RT

RT

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Good Friday morning!

Today's post will be extra-brief because I intend to hurry... and return to my seat on the air conditioning vent.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Go to The Dating Divas under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Long Distance Birthday." If you have an out-of-town loved one you would like to celebrate, they have some very good ideas on how to make it happen.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I've decided to do a "My Favorite Pinterests" list on Fridays.

Favorite Recipe I Tried This Week - Peanut Butter, Jelly and Banana Sandwiches. Surprisingly wonderful!

Favorite Thanksgiving Recipe (To Try) - Cranberry Salsa.

Favorite 4th of July Recipe (To Try... THIS WEDNESDAY) - Red, White and Blue Brownie and Fruit Kabobs!

Favorite Gift Idea - Pampering in a Jar. (Warm fuzzy socks, lip balm, hand lotion or bubble bath and some chocolates. Add a bit of ribbon and a tag.)

Favorite For the Home Idea - Hostas in a Planter! Genius!

Favorite Recipe (To Try) - Ham, Potatoes and Green Beans in Slow Cooker. (Sunday lunch? I think so!)

Weekend Happenings

What can I say? It's the weekend before the 4th of July... and I, personally, do not have much planned.

Mikie will be home this weekend. I know we're having garlic butter shrimp for dinner tonight. I know Roxie and Austin will not be around. I'm not sure about MJ.

I don't know if it will be too hot for fishing Saturday evening, but it is a possibility for Josh and Mikie. It is not a possibility for me. I already KNOW it will be too hot for me!

Sunday, Mike and I have an afternoon date. I'm not sure what we're going to do, but I can assure you I will be near an air conditioning vent at all times throughout said date.

Mike and I have the above date because Austin, Josh and Roxie (along with the other cousins) have been invited to lunch with Grandmother after church. (Sunday is officially Grandmother's birthday, but she's been celebrating on the 4th for several years now. I'm sure the cousins will make the day celebratory, but the big party will be Wednesday!)

And that is our weekend. So laid back it practically doesn't even exist!

I hope you and yours have a safe, fun, pre-4th-of-July weekend. I'll be back Monday for a week of patriotic ideas to share with you and your family.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Hot Belinda (And not the "good" kind of hot... just so you know!)

Here are some old pics. I'm trying to make this post a tad more interesting!


Last year's tie-dye 4th of July cupcakes.


Fourth of July Bunco!


Oh, yeah. I was stylin'.


The "cousin" table.


It's not a 4th of July picture... but I like it!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mini-Date Ideas

Good Thursday afternoon!

I've been here, there and everywhere today, but I thought I'd stop a minute to finish today's post!

RANDOMNESS #1 - All of my kiddos are working today. Roxie has a babysitting job, Austin has The Chick and MJ (My Josh) is out in this 100+ heat landscaping... and loving it (as of yesterday).

Me? I'm sitting on an air vent.

And in case you're wondering, that's the plan for the next three days.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I'm going to post a few more pics from my date with Austin at The Best Strip Mall in the World (located by Dawson Memorial in Homewood).

You really need to go some time and spend money there. (I don't want those places to go out of business.)


Believe it or not, I had the best pimento cheese panini EVER at this little coffee shop. It was wonderful. It's a very small, eclectic type coffee shop, and I loved it.


And I don't just love it because it has good food and a cute name (Hart & Soul), but because they took the time to paint wrought iron chairs in bright, cheerful colors... and they even added twinkly lights.


Even though Hart & Soul had desserts, it would have been a shame to eat a dessert there because three or four doors down you have DREAMCAKES. (Appropriately named!)


I bought a Caramel Dreamcake for Roxie and a Snickers Dreamcake for Austin. (Josh isn't eating a lot of sweets these days, so I'll take him to Dreamcakes on a non-workday so he can enjoy it.)

RANDOMNESS #3 - Always on the lookout for a new list, I thought of one today. "Things The Faulkner Five Haven't Done This Summer." It's a sad list, but I hope it gets a little happier as the Summer progresses.


