Saturday, January 31, 2009

Meradeth's new car

We just got these bikes and carrier so we are getting alot of exercise...

Early start to a FUN weekend

Groundhog Day is our anniversary...8 years.
Kevin took my wedding band and engagement ring into the jewelers and had the two bands soldered together...I've been wanting this done for over 8 years now. :) The jeweler's cleaning made a BIG difference in the sparkle! I was very pleased.

Tonight, I went shopping for a new outfit for my date tomorrow night w/Kevin. I didn't find anything...I need you here, Mama, to help me find the good deals!
Anyway, the kids had fun discovering the 3-way-mirror in the dressing room! AAAHHHHH!...too many kids!

And then we went to Hardee's in Mt. Vernon and met up w/Papa and Grandma...and they treated us to supper here! Allyson, Kaleb, and Travis went home to spend the night(30th) at Papa and Grandma's house so Kevin and I can go out tomorrow. (Papa is taking a picture of Travis.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ellen's new blessing, Makayla Joy Stringer

I dont know all the stats but Ellen was induced last night and I just got this txt so I am guessing she had a long night and day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Pictures from the Whitleys

Here is meradeth and caleb at church. They are holding hands as hey usually do when they are out. Everyone at church pretty much thinks of them as brother and sister.
This is James. He goes to our church and is mentally handicapped and has palsy. He just adores Mera and loves to say hello to her every sunday. This past sunday she walked up to him and let him pick her up. She was a little hesitant when he tried to smooch her as you can see, but she really makes him feel special.

I thought these two pics were really cute of meradeth and kevin.

Monday, January 26, 2009

snowy drive & the bobbsey twins

These are the roads we drove on this morning to church. It's unbelievable how such a Southern girl as myself has become used to these driving conditions!

Anna found these two identical dresses at a secondhand her mother Marian Graber bought them for the bobbsey twins to wear to church today. Allyson and Anna just squealed and giggled w/delight when they saw each other in the same dresses this morning! :)

So which one is our BEST picture!?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Baking Cookies

So we were sitting around on this chilly, gray afternoon and thought... "Hmmm, what would go deliciously with our beef stew for dinner tonight?" Chocolate chip cookies! Here are a couple of pictures of our baking experience!

Eric was in charge of the mixer. He said the flour was flying in his nose so he used his shirt as a mask. And you all say I am dramatic? HA HA!

movements of the week

Thursday was a warm day for Iowa...almost 40 degrees. So, we went outside for some fresh air and needed exercise!
Allyson's regular ice skating lessons on Wednesday. She had a substitute teacher...she was alot of fun Allyson you can see, the teacher's twirling around Allyson on the ice. :)

This week, Travis got to do one of his favorite things...ride on the carousel! Kaleb's on there too. And Mama is sipping on one of her favorite treats...a cafe mocha chiller from Java Juice! Yum! :)
This Saturday morning, Daddy went over to Allyson's room and spent some time cuddled up together and chitchatting. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

An ordinary evening at home

I fixed Candace's "Chicken and Rice" recipe. It is the best!!!! I would recommend it highly. I have brownies in the background. We had that for dessert with ice cream.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Exciting Evening

Ok, so Candace is getting onto me for not participating enough on the blog. Soooo...I'm going to give you an example of my normal evening, so you will see why I do not post pictures very often. This is as exciting as it gets. Now things may be a little more exciting if Eric were here, but he is at SWAT training for two days so it's just me.

Cleaning the kitchen after making cookies and chocolate whipped cream for my coffee.

Working on the laundry.

Getting my face washing out of the way! Looks like
I may want to give the mirror a quick wash while
I'm in here.

Pouring my coffee to enjoy while watching House Hunters.

Finally...time to relax!!

Now wasn't that thrilling, everyone?!

Important notice!

All the supervisors where Kevin works received this email memo today. Kevin thought I would like, he forwarded it to me...

All employees will in the future be required to look HAPPY.

Company approved supplies for the Employee Happiness Kit will be issued at little or no cost to you.

Is your work load too heavy?
Do you feel stressed?
Too many priority assignments?

The solution to cope is:

The company will supply two rubber bands and paper clips as shown in figure 1 and assemble them as shown in figure 2.

Figure 1.....................&....................Figure 2
Apply as shown in Figure 3
Figure 3

Any questions?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The crooked smile

Meradeth takes after her granddaddy and smiles with her teeth crooked....I loved this picture. I have a picture of me smiling when I was little and I had the "crooked teeth" smile.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Our free cruise home from Williamsburg

Mama sitting in the car riding the ferry home.
Sunset on the ferry...we had a front row seat for this gorgeous view!
Grandaddy enjoying the ride home on the ferry.

We had such a wonderful trip. We went here and there in Williamsburg and then had our sunset cruise home. The trip on the ferry takes about 20 minutes and goes across the James River. On the Williamsburg side we land in Jamestown, the site of the first English settlement in 1607. The trip is also free (well not exactly free, our tax dollars pay for it).

Saturday, January 17, 2009


I noticed that kristin said we don't have any other birds than seagulls and hawks,well I know we do. We have pelicans and sand pipers. I guess I will have to get a bird feeder for the back yard to get the birds to come around more:-)

Friday, January 16, 2009


Today, the kids and I spent a fun afternoon at The Carden's. We all are in the same homeschooling group.
All seven of them taking a break from their busy activities to enjoy a snack!

