Monday, January 28, 2013

Mindless Monday, Quotable Quotes, Blog Linkage, Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage

Good Monday morning!

Wow... Busy weekend.

Busy, but fun.

RANDOMNESS #1 - It wouldn't be a January post if I didn't have basketball news and pics, would it?

It always amazes me how "in sync" the girls look at certain points in a game. I don't think Claire and the girl on the opposing team had time to practice this move, but it certainly looks like they did.

I sat in a great spot Friday night. I didn't even have to use a zoom to capture Mallory's intense look.

This was taken near the end of the game, and Taylor was coming down the court, and we were pretty sure we were going to win it all.

And we were correct!

RANDOMNESS #2 - We took a tiny 25th Anniversary Get-Away Saturday evening. As I mentioned before, our 25th Anniversary Trip will take place in March, but we didn't want to let the actual anniversary slip away without a bit of celebration.

We decided Saturday morning to spend the night at Hotel Highland in Southside. We've been there once before, but it is the cutest, funkiest little hotel, and we decided to give the establishment our business once again.

Here's Mikie wearing his eggplant shirt sitting in the eggplant chair in the lobby.

Just look at this room!

I mean, who thinks of decorating with this stuff?

I don't know who they are, but I love and appreciate their talent.

And even though Mike and I stick out like sore thumbs in each and every corner of the hotel...

We still appreciate the quirkiness and charm that IS Hotel Highland.

I very politely asked the "dressed appropriately to work in this type hotel" clerk to take a picture of me and Mikie for the ol' scrapbook, and even though she didn't notice the gigantic shadow across my face, I decided to keep it.

I've decided at 51, shadows, much like very low lighting, are my friends.

Since we were staying in a hotel we've visited before, it was very important to me to try a different restaurant, so we ended up dining at Slice... a very hip and happening pizza restaurant a few minutes away from the hotel.

I must have said, "I feel so young and with it" 1,000 times... and then I noticed no one else was saying it... because they actually were young and with it.

When you ARE young and with it, obviously you don't feel the need to point it out every 30 seconds.

Heavy sigh.

We enjoyed Slice, but for our own personal reasons, I think we would prefer to go on a weeknight or during the day on Saturday or Sunday. It might be a little less crowded and noisy with hip young and with it clients.

I ordered the Spicy Hawaiian Pizza and Mike ordered the Meatball Pizza. Mine was the best.

Hands down.

NOTE - Since the last time we visited Hotel Highland, they have added a complimentary breakfast. Since we were so close to the Original Pancake House (less than half a block), it was a hard decision, but after Mikie went downstairs to check it out, we decided to go with the freebie.

Scrambled eggs, muffins, pastries, waffles, grits, raisin toast, etc., etc.

And did I mention it was complimentary.

That's one of my favorite words... "complimentary."

RANDOMNESS #3 - We had our annual "Breakfast for Sunday Lunch" at Grandmother's Sunday afternoon. It is always a fun and easy meal to prepare, and while most of The Faulkner Five napped (Mike, Roxie and Josh), the rest of us crowded around Katie to look at old picture albums.

Old picture albums are the best. Not only are the kids tiny and sweet and kissable, but Grandmother, Bev and Belinda look exceedingly young and thin.

Not that we don't look exceedingly young and thin in 2013, but the maintenance was much lower back in the day.

Less makeup.

More hair.

Less Spanx.

More energy.

Less wrinkles.

More upper body strength (because we were lugging around giant babies all the time, you see).

Good times. Good times.

Katie and Roxie.

Katie and Josh. I told you I was going to take some pictures of Josh this weekend. He was cooperative for the most part...

And then I had to start doing the "candid" thing.

Either way, I got what I wanted.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Top 25 Memorable Moments in 25 Years of Marriage... Continued... Again.

17. Even though I have some very annoying and aggravating quirks (I never turn library books and/or movies in on time, I eat any and all "pieces" in Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream... but I leave the ice cream part, I would rather whine about being sick than take actual medicine to heal the sickness, etc., etc., etc.), Mikie still loves me and intends to remain married to me for the next 25 or so years... or so he says... under oath.

