I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee...

I have to admit, while I thought she was much cuter as Dorothy last year, this Bumble Bee costume has grown on me this year. I am not looking forward to the years ahead when she actually wants to fight me on what kind of costume she can wear, so I'm hoping that by teaching her early that she will understand how I feel about Halloween. Number one, I just don't see a point in all the blood/guts/gore of it, much less do I enjoy it. She can be just as happy as a Princess or a bumble bee and still collect just as much candy. Sure, I want her to enjoy the fun in it - but that's basically where it ends. No door to door trick or treating for this family, and that's just my own preference.
I feel much better with the fall festivals at churches, or even going downtown like we did last night. And the kids still had a blast!

Sadly, after hooking my camera up to get the photos on the computer I realized I had not taken a single shot of Gracie from Wednesday night. But it was mass chaos at church anyway, so the pictures from Thursday night will just have to do!

Maggie and Gracie on the carousel.

Is he not the cutest thing ever? And such a flirt....

Gracie and Maggie hangin' out in the wagon.

Another wagon shot!

Gracie in her bumble bee gear.

As if one cute baby wasn't enough, I give you a second one! This is Madison Grace, who - pardon the sour expression - was hungry.



I should have known.

I should have known that for all my detailed planning in my last post, and how easily my morning errands went that something was just not right.

I had been to Target, to Wal-mart, and even treated myself to a Chik-Fil-A biscuit after dropping Gracie off at school this morning.

Kayla was coming to help me clean house for the party Saturday, and she arrived right at 10:30 and we got to work.

So at 11:30 when the phone rang, I didn't think anything about answering.

It was Gracie's school. She was running a fever. Could I come and get her?

Absolutely miserable does not even begin to describe my feverish daughter with her 101.9 fever.

A strep test, a chest x-ray, a blood cell count and two and a half hours later we are back from the doctor's office with an antiobiotic for a double ear infection.

Hey! On the bright side, at least it's nothing contagious! We'll probably let her stay home with Daddy tomorrow, go to our church festival tomorrow night, and then back to school on Thursday.


More updates to come...

Hey folks! I'm not avoiding my blog, I promise. I also promise that the next week will undoubtedly be full of picture taking fun. Let this post set the example for more to come! Here's what our schedule looks like this week:
Wednesday Night
Halloween/Fall Festival Fun @ Church; we dine on hamburgers and hotdogs, free of charge, as long as we bring a bag of candy so the children can trick or treat around the dinner tables. We have some other activities planned for our 4&5 year old Mission Friends class that includes making homemade S'mores! Yum!
Thursday Night
Downtown P'ville does their annual Halloween candy hand out, and then we will be heading over to First Baptist Church in Prattville for their Fall Fest. Maggie and her mom will be accompanying us on this excursion.
Friday Night
A double date with me, Bryan, Brooke, Ryan and we'll be taking Gracie and Mason to Zoo Boo for the night! Dinner will probably be at Chick-Fil-A just because it's all about the kids tonight!
Saturday Afternoon
Gracie's Birthday Party! Did you get your invitation?

And as far as tonight went....

I'd like to share this recipe that shall remain nameless. It was given to me by Tracy @ work. I made my own adjustments, and that is what I will be posting here:
1 lb. rotini pasta
1 lb. thawed shrimp (previously frozen)
2 dashes McCormick Roasted Garlic/Bell Pepper seasoning
4 pieces of bacon, cooked and chopped
one bundle of green onions, chopped
5 oz shredded parmesan cheese
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2-3/4 cup country crock spread
2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup shredded monterrey jack cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Using the same pot, cook the butter until foamy and then add seasoning blend, bacon, and green onion. Cook two minutes and then add heavy cream and both cheeses. Cook for four minutes at a low boil. Add shrimp and cornstarch. Cook 5-10 minutes longer if needed. And pasta and toss.
Next time I will probably use more cheese and less cream, but the bacon and onion gave this dish an AWESOME amount of flavor without a need for extra salt or pepper. We had garlic crescent rolls to go with it.

