Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It Was All I Could Do To Keep From Crying!

My oldest started 5th grade Thursday.  I know, I know we all how much we all dread seeing our "little" babies that we birthed walk down that road of independence and off to school!  But even as sad as I am about my oldest growing up WAY to fast, this is a post about HIS realization that he is growing up too fast!

As I said, school started Thursday for my oldest boy Knox.  So the Tuesday night before, we packed everybody (except the chickens..read this to understand that line) in the truck and headed to Big A Elementary.  It was orientation night.  The night he would find out who his 5th grade teacher would be.

As we enter the school, we see many of the old faces we see all through out the school year.  We got our car rider number and then headed to the 5th grade hall.  Knox found his name on Ms. Housley's class list and we headed to her room.

We entered Ms. Housley's room to find that we were one of the last ones to arrive (even though it was a 2 hour drop-in orientation and we got there only 45 minutes after it started).  Ms. Housley greeted Knox and us with a big smile and she is was excited to have him this year!

He and I found his packet and began getting out all the first of the year paper work, when I noticed Knox turn around and start wiping his eyes.  I asked what was wrong and he said nothing.  But I wondered was he really crying or was there something in his eyes. 

When he turned back around I could see that he was fighting back tears!  He was crying!  I was floored and not sure what to say.  I looked at my husband who was just as floored as me!  We weren't sure what to do so we just ignored it and went on chatting with Ms. Houlsey and filling out paper work.

After we got home, there was a time when he and I were alone.  I asked him what happened while we were in Ms. Housley's classroom.

He said, "Moma, it just hit me!  I'm in 5th grade!"

It was all I could do to keep from crying!

Monday, August 30, 2010

My Little Surprise!

This is a re-post about the arrival of my second little blessing.  I have a lot of new "groupies" since I first posted this, so I thought I'd do some re-tweaking...so enjoy!

My 18 month old is becoming more and more like a little man!  Everything is a discovery.  He is finding new ways each day to get into more and more things! Everyday he is changing.  Life is changing again...just as it did when we found out he was on the way.

To give you some background, you have to understand that we didn't find out that our second son was coming until I was 30 weeks pregnant! Oh, yes, you read that right--30 weeks pregnant! I was one of THOSE women that had their pregnancy symptoms be mistaken for something else. I know you want to hear the story--so here we go!

I was having an awful time holding my bladder. I was leaking every time I went for a walk, worked in the yard or cleaned the house. Not to mention what happened every time I coughed or laughed!

(Don't laugh, you've been there too!)

I was also having these weird cramps that were coming and going throughout the day.

So I made an appointment to see an OB who was a church friend of ours. (My OB that had delivered my first son had moved his practice a few months before.) After giving me a vaginal exam, the doc said that he thought my uterus was a little large and with the cramps I was having, he thought I might have a cyst on the uterus or ovaries. (Little did he or I know!) He scheduled me for an ultrasound.

So the following Monday I went in for an ultrasound. When the sweet, young lady put the ultrasound on me, there appeared this little "creature" on the TV screen.

I said, "What's THAT?!?"

She asked, "How many weeks are you?"

I looked at her and said, "I'm not suppose to be pregnant!!".

In the sweetest, and most professionally, calm way, she said, "Let me get the doctor."

The ultrasound tech walked out of the room to get the doctor. Next thing I know, in comes the doc with his nurse and the tech close behind. He took one look at the ultrasound and said, "OH MY GOD"

I looked at him and said, "That's a big damn cyst!".

He just said, "OH MY GOD! I got that one wrong..."

I said, "YOU got it wrong! What about ME!!

Thus started our 7 week pregnancy adventure!

Every one asked if I had morning sickness.  Well, at the time I got pregnant, I had rotator cuff surgery.  Yes, major surgery where they put you under and give you major pain drugs!  And yes, they did give me a pregnancy test (that I passed!) before the surgery.  I did have some nausea after my surgery, but I just thought it was from the mixer of the anaesthesia and pain medicines.