18. Even though Mikie has some very annoying and aggravating quirks (he will not go to bed before 11:00 p.m., but instead falls asleep in other rooms and we have to get him up and move him, he insists there's a difference between being "tired" and being "sleepy," he's noisy when he eats soup, etc., etc., etc.), I still love him and intend to remain married to him for the next 25 or so years... or so I say... under oath.

19. I'll always remember buying our boat a few years ago. I don't think either one of us realized how much fun our family would have in that boat.

20. Any and all of my little out-patient procedures I've had done over the past 25 years have been memorable. Little out-patient procedures are a big deal to me, and although Mike takes care of me with a condescending smile on his face, he does indeed take care of me... and it is greatly appreciated.

21. I'll always remember Mike rescuing our neighbors after a tornado went down our street. Miss Mary referred to him as "her hero" from that day forward... and he was.

22. I'll always remember no matter how tired Mike might be after working all day, if one of the kids needed help with homework, time spent talking or walking or advice given over the phone to a college kid in a different town, he never complained, but took care of the situation... because that's what Dads are supposed to do.

23. I'll always remember when Austin won the 8th grade Math Award for his class... and I had to stop Mike from escorting him down the aisle to receive "their" award... which they had both worked so hard to earn.

24. I'll always remember that Mike never missed an opportunity to tell one of us he was proud of us... or he loved us... or he was glad to be home.

25. And I'll always remember that Mike has been a faithful follower of Christ during our past 25 years together, and he has been a living, breathing example of what a Christian husband and dad should be.

I could go on, but I'll save some of them for our 30th anniversary.

It will be here before you know it!

Quotable Quotes - Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby) passed away last week, so I thought I would share some of her wisdom on this fine Monday morning.

"The less you talk, the more you're listened to."

"There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who walk into a room and say, 'There you are' and those who say, 'Here I am.'"

"If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders." (This is my favorite.)

Blog Linkage - Go to Big Mama under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Puffs Plus, my dear Watson." And be thankful if you aren't sick right now.

Very entertaining.

Have a tremendous Monday. I'll be back Friday with this, that and the other. (Some of it will actually be useful information, I hope.)

Take care, and I'll talk to you at the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

Mindless Monday... and a Few Excuses

Good Monday morning!

I just wanted to let you know A Simple Life will have a COMPLETE Mindless Monday post at 2:33 p.m. TODAY.

It will still be Monday.

It will still be Mindless.

You just need to come back to visit AFTER 2:33!

Excuse #1 - I simply must go to Body Pump, and I'm not quite finished writing ALL of the good stuff which will be on the post today AFTER 2:33.

Excuse #2 - The Boy and I have started watching a Duck Dynasty episode before he leaves for JSU on Monday mornings. (I've seen ALL of the episodes, but he has not.)

It throws me off my game a little on Monday morning, but I think it's important.

Excuse #3 - I have SO MUCH to tell you this Monday morning, it's just going to take the extra time to write the post... and do it right!

Take care, and I'll talk to you at 2:33 p.m.


The Enchanting and Very Muscular Belinda

P.S. And because I have to have at least one picture included in every single post...

I'll explain later.

At 2:33.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Valentine's Day Trail Mix, New Year's Eve Balloon Pop, Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage

Good Friday morning!

I was expecting/hoping to be typing this post from a nice and toasty home with Mike, Roxie and Josh still in bed because it was a little icy on the roadways... and someone with authority had cancelled Friday.

I have milk, bread, hot chocolate, Ben & Jerry Cherry Garcia ice cream and the last episode of Downton Abbey to watch. I have comforters, extra pillows and fuzzy socks.

I had dreams of a PILE-UP IN THE BED AND "JUST BE" DAY.

I was a little disappointed this morning.

I may or may not get over it.

I'll let you know next week.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Our FOUR-DAY basketball tournament ends this evening. As you know, we lost the first game, but we have won the last two... and we're planning on winning our fourth and final game tonight.

The girls are tired, but they are working so hard. I'm proud of these chicks.