And ever since we took Gracie and Maggie to the fair, I've been dying to get my hands on a caramel apple. Bryan and I have bought two packages of the already made apples (you usually find them in the produce department) and much to our dismay, both times the apples have been rotten. So today I noticed that apples AND caramels were on sale. I bought three apples and the caramels, and just did them at home. It was much easier than I thought! Bryan devoured his, and I cut half of Gracie's into smaller pieces for her. I ended up eating the other half of hers (shown in the picture) and saving the third one. I am glad I decided to do caramel apple SLICES for Gracie's party, I think they'll actually turn out good.

So now that I've shared my yummy dinner goodness, I am off to bed! I have a long day of house cleaning ahead since we won't be home the rest of the nights this week to prepare for the party. If I don't post before then, see y'all at the party!



Okay so aside from Mason, who Gracie lovingly and much to Nana Kay's disappointment, calls her "boyfriend", there is one other soul who takes up much of Gracie's conversation. That is her friend Maggie, who is in her class at preschool and who also accompanied us to the fair that I posted about a few posts back.
This week at school is "Spirit Week", which is generally geared more towards the grade school kids. Suzanne (Maggie's mom)
and I talked over the weekend about Twin Day which was today. After discussing it at length, Suzanne mentioned two Halloween outfits she had that were identical. All I need was black pants and a turtleneck for Gracie and the outfit would be complete. The pictures that follow were taken when I picked Gracie up from school today.

We actually had someone at the fair ask us if they were twins....they actually look a lot alike, except that Maggie's hair is more blonde than Gracie's and I think a little bit curlier.

Love this one. Too cute.


Prayers for Tricia

This has got to be one of THE cutest families ever.

I don't get to check their blog as much as I frequent some others, but I check in on Nate, Tricia, and baby Gwenyth from time to time. Today I got to the blog to discover that Tricia's chemo has apparently not been effective in reducing the lymphoma that if I am correct, occured as a result of her lung transplant surgery.
You know, I just told Bryan that I've been over in my mind the last few days all of my current worries/concerns in my own life. And sometimes, keeping up with my fellow bloggers in the blogosphere turns out to be a great big reality check for me.

The honest truth is, my concerns are miniscule compared to Nate and Tricia's. Here they have this beautiful baby girl who was born prematurely but in reality appears to be doing as well as possible for a preemie. And then they get set for the lung transplant and it comes off as a success. And now they are facing another setback that the cancer treatment appears to not be working.

I know that Nate and Tricia are always in good spirits. They are both Christians, and I'm sure they know God is on their side always. I heard something a few days ago that if you think your life is bad or your situation is unbearable, somewhere else in the world someone is struggling even more.

I trust God, and I know that whatever His plan is for this little family that He already knows it. Be in prayer for Tricia. I'm sure facing this illness, even with God by her side and her wonderful husband and daughter, that this can get scary and can be very draining physically. I don't know a lot about cystic fibrosis, but I know enough. Please pray for Nate, and for baby Gwenyth as well. Keep this sweet family in your prayers.


Quilt Give-A-Way

I'm not one for brown and yellow, but the quilt involved in this giveaway is actually really beautiful!
Go leave a comment if you're interested in winning this quilt!

Spook-tacular plans

Since I haven't posted in a while, I thought I would post about our upcoming plans for Halloween. The first year that Gracie was old enough (I felt) to go trick or treating, I wasn't sure what to do. Our church didn't really offer anything in the way of a fall festival, and I'm just not one to be a Mom who is up for the whole spook/fright side of Halloween. Plus, Gracie is terrified of anything in a mask. So fall festivals and things like that are more our speed.
Well someone told me about how downtown Prattville offers a service on Halloween where they close their shops and the owners/volunteers side outside and hand out candy. This is much more convenient in terms of keeping the children in one central location, and we're not going door to door to people's houses. So Tina begged me to let her dress Gracie up as a ballerina, and we took her to downtown Prattville.
Then we find out that First Baptist Church in Prattville puts on this festival with pizza, popcorn, and all kinds of games for kids. So that first year and then last year as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Gracie's friends Noah and Avery from church accompanied us to the Halloween festivities downtown.
And now, this year, decked out in a Bumble Bee costume from Target and with her B.F.F. Maggie tagging along, we will be hitting downtown Prattville again. Her costume looks something like this one, only in Bumble Bee style. Although according to the comment posted on the website, I may be making Gracie try it on this afternoon.