They also asked what about your periods stopping.  Well I have never really had normal periods.  I have gone as long as 60 days between them.  I had also had my hormones checked and found that it looked as if I was going into early menopause.  (This is not unusual for my mother's side of the family.)  So as my periods slacked off, I didn't think much of it...actually, I was jumping for joy!! 

Now you have to realize, we had a 10 year old whom we were perfectly willing to raise as an only child. I am an only child and so is my mother. Raising an only child was no big deal to me or my husband.  Our oldest was born prematurely and we were told that if we had another child that it too would have a strong chance of born prematurely too.  Our feelings were that if it happened, it happened, but we just weren't going to actively try. With this mind set, we had gotten rid of all our baby stuff! We had NOTHING and we had 7 weeks to get everything you need for an infant!

We live in a small town. One that my husband and I have grown up in and both of our families have lived in for over 5 generations. So when the word got out about us being 30 weeks pregnant and not knowing--well, to say we were the talk of the town, IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT!

We were THE conservation, and to some existent, still are.  (People still laugh when they see us around town, especially when we have the baby with us.)  We don't mind too much! It gives other poor souls a break. And my husband is just so proud that he can still prove his manhood--just like a man, ain't it!

But the greatest thing about being the talk of the town is that everyone knew we were looking for baby stuff! We were inundated with just about everything we needed and enough diapers to make it through the first month! (This is why I could never leave this wonderful little town!)

Our little one is starting to talk and show his great new personality. He is hitting new milestones in his life everyday. He is the greatest surprise that Hubby and I will ever have!

This is why he will always be "My Little Surprise."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Curly Head

Do you see it!!  Do you see the little curls?  Hamp has these cute little curls on the back of his head.  He has curls!!  For someone who has such straight hair that it makes a straight ruler look curly, seeing curls on my baby is soooooo exciting!  My mother and I are hoping and praying the Hamp is going to have curly red hair!  Just how cute would that be.....

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grapes Make the Jelly Better

The other day, my mother-in-law came over with a bowl (large bowl) full of grapes.  They were from her vines.  So I decided I would make grape jelly--well we couldn't let these beautiful grapes go to waste!

I washed the grapes and put them in a large pot, stems and all, with a little water and started cooking them.

Let the grapes boil.

Let the grapes boil down to the point where you feel the water that you put in has boiled off.

Then strain the stems and skins from the juice.

I ended up putting the grapes in cheese cloth to separate the stem and hulls from the juice.

Measure the amount of juice you have.  Put juice in large pot.  Add 1 1/4 cup of sugar for every 1 cup of juice you have.  Add sugar to your juice and start cooking.

Bring the juice to a boil and boil until when you put a metal spoon in the juice and pull it out, the juice doesn't make a stream coming off the spoon but the juice drips off.  You can also drop some juice in cold water and if it clumps, it's ready!

While the juice is cooking, sterilize your jars you are going to put your jelly in.  I like to sterilize mine in the dishwasher.  I usually wash just a load of glass jars along with the lids and rims, and just leave them in the dishwasher until I am ready for them.  It's important to remember that when you are using glass jars that you need to make sure they are sterilized.  Many jelly recipes tell you to boil your jars in water.  If you clean them in the dishwasher, you can skip this step.

Once the jelly got close to being ready, I skimmed the top of the juice.  When you skim this stuff off, it makes your jelly look better.

Pour your jelly in your jars.  Fit your lids on and tighten the rims.

Now at this point, you have a choice.  I have always just left my jars and they will seal themselves.  But if you are worried about bacteria growth, then you can put them in a hot water bath (boiling water in a big pot) for 10 minutes.  Either way is fine....

Your jelly should look as good as mine!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Our "Pet" Butterflies

I wanted to show you are "pet" butterflies that show up every morning and evening.

These are Yellow Swallow Tail butterflies that are the state insect of Georgia. We love watching them every morning and every evening. We have had as many as four on one of our lantanas! They just love lantana! It won't be long before the Monarchs will be coming through as they start their migration.

If you have a really sunny place to plant something, try planting lantana. The kiddos love watching all the different bees and butterflies that show up to feed on the lantana's necture. It's always facinating to see what creatures show up!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Southern Cook

There's piece of kitchen equipment that my grandmother's and mother always used...