This one could definitely be labeled "the agony of defeat," but we hardly ever have to sit this way!

I don't think I could have played basketball in high school, because some chick is ALWAYS getting in your space.

I'm one of those people who needs her space. I think Roxie is handling it very well, and I'll just give a big ol' shout out to Caroline for not only keeping her opponent out of her space, but out of the space of her teammates, too.

The world needs more Carolines, I think.

This is what the bench does to congratulate a teammate for a great basket... or two... or three.

And this...

And this.

And this is what the teammate making the baskets does. (In this case, it was Taylor!)

RANDOMNESS #2 - Our 25th Anniversary came and went Wednesday. Mike was super busy at work, and I was super busy at home, and we had a tournament and if we had not had a tournament, we would have been at church.

Mike and I have always celebrated our anniversary with a night on the town... a romantic dinner and an overnight stay at a nice hotel. Just a little get-away time from ever day life.

Because of our "tradition," middle of the week anniversaries have never really bothered me. In my mind, our anniversary is really the Friday or Saturday night AFTER the actual anniversary because that is when we always celebrate.

No difference for the Big 25. We will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary Saturday, January 26, and it will be much, much better than squeezing in a little me and Mikie time after a busy Wednesday and a basketball tournament!

Also, as is our tradition, we are planning a little trip for our 25th Anniversary.

We spent our 10th anniversary in a cabin on top of a mountain.

We spent our 20th anniversary in a bed and breakfast in Charleston, South Carolina.

And we're going to take a little belated train ride to New Orleans in March to celebrate our 25th anniversary.

And it will be epic!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage... Continued.

11. My cooking has much improved over the last 25 years. (I remember once in our first five years of marriage when I made a cheese and cracker tray for dinner. Needless to say, that did not go over very well.) Looking back, we definitely have favorite meals we like to share on special occasions. Food and traditions go hand-in-hand.

12. We made dating each other and the kids individually a priority early, early on in our 25 years, and we are still dating everyone today. Brother Steve Gaines was so right when he said make the dates with your spouse and your kids and WRITE IT IN INK. It's that important.

13. In 25 years, we've been members of three exceptional churches. We've felt God's presence in each and every one, and each church has filled specific needs for us as a couple and later as a family.

I want to give a shout-out to Shades Mountain Baptist (where we met and married), First Baptist Cullman and First Baptist Gardendale.

We've been members at Gardendale 19 years this month, but we still feel like we are "home" when we visit Shades.

We have been blessed.

14. Mike and I have suffered great loss together, and as much as I wish this was not part of life, I am thankful he was my partner through the grief.

15. Mike and I have dealt with (and are continuing to deal with) chronic illness in our immediate family, and I have no one else to thank but God that the stress and pressure associated with illness didn't tear us apart, but brought us closer together.

16. Mike and I have kept our warped sense of humor in tact over the last 25 years. I honestly don't know if anyone else would think the things we laugh about are funny, but you have to make a decision early on to laugh or cry, and we both chose to laugh as much as possible.

After much thought and soul-searching, I'm going to change the name of this list to the Top 25 Most Memorable Moments in 25 Years of Marriage.

Everything mentioned has not been a favorite, but it has been unforgettable.

Uh-oh. I changed my mind again. I'm going to finish up the last little bit of the list Monday morning. I like letting things drag on a bit, but you probably already knew that!

Blog Linkage

Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Ranch Games."

And be sure to watch (or tape) her cooking show on Saturday mornings. It is delightful!

Valentine's Day Trail Mix

Warning... Pinterest! Pinterest! Pinterest!

I made this yesterday to carry in the Big Gold Van for the girls to snack on during our tournament travels. It is pretty AND tasty.

You will need the following:

4 cups miniature pretzels
4 cups Strawberry Yogurt Cherrios
3 cups Chocolate Teddy Grahams
2 cups dried cherries or cranberries
2 cups yogurt covered raisins
2 cups Valentine M & M candies

1. Mix.

2. Bag.

3. Eat.

I changed the recipe just a little for me and mine.