We haven't done the "drive-in" thing...


Or the "houseboat" thing...


Or the midnight Krispy Kreme run...


Or the "pool" thing.

But it's only June 28. We still have time. (If you cannot tell, I'm starting to panic just a little!)

Blog Linkage - I just have a couple of links for you to check out today. I hope you're not too disappointed.

1. Go to The Dating Divas under My Blog List if you are interested in learning how to make Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Yeah. I thought that might get your attention.

2. If you are feeling crafty (and I bet you are), go to eighteen25 under My Blog List and read yesterday's post entitled "patriotic stars." Very, very pretty craft.

Enjoy!

Mini-Date Ideas

If time is of the essence (that's an old legal term I typed 1,000,000 times back in my legal secretary days), a Mini-Date is better than no date at all.

The definition of a Mini-Date will hereafter be "a 20 to 30 minute date costing little or no money. It will be one-on-one time well-spent with one of your kiddos."

1. Grocery Shopping - Do you need to pick up a few things at the grocery store? Ask one of your kids to pick out a favorite dessert recipe. Write down the ingredients you need, and go shopping with your child.

2. Baking (or Making Dinner) - Since you are going to make dessert and/or dinner anyway, put an apron on a child and spend that time baking and cooking together.

3. Wash the Car - On hot days in the South, there's nothing wrong with slathering on sunscreen and getting out the hose and a big bucket of sudsy water. Wash your car. Take your time. Get wet. Have fun.

4. Breakfast Dates/Lunch Dates - If you have older kids who work during the day, get up early one morning and treat them to breakfast. If they have a lunch break on their job, pick them up and share a hamburger... and some time.

5. Sonic Date - I noticed some friends on Facebook were attempting to try ALL the Sonic drink combinations over the Summer. Being a goal maker myself, I found this one intriguing. You could even make a chart of the Sonic drinks you try during these long, hot months.

6. Plan a "theme" night for dinner. Sit down with one of the kids to talk about decorations, menu, music, etc. Let them help, of course, but the date part would be the one-on-one time planning.

Basically, turn an everyday event, chore or errand into something special... even if it just lasts 20 or 30 minutes!

Have a cool Thursday. I'll be back in the morning with Weekend Happenings.

Take care, and I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Reconnecting

Good Wednesday morning!

It... is... hot! And that's all I'm going to say about that.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Please make your way over to www.kellehampton.com and read yesterday's Hallmark post entitled "Then and Now: Summer Memories, Hallmark."

What can I say? I totally agree with Kelle. Totally.

"We repeat history--our favorite parts of it--and add pages of our own family to the greater legacy--volumes of summer memories over generations."

In that one sentence alone, Kelle used four of my FAVORITE words... "history," "family," "legacy" and "memories."

That's a good sentence!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Austin's mini-date turned into a full-blown 120-minute date. And it was his idea. We both had the time to spare, and we made the most of that precious time together at The Best Strip Mall in the World in Homewood. (That's what I call it. I don't know the official name of this little gem of a strip mall, but believe me, it is THE BEST.)


Austin offered to drive which is always nice. I can relax and enjoy the ride!


Saw's Barbecue was our first stop. It is what Mikie would call "a hole in the wall." And it is excellent. It's crowded, noisy and simple... but the barbecue is devine.

We'll be going back.



We then walked to the end of the strip mall to Homewood Antiques and Market Place. In case you're wondering, this is where Pinterest goes to get ideas! Everything from new ways to use old doors...



How to make wreaths out of old sheet music...


And old tin roosters.


This is the place old windows and doors go to be adopted.

I know what you're thinking. "Wasn't The Boy bored out of his skull on this date?"


And the answer... "Not one little bit."

Wednesday Wisdom - Pinterest offers so many new ideas. I don't even have to turn my brain on any more... which might not be a good thing!