A pressure cooker!

When I got married my grandmother thought it was awful that I didn't get a pressure cooker.  So for Christmas, she made sure I got one!

Now, I had always watched the women in my family use pressure cookers for everything!  I had also learned from a young age to stay away from these explosive cooking untiles!  So when I got this pressure cooker from my grandmother I was excited AND nervous!  I had a real fear of cooking with one of these things.  It's one thing to watch somebody else cook, but it's another thing to do it yourself...

How do I know how much pressure to too much pressure?  Do I cook everything the same amount of time?  How do I know if the food is done?  How do I keep the cooker from exploding?

I knew that even as fearful and nervous as I was to cook with the pressure cooker, I wouldn't be able to get the answers to my questions unless I just dug in and started cooking!  So I did just that! 

I asked questions of my mother and grandmothers and started cooking!  I learned to cook fresh vegetables pretty well--at least Hubby would eat them!  But when it came to cooking meat, I hit a brick wall...

 I quickly learned that you can build up too much pressure!  I also learned that in the newer pressure cookers that the pot would expand before the lid blew!  I learned this while cooking a roast (that had to be thrown out) and not turning down the heat once the steam started whistling!  Once I messed up my pressure cooker, my days of pressure cooking were through!  I was too scared to try again and too imbrassed to say I messed up my new pressure cooker... 

Then once our green beans started coming in, I wanted to cook some fresh green beans but I didn't want to wait ALL day for them to cook down.  So out came my grandmother's pressure cooker!  I took a deep breath, called my mother for the right cooking times, and went to it!  (I did think about sending the boys to their grandmother's just in case the pot blew!) 

They didn't turn out half bad! 

The whole family loved them--even if we ate them for just about every meal until they were gone!  I didn't blow the lid off the pressure cooker so I felt I had accomplished my fear of the pressure cooker! 

As I sat with my family and enjoyed our fresh green beans, I remembered what both of my grandmother's had told me when I got married...a good Southern cook always has a pressure cooker that she can use in her kitchen.  Well my kitchen is now a complete Southern cooks kitchen!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Our New Guest

The other day, Hubby and Knox come running (quietly, I might add, or as quiet as they could) for me.  They wanted me to come look out the window.  I just thought the chickens were up to something strange.  But then I looked out the window...

...a young turkey!  We're not sure if its hen or a young paulk.  I'm leaning toward a young paulk.  But is sure is fun to watch...

...our new neighbor!  He's been by a couple of more times since I took these pictures.  I think he likes it here!

Monday, August 23, 2010

My Computer Buddy

Just about everytime I sit at the dining room table and "play" on my computer I have a guest join me....

...Big Red!
He jumps up in the dining room window and sits or stands there just watching what I do until...

...Hubby picks him up and pets him!  Big Red is a people person chicken!  He wants to be around us all the time.  He sometimes tries to come in the house when we open the front door!  I swear he tries to talk to us sometimes.  Does anybody know chicken??

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Favorite Cookie

I am a sucker for Peanut Butter Cookies!  I don't know why, but I just LOVE Peanut Butter Cookies! 

With that being said...

My children wanted some cookies.  They had eaten all the other cookies in the house and were begging for more!  So I thought that since I had not made any Peanut Butter Cookies, that I would find a new recipe and make it into my "brownies" recipes.  I found this recipe at Allrecipe.com and thought I'd try it!


1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup peanut butter

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, both sugars until them are light and fluffy.

Then beat in the eggs.

Add vanilla.

Mix in the peanut butter.

Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture.

Here they are my favorite baking pans lately! Spray your muffin pan with spray oil...

...then add a ice cream scoop (2/3 of a muffin cup) in each muffin hole.
Bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

Let the cookies cool completely in the pans and then remove to eat to your hearts content!! 

Enjoy and let me know how yours turn out!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Urns

I want to show you one of the all-time greatest deals I have ever made!