4 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
3 cups Chocolate Goldfish (in honor of Roxie)
2 cups dried cranberries
2 cups yogurt covered raisins
2 cups Valentine M & M candies
12 pink sugar wafer cookies cut in triangles

It was pretty, sweet and festive... and there were TWO fruits... and cholesterol-lowering Cheerios... so it was basically a very healthy snack!

Don't judge me!

I threw a few Special K Yogurt Bars and pretzels in the bucket, too.

Tomorrow night I might add a couple of oranges... just for color.

New Year's Eve Balloon Pop

My friend, Stacey Varden, planned a New Year's Eve Balloon Pop for her three year-old daughter, Mac... and it looked like so much fun.

I'm just going to tell you exactly what she did for her toddler, and you can tweak it to fit your family next year.

Stacey had a bunch of helium-filled balloons on her kitchen countertop. At a specific hour, a certain balloon had to be popped. An activity slip was inside the balloon, and Mac and family enjoyed the activity before it was time to pop another balloon an hour later.

4:00 - Mani and Pedi from Mom

5:00 - Make cupcakes

6:00 - Ice cream with sprinkles

7:00 - Mac's very first bubble bath

I think you get the idea. EVERYTHING was age appropriate and fun. Mac didn't stay up until midnight to bring in the New Year. She spent her New Year's Eve having fun with the people she loves most... Mom and Dad.

Great way to celebrate if you have small kids!

Weekend Happenings

I think I've pretty much explained our weekend plans above, but for clarity's sake, I'll put it in list form.

1. Roxie finishes her basketball tournament tonight. Austin and Josh will be working.

2. Mike and I will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary with dinner, a movie and a night away from Grand Central Station. Ahhh.

3. Sunday we will be be going to a family Sunday dinner at my Mom's house. (Breakfast for dinner. Can't wait.)

And that's pretty much "it."

I am going to try to get a couple of pictures of Josh this weekend. I didn't want you to think I had gotten rid of him or something.

Oh, and if you happen to see him, don't give him any warning. I like to surprise my victims... uh, subjects!

Have a grand weekend. I'll be back Monday morning with the remainder of my Top 25 Memorable Moments in 25 Years of Marriage, Anniversary Celebration pics, basketball pics, Super Bowl Party recipes and a little bit more.

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


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mindless Monday (on Tuesday), Blog Linkage, Asparagus Gruyere Tart, Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage

Good Tuesday morning!

I haven't said that in awhile!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Basketball continues to be a major part of our lives in January. Our team won each and every game we played last week, and we start a tournament tonight.

I have no doubt our winning streak will continue.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

Here is your obligatory Mindless Monday (on Tuesday) basketball pic.

It may look like Roxie doesn't know where to throw the ball, but that's all show for the opposing team. She knows exactly what she's doing at all times during the game. She's special that way.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Since we ALL had an extra long weekend because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, I decided to take everyone out for a bite to eat to celebrate.

We decided to do the bread bowl thing at Panera Bread. Mikie met us and The Faulkner Five and The Lovely Melia ate all of our carbs for the week.

We love us some good bread bowls.

Fun fact for you... I gave Austin and Melia an "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendar" for Christmas. I just happened to have a beautiful picture for each and every month last year. In fact, I had lots of pictures to choose from during some of the months.

Because they like their "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendars," I decided to give them both one next Christmas, too.

However, I did not have a January picture of the two of them together (yet)... so yesterday was Picture Day for them.

After we ate at Panera Bread, we went across the street to Klingler's Bakery and everyone picked out a sweet from the case. Before anyone had a chance to get powdered sugar ALL over them, I took Austin and Melia's January 2013 picture.

It's a good start, I think.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #3 - When we returned home from our Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration, I dropped the guys off at the house and told Roxie we were going to go to a special place for a few minutes.

She knew exactly what I meant.

I've been wanting to take Roxie's picture beside a very old light blue pick-up truck on the side of the road near our church.

However, she doesn't want her picture taken with the truck as a background because the road tends to be very busy, and everyone in our fair city would see her posing beside the old blue truck.