"Respect old people. They graduated high school without Google OR Wikipedia."

Summer Reconnecting

Summer is supposed to be a time of "slowing down." (The Faulkner Five will begin this slowing down process in July, but some start a little earlier.)

Use some of the time during these long, long days to reconnect with your family. Begin with your hubby.

1. DO ONE OF HIS CHORES FOR HIM - Pick a chore that he dreads, such as mowing the lawn, and do it for him. Watch him as he sighs with relief.

2. START A HOBBY TOGETHER - Sharing a hobby together such as horse back riding, completing a home improvement project or selling on eBay can help keep you close.

3. MAKE YOUR HOME HIS REFUGE - Let your home be a haven were your husband can retreat from the stresses of life. Do your best to make it a pleasant environment.

4. PRAY FOR HIM - Ask God to give him that extra boost to make everything okay. Let your husband hear you pray. too.

5. PUT A SIGN IN YOUR YARD - Place a sign in your yard that says, "THE WORLD'S GREATEST HUSBAND LIVES HERE." Let everyone know how special your husband is to you.

6. CLEAN HIS CAR FOR HIM - Surprise him by giving his car a good detailed cleaning. If you don't want to tackle it yourself, have it professionally done.

7. WORSHIP TOGETHER - The couple who prays together, stays together. These will be very tender and special moments shared between the two of you, as well as important.

8. HAVE YOUR PHOTO MADE TOGETHER - You may have done this when you were dating, but why not now? Get a current shot to place on the bedroom dresser or the desk at work.

9. GREET HIM AT THE DOOR - Don't wait for your husband to say, "Honey, I'm home!" Watch for him, and greet him at the door with a hug and kiss.

10. SHOP FOR HIM - When you run to the store, see if there is something that you should pick up for him. This could save him a lot of time or keep him from missing a lunch break.

11. KIDNAP HIM - Plan a special evening, make all the arrangements, then show up at his job just as he gets off work. Tell him to get in the car and no questions. (Make sure you smile, so he won't be alarmed). Whisk him away for a fun-filled evening, then return to get his car later.

Have a wonderful, wacky Wednesday. I'll be back tomorrow with more mini-date ideas and Blog Linkage. Feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions for mini-dates.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Breakfast Burritos

Good Tuesday morning!

Today's post will be filled with random pictures from the past. That means I have no current pictures from the present... but you already knew that, didn't you?


This is a picture of Roxie and Josh taken the day of her 15th birthday. A lot has happened since then. The Chick will be driving by herself in less than three months. I'll just give you a minute to let that sink in.


I miss Fall... and pumpkins... and cool breezes.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Since the kids have decided to live their own lives and pursue their own goals, careers, dreams, etc., they have left me no choice.

I have created the "mini-date."

You may or may not be familiar with the term "mini-date." That may be because I recently (in the last ten minutes) made it up.

The official definition of a "mini-date" is "one-on-one time spent with a child that lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Food may or may not be consumed. Money may or may not be spent. It is brief, but special/fun/enjoyable time spent with a twenty-something or a man-child or The Chick."

I am throwing all of my energy and creative juices into this new endeavor... which means I will not be doing laundry today!

So far, I've come up with the following mini-dates for three of the Faulkner Five...

Roxie - Short, but fun, shopping sprees. Roxie is too tired after Boot Camp and basketball practice to do anything too "big," but after a nice morning rest and lunch, she is ready, willing and able to go to a favorite store and spend a few minutes... and dollars.

Yesterday we went to Bath and Body Works because they were having their BIG sale. I bought Roxie her favorite lotion for $3, and we took our time and smelled everything in the store. On the way home, she asked if she could have a $1 McDonald's sweet tea. It's one of her favorite things this Summer, so I obliged.

We spent enjoyable time together. It was great.

