheese straws to Baylor's birthday party but now that I know how easy they are to do, I will be making them for special occasions.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Few More Easter Things

Well I had said I was done with Easter Decor postings but I have two more photos I wanted to share with you.

I was taking a picture of something the other day and I used this vignette as a backdrop, then realized that I liked the way the light was falling on the plates and Miss Bunny.  I decided to use it as my cover photo on Facebook and I got several "likes" on it.

As I was browsing in Hobby Lobby the other day I saw these pretty napkins that I knew would look nice on my coffee platter. Hmmm...looks like my little silver demitasse spoons could use a good polish!

We are going to have a busy weekend. Tomorrow we will celebrate grandson, Baylor's, 4th birthday.  He loves Max and Huby(Ruby) so Nana and Grandpa got him a stack of Max and Ruby DVDS and his own big Max Bunny.  Miss Margaret will be coming to our house to enjoy some spring break fun with Kendall and Landon.  Amelia and I hope to take the girls to see Cinderella on Sunday afternoon. Everyone who has viewed this new version of Cinderella by Disney, says it is very good. I am looking forward to seeing Rose from Downton Abbey take on the role of Cinderella.

Today I will be making some homemade cookies for the party tomorrow. It will be my first chance to use my new mixer! Exciting!! Now I am off to the grocery store to pick up all the goodies that the grands will enjoy while they are at Nana's!