I thought perhaps the road would be much less congested on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and although Roxie protested the entire way there, I was determined to prove my point and take some wonderful pictures with the old abandoned light blue truck as the backdrop.

Imagine my disappointment when we drove by the truck and discovered the road was indeed still very busy.

Even on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Even at 2:15 p.m.

It was very discouraging.

Had it not been for a secluded little park I have visited from time to time, it would have been an entirely wasted mini photo shoot.

The blue truck would have been great, but Roxie looks good standing beside a plain ol' tree, too.

Of course, I'm a little biased.

RANDOMNESS #4 - As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow Mike and I will celebrate our 25th Anniversary.

One-quarter of a century.

Two decades plus five years.

Almost (but not quite) half of our lives.

I know I've probably forgotten some really big events, but this is my Top TWENTY-FIVE List of Favorite Moments.

1. Mike became very ill the day we returned from our honeymoon. His illness lasted exactly ten days. No more, no less. Mike and I both discovered I was a horrible, horrible nurse at exactly the same time.

(It bothered him a little more than it bothered me.)

2. During our first year of marriage, Mike and I moved three times. Mike and I both discovered I was a horrible, horrible mover.

3. We moved for the fourth time on our 13-MONTH anniversary.

Yeah. That's right. Four moves in 13 months.

4. Because we lived so close to Mike's work the first five years of our marriage, Mike was able to come home for lunch almost every single day, and that was great. It was especially fun when we added Austin to our little family three years after we married.

Austin doesn't remember our daily lunches, but his Mom and Daddy do.

5. Because Austin's pediatrician's office was directly across the street from Mike's work office, he never missed a check-up and would proudly take The Boy to his office after each and every one so "the girls in the office" could play with him for a few minutes.

In our minds, everyone wanted to play with The Boy for a few minutes. Absolutely everyone.

6. Mike was determined to pass his CPA exam even after Austin came along. His determination and hard work paid off, and The Boy and I were very proud of his accomplishment.

7. Mike and I welcomed Josh and Roxie into our family with as much enthusiasm as we welcomed The Boy. We were thrilled, thankful and excited to have boys AND a girl. We were going to get to experience EVERYTHING!

8. Several of our family vacations could fall into the Top 25 List of Favorite Moments all by themselves, but I'll lump my favorites together for the sake of space.

Our first Disney trip as a family.
Our first Universal trip as a family.
Our Tampa Bay trip.
Our houseboat vacation in Georgia.

We've enjoyed other vacations, but these were the all-time favorites of The Faulkner Five.

9. Fifteen consecutive years of camping as a family definitely gets a mention in the Top 25. It wasn't always easy. It wasn't always fun. But it was ALWAYS, ALWAYS memorable.

10. Our annual Anniversary Celebrations made the list, too. Even though some of the "celebrations" didn't quite work out as planned, since we've been married 25 years, I can honestly say we've had more good than bad.

You know what? I think I'm going to finish this list Friday. This post has become huge, and I have 25 loads of laundry to do.

But you probably already knew that about me, didn't you?

Me and Mikie 25 years ago.

And me and Mikie 25 years later!

Blog Linkage - Are you ready to blog hop? Good!

1. Go to www.holdenonbaby.com and just scroll through the last two or three days' worth of pictures of this sweet little toddling boy. I love good pictures, and this Mama knows how to take them.

2. Go to www.pinkcoffeephoto.com and scroll, scroll, scroll. It's a blog written by another Boy Mama who takes great pictures. I especially love the circus post.

3. Go to Six Sisters' Stuff under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "25 DIY Valentine's Day Wreaths." I think even I could make a couple of these.

Asparagus Gruyere Tart

I am not a lover of the asparagus. I never have been.

However, I want to be because it is an especially healthy vegetable.

I saw this recipe on Pinterest. It came from Martha Stewart. And it was all about the asparagus.

Even with two strikes against it (Martha Stewart and asparagus), I decided to give it a try.

DISCLAIMER - I have nothing against Martha, but some of her recipes are on the HARD end of the spectrum.

This one was not.