The stuff downtown is actually happening Thursday night, because Prattville has a game on Friday. And then Saturday after Halloween is Gracie's birthday party!

What are your Halloween plans, if you have any?


Fair-ly well.

Hey guys!
Sorry for the lack of posts....we've been busy. I just got home from spending half the day in Montgomery. After a doctor's appointment (fun) for some routine stuff, I got to do some "Mommy" shopping which meant buying a new purse at TJ Maxx, and then spending forty-five minutes in a grocery store by myself. Not just any grocery store, but the gourmet of grocery stores....Fresh Market. I kid you not, as an avid lover of cooking they have some of the neatest things in that store. I love Fiji bottled water, but only buy one bottle out there because it's too expensive by the case. Then I found this piece of chocolate for Gracie that is shaped like a fish. I also bought her something called "smushed fruit" which actually looks like a cross between fruit leather and a fruit roll up. I could spend all day in that store!
Then I got the pleasure of having lunch with Karen (Eddie's wife) at Chappy's Deli. To steal a phrase from my daughter, it was "Yum to my tum."
And speaking of my little girl....

We took Gracie to the fair last night. And what a treat for Gracie that her bestest buddy from preschool got to meet us there! Gracie talks about Maggie almost as much as she talks about Mason (her "BOY"friend) and they were absolutely thrilled to get the chance to ride fun rides and hold hands while we wandered around the Alabama National Fair. And Maggie's baby brother, Joseph, got to come along for the fun! (Holding him the few times I did has caused me to experience some serious baby fever!!).

Now for the pictures of fun....

Maggie and Gracie getting on one of the rides...it is pretty stationary, but it does go up in the air at one point (we expected both girls to scream, however, they did not.

Maggie was all set to ride the cars after the other two rides were over, so they had fun pretending to drive around in a circle.

Gracie giving Maggie a hug before the circus started. We only lasted halfway through it because when the clown's car backfired, it scared Maggie to death. So we decided to head for the train ride a little earlier than anticipated.

Baby Joseph. Is he not the cutest thing ever? Baby fever, folks....

Maggie loves to go to the livestock exhibit, so when we caught up with her family after a quick bathroom break, Maggie and Gracie were both thrilled to pet the baby duckies.

And speaking of the circus reminds me of something.....Gracie's upcoming circus themed birthday party! (These pics are for you, Mrs. Leigh!!)
These are pictures of Gracie in her circus party dress:


Praise Him

I miss Eddie. I miss him in the most unusual times, or even when he crosses my mind for no apparent reason at all. Like yesterday, when I was on my way out to help Karen clean out her kitchen cabinets. That bright sunshine was so unreal I kept thinking....I haven't seen sun that bright in ages. Maybe that's just Eddie, smiling from ear to ear because he's up there hanging out with Jesus. They're probably still talking about Alabama kickin' Georgia's butt. Does Jesus really talk about football?


Yesterday was hard. It was hard for Karen, and I struggled and felt myself slip from time to time. But we managed to survive yesterday.

It is so nice to work at a job where I am constantly harrassed, and I mean that in a totally good way. But I constantly have to remind myself that while I'm thanking God for a day like today - where even though we are short handed, work has been pretty mellow and fun - I need to thank him for days like yesterday too.

Eddie was a good friend and I'm sure Karen would say a wonderful husband, and while losing him has made me question some things about my own faith, I need to be thankful to God for blessing me with someone like Eddie in my life. Just because Eddie is not physically here, doesn't mean I can't still keep his memory alive. And that's important to me, as well as to everybody else who knows him. So while we continue to struggle with this sudden loss, I want to ask the rest of you a question:

If you praise God for all the good things/times in your life, do you remember to praise him even through the times you might struggle?