Monday, July 30, 2012

Whitewater Rafting (or Marie has 9 lives)

It all started at the orthodontist's office.
I ran into Julia's favorite coach of all time - please don't
tell him - and we started talking about crazy things we could do.
Like get in a little air filled raft and go down the Olympic portion
of the upper Ocoee river.  Sure, why not?  We've got this.
They give you helmets. And PFD's.
But to quote my Daddy, "no one can replace a brain."
The adults on this trip surely had lost theirs.  This was crazy.
But it sure was fun.

Here, Marie is pictured on her way out of the raft.
The raft would then run over her and she would spend what
seemed like 2&1/2 hours under it.
Fortunately, everything was fine, but she sure was quiet after
that happened...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

F I F T E E N (or how can that be?)

To celebrate John's fifteenth birthday,I took
John and some friends to the Batman Premiere
in Athens at yes... midnight.  I picked them up at 2:30 am.
They had a great time, but we were all really tired.
-I pray for the families in Aurora, Colorado who are not posting
that the Batman Premiere was a "great time".-
John also had dinner at Maggiano's to celebrate his day.

We just can't quit celebrating around here, so
after Nanny took him to IHOP for his birthday breakfast,
we all loaded up and drove to Cleveland, Tennessee.
We spent the night, got up early and together with the Maier family,
went down the upper and middle Ocoee River.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Family Reunion Part II

Earlier this month, we got together with my Dad's
family, this weekend was devoted
 to my mom's family reunion.
One of the highlights of the weekend was
celebrating the birthday of my Mama, who
turned, well, let's see, somewhere around, 29.
The reunion was held at an absolutely beautiful location in 
the mountains of north Georgia, Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa.



Julia's Vanna White pose as I was attempting to
photograph this beautiful hydrangea outside the Brasstown Valley lodge.

We swam, our misters golfed, and well... we ate.  a lot.

We hoola hooped.  Okay, some of us hoola hooped,
 but no one over 12.  We made ice cream, grilled out and
celebrated a very important 29th birthday.

Only this family would understand the importance of a toilet paper cake
given to the Queen upon this most auspicious occasion.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Party on!

What started on July 6 didn't wrap up until July 18!
The 12 days of birthday, since Julia was turning 12.
-Just worked out that way-
Her party with friends was a pool party.

It rained.
Not just a little either.
It poured.

While I won't complain because some of our country is in a very serious drought,
I will say that another time for this onslaught of water would have
certainly been more convenient!
Luck was on my side, though and at 6:15, the rain stopped.
Oh, everything was soaked and a real
muddy mess, but we still got to swim.
The rain held off until the last partier was picked up about
9:15... and it started again.
In the meantime, we had a great time!

We used pink and orange for
Julia's colors.  I made this
invitation using "Life's a Beach"
cricut cartridge.
Every girl got a monogrammed pail (but of course, this is the South)
with her supper in it.  Thanks to Mamma for helping with the menu of
ham and turkey pinwheels (Summer issue of Celebrate), goldfish,
fruit kabobs, cake and butterfinger ice cream.

Waiting on the rain to end.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Big and Little

There is a quote by Robert Brault that we've all seen
 many times on Pinterest.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day
you may look back and realize they were the
big things."

Lately, that has really gotten my attention.
What are the little things in my life that really make
life worth living - or maybe the big things that are 
too easy to take for granted?
What are they for you?
Enjoy them.

Little thing: Celebrating a birthday at The Cheesecake Factory
Big thing: my son is the most handsome and kind 14 year old ever
and is becoming an all around wonderful young man.

Little thing: My mom is close by
Big thing: My mom is ALWAYS there for me

Little thing: My father in law taught his sons to WORK
Big thing: I'm married to a wonderful man who
works so very hard for his family.
Bigger thing: Pop is out of the hospital and rehab!!

Little thing: I could just cry when I look at this
Big thing: God allows me to look everyday

Monday, July 09, 2012

Family Reunion

Every few years, we all get together to catch up, play, shop, golf, swim and
always... to eat!  This family reunion was all about
Sistuh's Chocolate Icing.  Which I hope to be sharing later.
(Help me out here, Sistuh.)
My paternal grandmother's memory was beginning to wane
as her grandchildren grew.  She was blessed with 4 grandsons who she dubbed
dubbed "Bubba" (this is Georgia, okay?) and 3 granddaughters who
still are dubbed "Sistuh". This way, she had fewer names to remember.
 Not only are these gals still dubbed "Sistuh",
to me they will be so named forevuh.
I had the best time evuh this weekend with my cousin sistuh, Jann.

Jann, Chris (Bubba In Law) and their absolutely awesome kids


The children all had a good time as well...

 A special thanks to Uncle Jim (cart master) who played,
cooked, cleaned and orchestrated the event.
... And to Aunt Patsy who played, cooked, cooked, cooked,
cleaned, cleaned, cleaned as well.  We had a great time!

Soon to be Mom and Dad
(one of my favorite Bubbas evuh)

My real Bubba and Sistuh in law

and I say, let's do this again real soon... Ya heah?

Friday, July 06, 2012

Julia is 12!!

We have had a great time celebrating Julia's birthday - and the
celebration has gone on for two weeks.
(John has mentioned this duration thing to me - a time or two.)

First of all, we were at the Burks Reunion in Birmingham on her actual birthday.
Knowing we would be there, I ordered an awesome cake from 
Edgar's bakery.  That's a familiar establishment to you
if you read Southern Lady magazine.  The cakes
in their ads are beautiful, and Julia's did not disappoint.

... and the testers were ready. 

The birthday weekend included not only a beautiful cake, but shopping
at The Summit, visiting with family and eating at one of her favorite
restaurants.  This weekend, we also added a new favorite store to
our favorites: Altar'd State.  Wow!
While there are none of these stores in Georgia, we'll seek them out in other
states.  Their motto is, "stand out. for good."
Their bag says, "where faith meets fashion."  Best of all, there were
NO hoochi mamma clothes in sight.  Plenty of hip, tasteful duds.
We gave it 5 stars!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

July 4, 2012 and Miss Elsie's Butterfinger Ice Cream

Hot, hot, hot was the weather forecast for Independence Day. So this year, we decided to do ice cream and fireworks in the back yard with a few friends.  We had a great time and the ice cream was phenomenal.  Thanks to Mama who is always good for a freezer of peach ice cream.

That just wasn't enough, though.  I have this memory of "Miss" Elsie's Butterfinger ice cream that I enjoyed at her family's pool when I was growing up.  "Miss" Elsie is the quintessential southern belle.  I love to talk to her because she reminds me of everything that was great about growing up in Social Circle, Georgia, not the least of which was her company or her ice cream.

"Miss" Elsie's Butterfinger Ice Cream

1/2 gallon whole milk
6 egg yolks
1&1/2 cups sugar
6 regular sized Butterfinger candy bars, frozen
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 can Eagle Brand milk

In a large saucepan, heat sugar, milk and egg yolks until bubbles
appear around the edges of the pan and steam is visible coming off 
the mixture. During this process, whisk constantly.
Chill mixture in refrigerator for at least 2 to 3 hours.
Finely chop candy bars in food processor.
Add chopped candy bars and remaining ingredients
to chilled mixture. Pour in ice cream freezer.  Add whole
milk (if needed) to the fill line.  Freeze according to
ice cream maker's manufacturer's directions.

We had a great time with fireworks, friends and... ice cream.

... and the pool house construction continues... ugh!