Total Cost - $4
Total Time - 42 minutes

Josh - MJ (My Josh) is exhausted when he comes home from landscaping. He's hot, tired and quiet. Since Roxie may or may not be home during the dinner hour and Austin is usually at the Chick (and Mikie is in the depths of "crunch" time at his office), Josh and I have dinner alone. Yesterday he chose Stouffer's Lasagna (which I do NOT make from scratch) and Milo's sweet tea.

He talked and talked and talked... and I listened. And when he was finished, he collapsed in the recliner to watch a little TV.

Total Cost - $10
Total Time - 37 minutes

Austin - Except for cutting a yard, Austin is off today. I've been wanting to try a different barbecue place, and since The Boy is a barbecue expert, I began the following conversation:

"Hey, Austin. If you're not busy for lunch Tuesday... "

"Yes. I'll go."

"Wait a minute. You haven't heard what I was going to say. If you're not busy for lunch Tuesday, I was wondering if you would... "

"Yes. I'll go."

"Hey! Let me finish, please! I wanted to try a new restaurant... "

"Sounds great. I'll go."

As of this time, he has no idea where we're going, but I'm happy to say he is more than willing.

Total Cost - This could be tricky. Austin is a magnificent eater.
Total Time - We'll see. I'll report back tomorrow.

I'll have more "mini-date" ideas Thursday on A Simple life. Check in if you are in that season of life with your kiddos.

It's time for more random pics!


These peach crepes look good, don't they? I miss Pancake Pantry in the Winter... in Tennessee. A lot!


And snow. I really, really miss snow in the mountains... in the Winter... in Tennessee. Heavy, heavy sigh.

I'm sensing a "seasonal" theme with the random pics today.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I have always been a HUGE proponent of raising children, and being excited to see what they will become one day. What kind of adult will 18 to 21 years of parenting and prayers produce?

As that excitement turns into fear and trepidation, I now understand, I was NOT a huge proponent of raising MY children and seeing them become Christ-following, independent, well-functioning adults. (I wanted MY children to stay small Christ-following, dependent, happy, go-lucky little guys!)

As it turns out, I was a HUGE proponent of watching other people's children do that "growing up, up and away" thing.

I guess the joke is on me!

Let's see. I've posted Fall and Winter pics. Spring is next!


This is a Spring picture Mikie took at the Botanical Gardens. Guess what shirt I'm wearing as I type this? That's right. Same shirt. (I may model some of my new flowy tops today and post those pictures tomorrow. Yeah. That's an idea!)


Roxie and Katie make me laugh, too (most of the time). This was taken April of this year.

Breakfast Burritos

There's a little story to go with today's recipe. Bear with me, please.

This morning at 5:50 a.m., I was awakened by a handsome giant of a man-child.

"Hey, Mom. I'm heading out."

"Wait, Josh. I was going to make cinnamon rolls for your breakfast this morning," I replied in a very slurred voice.

"Yeah, well. It doesn't look like that's going to happen."

And he stooped down, kissed my cheek and walked out the door.

While I felt tremendous guilt (when I woke up about 30 minutes later). I knew Josh had nuked some frozen waffles before he left. And there was plenty of cereal in the cabinet. And, as luck would have it, I HAD MILK today, too!

But I had the best intentions when I told him last night he would have warm cinnamon rolls before he left for work this morning. (Sister Schubert, but warm cinnamon rolls, nonetheless!)

And then I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and I'm seriously considering making these TODAY... or at least by tomorrow.

You will need the following:

1 pound pork sausage
1 package hash browns
8 to 12 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 package shredded cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 packages flour tortillas (medium-size)

1. Brown sausage. Drain on a paper towel.

2. Cook hash browns in the same pan.

3. While the hash browns are cooking, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

4. Add browned sausage back to the pan with the cooked hash browns.

5. Add the eggs to the sausage mixture. Cook until the eggs are done, stirring gently.

6. After eggs are done, place a tortilla on counter. Place egg mixture on tortilla. Top with cheese. Roll into a burrito.