You will need the following:

Flour (for work surface)
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 1/2 pounds medium or thick asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 16 x 10-inch rectangle. Trim uneven edges. Place pastry on a baking sheet. With a sharp knife, lightly score pastry dough 1 inch in from the edges to mark a rectangle. Using a fork, pierce dough inside the markings at 1/2-inch intervals. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove pastry shell from oven. Sprinkle with Gruyere.

4. Trim the bottoms of the asparagus spears to fit crosswise inside the tart shell. Arrange in a single layer over Gruyere, alternating ends and tips. Brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. Bake until spears are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

It was pretty good.

Did it make me a fan of the asparagus?

Maybe not a fan, but it was definitely edible, and I don't think I've ever said that about the asparagus before today.

This is a slice of the Tart. It looked much better whole, and I don't know why I didn't photograph it before serving.

I know how to "make" the food. I think I'm going to work on "presentation" in 2013.

New Year's Eve Seasonal Tradition

I have a very cute New Year's Eve tradition to share, but I haven't heard back from the girl who actually "did it." I need to make sure she doesn't mind if I post it, so maybe by Friday I'll have permission!

Have a spectacular Tuesday. It is a BEAUTIFUL day in Central Alabama! I'll be back Friday morning with Weekend Happenings, a 25th anniversary story and so much more.

Take care, and I'll talk to you at the end of the week.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Since I'm a little picture poor today, I'm going to share some of the pics I used for the "Austin and Melia 2013 Calendar."





Monday, January 21, 2013

Scheduling Change! Scheduling Change!

Good Monday morning!

All of the kiddos are home today because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

And since that doesn't happen ALL the time, I want to take advantage of their presence and do something fun.

That being said, I'm going to post Mindless Monday TOMORROW MORNING... and I definitely want you to visit Tuesday because this is just a little sampling of what will be on A Simple Life.

1. Pics... and not just basketball pics.

2. Tons of really, really good Blog Linkage.

3. A new asparagus recipe. (That's right. I said asparagus. I tried it and I liked it and, of course, there was a great amount of cheese involved.)

4. A New Year's Eve Seasonal Tradition I found AFTER New Year's Eve, but it is too cute and fun not to mention.

5. I'll be celebrating my 25th anniversary as Mikie's bride this Wednesday, so I'm going to write a Top TWENTY-FIVE List of my all-time favorite Mikie and Belinda moments. (Do not worry. This will not be an ooey-gooey/lovey-dovey list. Most of my all-time favorite Mikie and Belinda moments are just "life stuff.")

Thanks for understanding, and I'll see you bright and early tomorrow morning (Tuesday, January 22, 2013).


The Enchanting Belinda

And just so you don't forget what The Faulkner Five look like, I'm leaving you with some little reminders.

Y'all come back now... ya hear!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Valentine's Day Dates for Kids OR Honey

Good Friday morning!

I had to replace the cat picture. I couldn't take it any more. Every time I checked the blog this week, I thought I was in the wrong place.

Snow is much more appropriate. I actually like snow.

RANDOMNESS #1 - I'm going to go ahead and post the obligatory January basketball pictures. Along with snow pictures, dog pictures and sleeping kid pictures, basketball pics seem to be what I do best these days. (Or should I say "most.")

If this one looks like Roxie is sneaking into position, you are right. She gets in her position, and sometimes they throw her the ball and sometimes she makes three-pointers. On this particular night, she made three.

We were happy, happy, happy.

Just a little dribbling picture. I must always include a little dribbling picture.

I didn't notice this one until after the game. Look at Taylor's foot.

I know. It made me shudder, too. But there was nothing wrong with her ankle. Everything was fine. It wasn't even twisted.

Oh, to be young again, and to have a little flexibility. (However, I don't think I had that much flexibility when I was two... much less 17.)

RANDOMNESS #2 - Since everyone was home last night because of the Blizzard of 2013, we watched two nights of American Idol... back to back.

Just so you know, that's a lot of American Idol.

I always watch some of the audition Idols, but I don't watch much (if any) of the competition Idols.

I'm funny that way.

I have just a couple of observations from last night's viewing.