This is one of two urns that I "stole" at an auction a few years back.  They are two piece (urn on a stand) and made of cast iron.  I have them placed one on each side of my carport.

We were at the Southeastern Old Thrasher's Reunion a couple of summer ago.  During the Reunion there is an auction that Hubby and I always check it out.  While we were walking around the tables and equipment, I found these two urns and stands.  I fell in love with them!  I told Hubby that I wanted to bid on them and he said no problem.  We decided how high we would bid for them.

The day of the auction, I went to the auction and found a spot close to the urns.  I camped out!  I was determined that I was going to at least get a chance to bid on these urns.  I wasn't sure just how much they would go for.  I stood in the hot July sun, getting sunburt, and waited until the auctioneer got to the urns.

Finally, after three hours, the auctioneer made it over to the urns.  I was one of about 15-20 people left at the auction.  The urns were the last thing to be auctioned.  I started the bidding at $35.  Then a man bidded $40.  I went $45.  He went $50.  I went $55.  He went $60.  I went $65.  The man bidding against me hesitated.  I looked at him and said, "I've been waiting on these urns for THREE hours and I PLAN on going home with them!"  The auctioneer looked at the man, shook his head, and said, "She has been here waiting all day for these!"  The man looked at me, smiled, and said, "You can have them!"

So for $65, I bought both of the urns and stands!!

While I was paying for our auction items, the aucutioneer came over to me and said that I had "stole" those urns!  I looked at him and said I know it!  So every year since, when we go to this auction, the auctioneer says there's that woman that stole my urns!

The hardest part was the fact that each part of these urns weighs about 100 pounds!  They are heavy!  Hubby looked at me and said, "How are we going to get these home?"  Well, you should have never said I could get them!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Back to School Bash

As I have stated before, I love living in my small town!  There are always different types of community activities to participate in!  The other Saturday, after we finished up at Home Depot, we headed downtown to check out the first Back to School Bash! 

We came about an hour and half after it started and realized that we should have come earlier!  There were more than 90 booths and a petting zoo.  There were booths from preschool programs, all the elementary schools, middle school, and high school.  A lot of churches that had after school or Wednesday night programs were there showing their children and youth programs.  All sorts of government agencies were set up so that you could learn more about their services.  And what would a Bash be without food!  So there were people selling ice cream, popcorn, and snow cones!

The best part of being in a small town is the people!  So whenever there are events downtown, you send most of your time meetin'-and-greetin'....

We ran into Mrs. Turpin and her son. They were just chillin' the summer sun!

We ran into Tootie (don't ask me to tell you Tootie's real name, I never can remember it and nobody that knows him calls him by his given name!).  He had a clown nose on and we almost didn't recognize him!

We found Mrs. Wilson chilling with her red nose on too!  She is the CTAE Director at the high school.  This is a new look for her!  I like it!!

We then found out where all the clown noses were coming from...

There was a clown school going on!!  There were clowns every where!  They were letting the kids come up and dance with them.

A blog friend of mine, Lauren, had her daughter go up and start dancing!

When they were done, Gracie got a special prize from this clown!

We had a great time and the Back to School Bash was a great success!

I have to leave you with one last picture.  We come up on a group of cheerleaders and clowns crying and playing taps....

 ...were having a funeral for a clown that had gotten run over the night before!  I just thought the "chalk" clown outline was a hoot!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Want to Build

The other Saturday, we headed to Home Depot for their Kids Workshop.  Knox really enjoys them.  This month they were making a school bus pencil holder.

So Knox gets his kit...

and starts to set up everything.  He is reading the directions!  Maybe he will be a man that understands that directions are put in to read and not use for puppy puddles!

Hamp wanted to help!

But big brother was doing good on his own!

Knox did need a little help from Daddy though.  Notice in the background, while Momma is taking the picture, Hamp is about to jump out of the buggy!  Thanks to Jimmy Ann for grabbing the little climber!!

Daddy got mad because Knox was refusing to take any of his advice to finish up!  So........

I got this lovely picture of a stubborn boy who thinks he knows everything there is about building everything!  What can I say, he takes after his Daddy!!

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