7. Wrap each burrito in plastic wrap.

8. Place the wrapped burritos in freezer zip-lock bags. (I put four burritos in a small zip-lock bag, and then place several of the smaller bags into a larger zip-lock bag).

9. Place in freezer.

10. When you are ready to eat, take the number of burritos you want out of the freezer. UNWRAP the burrito and place on a paper towel and warm ONE of the burritos for 45 seconds. Remove from microwave. Warm the second ONE for 45 seconds. Put the first one back in the microwave for another 30 seconds. Repeat for second burrito.

NOTE - This method of warming may sound strange, but this is the best way to heat the burrito thoroughly.

I love it. Homemade and NO MORE 5:50 A.M. GUILT!

Have a great Tuesday. I'll be back tomorrow with Seasonal Traditions, Wednesday Wisdom and a little more, I think.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

I bet you thought I forgot about Summer pics, didn't you? Not a chance.


One of our favorite things to do in the Summer... spend time with Monica! This was taken last Summer, but next week I'll have a NEW Summer Monica pic!


I think this one says it all! See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mindless Monday

Good Monday morning!

Today's post will be EXTREMELY brief because I have little to report from the past weekend.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Austin worked, ate and worked some more.

Josh rested up for work, ate and rested some more.

Mikie worked and worked and worked, but this week will hopefully be the end of his "crunch" time.

Roxie left us for a couple of days... but she returned yesterday afternoon.

And I... I missed Roxie, Austin and Mikie, spent time with Josh and did laundry.

The Faulkner Five know how to have an exciting Summer, don't we!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Normally, we would have had a family birthday celebration this past weekend. But, no. My sister, Bev, was away at church camp with my nephew, Zac, on her big day.

Thus, she will be celebrating her birthday with my Mom on the 4th of July.

I did text her a couple of times to ask her questions and make plans for the cousins.

"What do you think about all of us going to the theater to see The Amazing Spiderman the evening of July 4?" I texted.

"That's good with us, but don't text me again. I'm hiding."

It was hard NOT to text her again, because I didn't know what she was hiding from, you see.

Were they playing a game?

Had Bev done something terribly wrong, and did she have to disappear for a little while until the "something" blew over?

Was she in the kitchen eating ice cream AFTER last call?

The mystery will be solved tonight when she returns home. I plan on calling her about one minute after she steps foot in her house.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Josh begins his landscaping job full-time this week. He is excited and ready to go.

I have broken out in a sweat just thinking about it.

It's going to be a muggy, sweltering day today. But I'm sending him out into the cruel, hot world with plenty of sunscreen and dehydration-preventing products... water.

And I'm making country fried steak tonight... his favorite meal. If he's too tired to eat, the other Faulkners will be more than happy to eat his portion, I am sure.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Speaking of MJ, he has planned most of the second leg of his Senior mini-trip.

He will be going to Atlanta with friends. They'll spend one day at White Water. (Good day). And he wants to go to a Medieval Dinner Theater to eat gigantic turkey legs while knights "joust it out" in the arena below him.

He also wants to eat at The Varsity. He just has to figure out what to do during the second day (before the Dinner Theater), and he will have a pretty good trip planned.

RANDOMNESS #5 - Roxie's homecoming was sweet. We missed her a great deal. Faulkner Farms (circa 1842) is much more quiet when The Chick is out of town.

Or should I say, much TOO quiet.


I wasn't really expecting the balloon hat, but once I saw it up close, I could see it fit The Chick perfectly.


The poor "balloon man" didn't know what hit him when he stopped by Roxie's table for requests. There were butterflies, turtles, etc., but Roxie's request was much more detailed.


And the "balloon man" was obviously up to the challenge.


Just look at that little monkey!


Is there anything sweeter than a homecoming?

I didn't think so!

RANDOMNESS #6 - Since there isn't much "substance" in today's post (which happens more than you would think), I'm going to send you to www.kellehampton.com to enjoy her post about the end of her family vacation to Michigan.