Ms. Carey and Ms. Minaj need to get over themselves just a wee bit. I have never seen two more self-absorbed women in my entire life.

I feel so sorry for Keith Urban having to sit between the two, but I have a feeling if he wasn't appreciating Nicole Kidman enough BEFORE American Idol, he will certainly be appreciating her AFTER American Idol.

It will probably make their marriage even stronger... so that would be a good thing.

RANDOMNESS #3 - If you don't live in the South, you may have heard about The Great Blizzard of 2013 on national or even international news last evening.

As I type, the white stuff is quickly disappearing (less than 12 hours later).

But while it was here, it was lovely.

Please notice the brake lights on the car in front of me. I wasn't snapping pictures while driving. I was at a complete and total stop.


I know what you're thinking. "Why does Roxie have a giant box of Flavor Blasted Goldfish tucked under her arm?"

Fun fact for you... Roxie ALWAYS has a giant box of Flavor Blasted Goldfish tucked under her arm. It is her snack of choice, and wherever she goes you will find a couple of stray Flavor Blasted Goldfish AND the giant box.

Oh! And she's catching snowflakes.

I took these pictures after everyone arrived home, safe and sound.

So quiet and peaceful. Ahhh.

I mean, OUTSIDE was quiet and peaceful. INSIDE was rather rowdy.

Blog Linkage - I have some new sites for you to visit.

1. Go to www.holdenonbaby.com and read the post entitled "What January Looks Like" dated January 16. This chick (and five others) are going to do a "day-in-the-life" picture post each month this year featuring their families.

I love stuff like this, and I thought maybe some of you would like it, too.

2. Go to www.gingerandjon.blogspot.com and read the post entitled "What Our January Looks Like" dated January 16. She's part of the "day-in-the-life" project, too. It's more of the same, but different.

3. Go to Six Sisters' Stuff under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "50 More Delicious Super Bowl Snacks and Party Foods." Have some recipe cards handy!

Valentine's Day Dates for Your Kids OR Your Honey

This is my Pinterest contribution for today.

1. Curl up with your date and a good book at the library. (I would have enjoyed doing this with one of the kids. Just gather a big bunch of Valentine's Day books from the shelves, find a bean bag or comfortable corner in the library and read, read, read.)

2. Make it a double feature at the movie theater. You pick one movie and your date chooses the other. (I would love a double feature. Mikie... not so much. But this might work for you and yours.)

3. Bundle up and head to the zoo for the afternoon. (I would love this. I've never been to the zoo in the middle of winter, but I bet it would be fun on a sunny winter afternoon. And I wonder if there are many people there? We may try this one.)

4. Deck yourselves out in your favorite team’s apparel and catch a basketball game. (We do this two or three times a week, so it isn't necessarily date material for The Faulkner Five, but your family might be different.)

5. Spend some time in the kitchen making chocolate-covered strawberries. (I haven't done this before. I know I like eating chocolate-covered strawberries, and I'm pretty sure I would like making them with one of the kids or Mike. I'm going to put this one on the list, too.)

Weekend Happenings

Believe it or not, NOTHING is planned for this weekend.

The guys have to work a little.

Roxie has to shop a little.

We'll go to church a little. (Well, not "a little." We'll go the normal amount of time!)

Other than Roxie's basketball game tonight, we are as free as a breeze.

But Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day AND WE ARE OUT OF SCHOOL. I'm thinking we may need to do something exciting... something fun... something extraordinary.

Who am I kidding. We'll probably sit around in our pajamas all day watching Psych reruns... and that will be lovely, too.

Have a terrific weekend. I hear there is going to be sunshine in the Alabama area. And that's a very good thing. I'm going to try one or two new recipes this weekend, so I may be sharing those Monday.

I won this pasta box/crate/package at a Dirty Santa Party, and I cannot wait to start using the contents. Actually, I stole it. I didn't know if the original "winner" would truly appreciate the contents of that box in the same manner I would.

Especially this Sea Salt. It isn't American Sea Salt or European Sea Salt. It is Sicilian Sea Salt.

In my head, that HAS to be so much better.

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


The Enchanting Belinda
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