I saw these colorful birds out of Dina Carden's window and couldn't help but get my camera out and start clicking. :)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Easy warm ya up recipes! :)

Slow-Cooker Chicken and Rice (Makes 4 to 6 servings)

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into small bite size pieces
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 (4oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tsp paprika
1 (16oz) container sour cream
Hot cooked rice
Garnish: ground paprika, sea salt
In slow cooker: combine chicken, soup, mushrooms(and as everyone probably already knows, I subbed another veggie for the mushrooms, not a big fan of them), and paprika. Cover, and cook on high for 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Stir in sour cream 30 minutes before serving. Serve over hot cooked rice. As a side dish, I heated up some frozen green beens from our garden last summer. Very easy and Deeelish! :)

Sausage and Cauliflower Soup
Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 (16oz) package pork sausage
2 tbls veg oil
1/2 cup flour
2 (32oz) boxes chicken broth
2 heads cauliflower, trimmed
1 cup half-and-half
Garnish: shredded sharp Chedder(or your desired flavor) cheese, sliced green onion
In a Dutch oven, cook sausage until browned and crumbles. Remove sausage and keep drippings in pan(should equal about 1/4 cup). Reduce heat; add veg oil. Add flour, and cook, whisking to remove any lumps until light brown. Stir in chicken broth, whisking to remove any lumps. Add cauliflower, and simmer until tender adn begins to fall apart. Stir in half-and-half.
To serve, top each bowl w/desired amount of crumbled sausage. Garnish w/cheese and green onion. Very tasty!
I got both of these two great recipes from my latest Cooking with Paula Deen magazine.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Allyson, Kevin, and a bird

During choir practice, I found Allyson and some other church kids playing "Red Light, Green Light" (I think that's what it's called. I had never heard of the game before Allyson told me about it.) As you can see, she really got into it! :)

Kevin cleaned out the driveway today after our latest snow storm...and before our next one hits tomorrow! Yay! Gotta love Iowa!

Notice the big drift that he is removing from in front of the truck?

Lately, we have been throwing bird seed out on the snow. I've been enjoying taking pictures of them...not as good as your bird photos though, Saundra. :) Can anyone help me w/what kind of bird this is?

Monday, January 12, 2009

A New Year's Resolution

"To cease sucking my thumb by 2010, is my new year's resolution," Travis says. If it is not mine, I know it's Daddy and Mama's resolution for me, thinks Travis.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

An Awful Pick

WOULD you ask your accountant to perform brain surgery on your child? That's the closest analogy I can find to the choice of Democratic Party hack Leon Panetta to head the CIA. Earth to President-elect Obama: Intelligence is serious. And infernally complicated.

Now we've fallen so low that left-wing cadres can applaud the nomination of a CIA chief whose sole qualification is that he's a party loyalist, untainted by experience.

The director's job at the CIA isn't a party favor. This is potentially a matter of life and death for thousands of Americans. But the choice of Panetta tells us all that Barack Obama doesn't take intelligence seriously. But the president-elect wanted a clean-slate yes-man, not a person of knowledge and integrity. (Guess we got Panetta because Caroline Kennedy has another engagement.) (By the way, how could Hillary be dumb enough to accept a job where success is impossible?)

Think morale's been bad at the CIA? Just wait.

To be a qualified D-CIA, a man or woman needs a sophisticated grasp of three things: The intel system, foreign-policy challenges, and the Pentagon (which owns most of our intelligence personnel and hardware). Panetta has no background - none - in any of these areas. If you handed Leon Panetta a blank map of Asia, I'd bet my life he couldn't plot Baghdad, Kabul or Beijing within 500 miles of their actual locations. This shameless hack appointment is an action by the incoming administration that seriously worries me.
Get intelligence wrong and you get dead Americans.

(An article from the New York Post)

Friday, January 9, 2009


We are at church....and James Helterbrand and Kaleb are wrestling, again. I've always wanted to have my camera when they go a round w/each other...and this time I DID! LOL! :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Open arms are waitin' for ya...

These wonderful pictures were taken by Steve and Kelly Cope. They and their two boys traveled to and spent the holidays in Marion, North Carolina. Steve is a good ol' boy, as our Grandaddy Bentley would say, raised in the mountains of North Carolina. :)

Monday, January 5, 2009

What we did

Below are some pictures of select activities during our days off after New Years Day.
Here is Kevin putting new brake pads on the front tires and a new rotor on the driver's side. Yay! I have my van back! :)

Allyson and I had extra fun time to play w/her Christmas presents. We are decorating her new bag.

Daddy and his two big helpers are shelling corn, that we glean from our neighbor's fields, for the chickens...Hey, free food!

Allyson and I enjoying more time together playing a fun game that she received for Christmas called 4 Way Countdown. After rolling the dice, you decide to either add, subtract, multiply, or divide the two numbers. Then flip up the number in front of you that matches your answer...the first person to flip up all their numbers(1-10) in front of them WINS! Allyson beat Kevin and I many times! :)
Kevin serenading us w/a couple of tunes.
Saturday night...the closing day of our New Years vacation...we enjoy some popcorn...and watch a suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock movie.
We had a relaxing time at home...didn't go anywhere...didn't spend any money...and loved every minute of it! I like vacations...but I'm also a person who thrives on, I welcome this Monday morning w/a smile. :)
Psalms 65:11a
Thou crownest the year with thy goodness;