Her pics just make the story come alive. Love it!

RANDOMNESS #7 - It has been established I LOVE me some Pinterest. These are just a few of the items pinned to my LOL board... because they made me laugh out loud, you see.

"When I do something hilarious, which let's face it, is all the time, I think to myself, 'Why do I not have my own television show?'"

"My friend thinks he's smart. He said onions are the only food that make you cry. So I threw a coconut at his face."

"When you really, really want to slap someone, just make sure you say 'mosquito' when you do."

What can I say? That's my kind of humor.

Have a great Monday. Stay cool and hydrated. I'll be back in the morning with a delicious Recipe and more Randomness.

Take care, and I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekend Happenings

Good Friday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I guess you're wondering where I've been. Or maybe not. Maybe you have a life. But just in case, I'll tell you... I went to Gadsden Mall with my Mom to buy a black, flowy tunic top, a white, flowy tunic top and a cream, flowy tunic top to go with patterned crop pants I already have in my closet.

I also wanted to buy a BRIGHT coral, flowy tunic top to go with some khaki pants I already have in my closet, too.

Shopping with a specific agenda is not an easy thing to do. In fact, it's almost impossible for me.

These are the items I bought.




I know what you're thinking. "That isn't black, white or cream."

That's what I told my Mom when she held it up and asked, "What about this one?"

But then I tried it on, and decided I could wear it with a black skirt and/or pants... which is what I wear all of my tops with at this time in my life.



And then I bought this top. Once again, it is NOT black, white OR cream.

Here's the kicker... I can't wear it with black. That means I have to buy crop pants or shorts to go with this one. Heavy, heavy sigh.



Take away the little white belt, and you have a nice white, flowy tunic with bling!

One out of three isn't bad for me!

RANDOMNESS #2 - I noticed something a few minutes ago. I am a HORRIBLE clothing photographer. Just horrible.

I'm a decent Faulkner Five photographer.





I take a pretty good "animal" picture, too.




My action shots get better and better every year.




And even if I say so myself, my foliage shots are "to die for!"




Am I right?

But I think we all would agree I could definitely improve in the "Clothing" Photography Department.

I guess we all know what I'll be doing in my spare time!

RANDOMNESS #3 - I'm currently reading The 10 Second Rule by Clare De Graaf. Have y'all ever read this little book? There are 12 chapters, and they all revolve around the 10-Second Rule...

"Just do the next thing you're reasonably certain Jesus wants you to do (and commit to it immediately -- in the next 10 seconds -- before you change your mind)."

At first, I thought the 10-Second Rule was so self-explanatory, reading 12 chapters about one rule (no matter how important) seemed a little "over the top."

But it is not "over the top."

Each chapter (so far) offers new insight to the Rule. (I'm currently reading Chapter 5.)

I loved this explanation of why we, as Christians, should follow this Rule.

"Jesus' call to 'come follow me' hasn't changed in two thousand years. The Rule isn't a new command. It's simply an easy-to-understand, to-the-point reminder of what it actually means to be on this journey with Jesus -- to be led by him day by day, minute by minute -- or even in the next ten seconds."

I know I'm only on Chapter 5, but I can honestly recommend Chapters 1 through 4 to you as thought-provoking and perhaps, life-changing.

I'll let you know in a couple of weeks what I think of Chapters 5 through 12!

Weekend Happenings

Roxie is away this weekend, and my heart is heavy. I miss The Chick. And even though it doesn't sound like it in her texts, I can tell she misses me, too. A lot. Heavy sigh. Poor Roxie. At least I have Mikie and The Brothers.

Sunday cannot get here fast enough!



Just in case you don't remember what Roxie looks like, I posted a pic.

Austin and Mikie will be working at different times this weekend. Josh is off the rest of this week from his new landscaping job, but next week he will be working five ten-hour days. I don't mind him taking it easy the next day or so because next week is going to be something else!

I think Mikie and Josh are planning a fishing trip late Saturday evening. I think it will be good for both of them.

I'm planning on getting a pedicure sometime Saturday. It is WAY past time for my summer pedi, and I want the brightest polish available, because my toes are coming out, Baby!

Sunday will include church and Sunday lunch. I'm not sure what I'm cooking yet, but I'm sure a crock pot will be involved.

Summer 2012 is not very "unified" yet, but we're getting there. Beginning July 1, things will settle down, and planning will be much, much easier. Or else.

I hope you and yours have a fantastic weekend. I'll be back Monday with pics and Randomness galore.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Different Dates

ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

Hey, Guys...

Weekend Happenings will be posted by 5:00 this afternoon. I have some things to do this morning, but check in this evening if you get a chance!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Late, Late, Late Belinda

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Good Thursday morning!

I don't know what happened yesterday, but my widgets didn't work properly. Words showed up BESIDE pictures. NO words showed up UNDER pictures. I hope today is a better day.

I hate it when my widgets aren't working properly, don't you?

RANDOMNESS #1 - In case you didn't believe me, I wanted to show you a picture of my petunias... very alive and thriving. They just get better and better, and I'm taking full credit.


















RANDOMNESS #2 - In other news, these pictures didn't show up at all on yesterday's post, and I thought, "That's a shame." So, lucky you, I posted them today.



















Sparkle is telling Roxie, "If you really loved me, you wouldn't bathe me... ever."














Roxie totally ignored her pleas.

RANDOMNESS #3 - The mornings are so nice right now. If you aren't exercising (which I wasn't today), there is a cool breeze in the shade, and squirrels, birds and chipmunks are everywhere. I decided to sit on the steps for a few minutes early this morning and "just be."

It was lovely.



















I'm not one to criticize, but this guy is a little pudgy... for his height, I mean.



















You have to admit, squirrels are pretty amazing. If I had to "hang" upside down while holding onto a tree right after breakfast, I'm pretty sure I would throw up.

Blog Linkage - I don't have much for you today. Everything has been good this past week, but nothing has screamed, "Share me! Share me!"

1. Go to www.kellehampton.com and ready the last two posts about Michigan. Once again, I am in "road trip mode" and ready to go. Anywhere. Even Michigan. (Kelle makes everything look so beautiful.)

2. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and click on Photography at the top of her page. Scroll down to see who won the Love Photo Contest. Did you agree with her choice. It would have been very hard to narrow it down, wouldn't it?

3. If you want to feel better about your den furniture situation, go to Nesting Place under My Blog List and read yesterday's post entitled "This Week at the Nest." While it still photographs beautifully, The Nester shows the readers the real wear and tear on her furniture. By next week, I'm sure it will all be replaced with beautiful pieces all under $50 apiece.

She really is amazing.

Different Dates

I found these on Pinterest and adapted them to my Thursday Date segment. Remember, a date is one-on-one, quality time spent talking, talking, talking. It doesn't have to ALWAYS be expensive or take a lot of time to be a fun date.

1. Fossil Digging Date - They have dino bones at the Dollar Tree. Bury them (maybe at a sandbox at a park), and get your paint brushes ready to dust away dirt.

2. Find a quiet place in the house and play Angry Birds on the Nook.

3. Create a silly holiday to celebrate with each individual child. For example, August 20 - Annual Doughnut Date for Billy, September 19 - Try a New Restaurant Date for Susie, etc., etc.

4. Grab two nets and go Creature Catching!

5. Exercise together. Pretend to be their instructor, or just put in a workout DVD. It's like playing follow the leader.

6. Go through a car wash. (I did this when the kids were smaller. We would go through a drive-thru and pick up a milkshake, and then spend the next few minutes going though the wash. It was fun!)

Have a wonderful Thursday. I'll be back tomorrow with Weekend Happenings, pics and more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you in the morning.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda
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