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Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookie, Blog Linkage, Daddy/Daughter Adventures (Pinterest)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - The Chick is earning money this week. Meet Jax.




Dog sitting has turned into quite a lucrative little side business for Roxie.

Who knew?

RANDOMNESS #2 - Roxie has a new vehicle. You may recall on May 21, Roxie totaled her little red car.

I know. I know.

It has been over three months ago.

But don't worry. Mike has been driving The Big Gold Van and Roxie has been driving Mike's Edge.

And I've been working with everyone's schedule and using a truck or other vehicle whenever the need has arisen.

That's in my job description, you know.


Roxie says it was worth the wait!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Since Monday was my actual birthday, we decided to go to Steel City Pops for dessert. Josh couldn't be with us because of school, but Melia met us there, and a good time was had by all.


Roxie and Mike. Roxie tried Strawberry Cream and Mike ate the Strawberry Juice Bar.


Austin and Melia. Austin ate the Chocolate Chili bar, and loved it. I've had that one before, but it was only good for three or four bites. Then the burning began, and I wanted a plain ol' Vanilla Pop.

Fun fact for you... Steel City Pops will NOT let you trade in a half-eaten Pop for a new and different flavor.

That may be their only flaw.



Someone recently told me to try the Buttermilk Pop. It tastes like Donna Gaines' Buttermilk Pie recipe. Heaven on a stick!


I liked it, but not quite as much as I enjoyed Mikie's Strawberry Juice Pop. If I had a favorite Monday night, it was the Juice Pop... and since it was my birthday, Mikie relinquished his death grip on the Pop.

Did I mention it was MY birthday?

Blog Linkage - Go to Big Mama under My Blog List and read today's post entitled "Fashion Friday." She has a Christmas book review I want all of you to read... and then buy the book. (Don't worry. I'm planning on purchasing a copy, too.)

Daddy/Daughter Adventures (Pinterest)

1. Share some special memories from your own childhood! If you live in the same area you grew up in, take a drive (windows down, music loud) and drive by your childhood home, where you went to school, where you learned to drive, etc. If you don’t live in the same area, visit the library and check out your favorite books from when you were a kid, go to the grocery store and buy that treat you loved when you were little, go to the park and play your favorite childhood games. Tell her about what it was like growing up, things you liked, things you learned, things you dreamed... and watch her enjoy them as well.

2. Go to an event from the community calendar! Check to see where your community’s calendar of events might be. It could be on your town’s website, at the library, in the newspaper, etc. These calendars have lots of info about upcoming concerts, local farmers' markets, events at pick-your-own farms, jam-nights at the bluegrass parlor, museum events, local productions of plays, etc. etc. Generally, this can be a goldmine for interesting activities to do together.

3. Teach her some of your car skills! There are lots of practical things girls should learn from their daddies on how to handle themselves in emergencies (how to change a tire, jumping the car battery, and driving in the snow). Yes, it’s work... And yes, it’s fun! I remember loving it when Dad would show me stuff about how to fix something on the car, not because I was particularly interested in cars, but because it was fun to spend time together, and it made me feel much more confident to have that knowledge.

4. Take your daughter to work! Whether on an actual take-your-child-to-work day (or not), taking your kid to work can give them a great look into what you do. Let them see the good that you do, how you work hard. She may or may not be interested in pursuing your field as an adult, but it will still be good for her to see you at work. Or, if your work environment isn’t suitable to bring a child along while you’re working, have her come on your lunch break to eat together and give a little tour.

5. Share your hobby! If Daddy likes to play the guitar, do gardening, work on cars, make carvings, shoot targets or has some other hobby, why not spend some time sharing that? It’s good for a daughter to see her daddy's talents. Plus, it’s fun as the daughter to learn something new! My dad got me involved in his antique business. We went to auctions to hunt down new finds, figured out the date of an item, set up what we found in the antique booth, etc. It doesn’t even have to be such a long-term project. Spend an afternoon sharing something you enjoy with your daughter!

Salted Caramel Thumbprint Cookie

I found this recipe on the back of a box of Sugar Cookie Mix, and because The Chick only eats caramel-type desserts, I made a batch last night.

You will need the following:

1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Mix
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2/3 cup caramel flavored topping
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse sea salt

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine cookie mix, flour, butter, egg and almond extract in large bowl. Mix with spoon until soft dough is formed.

3. Shape into 3/4" balls. Make a round indentation in the center of each cookie.

4. Bake 10 minutes.

5. Reshape indentations in cookies. Fill each with a scant 1/2 teaspoon caramel flavored topping. Bake an additional 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

6. Sprinkle caramel with a pinch of coarse salt.


Hey! This cookie is CRAZY good.

If Josh had been here, it would definitely have been FIVE STARS!

Weekend Happenings

1. Friday night, Austin will begin his job as the voice of the Donoho High School Falcons in Anniston.

Josh and Roxie are going to meet Katie for a Friday night movie (which means Josh is coming home for the long weekend).

And Mikie and I are going out on a dinner/movie date for my birthday. Just the two of us. (I think we might see The Butler... or Jobs... or Monster University. And I'm pretty sure we're going to eat at The Fish Market... or Joe's Italian... or Klingler's.)

All I do know is I am NOT cooking tonight!

2. Saturday morning, Roxie is leaving bright and early for a pre-college weekend at Troy. She's going to ride with Taylor's family, go the the Troy/UAB football game, etc., etc., etc.

To say she is excited would be a huge understatement.

I'm not sure about Josh's Saturday plans, but Austin is going to stay in the Anniston area and produce the JSU game Saturday evening. For a football-lovin' guy, I don't know if there could be a better weekend.

I'm hoping Mike and I can get up early Saturday morning and head to Pepper Place Farmer's Market. I haven't been yet, and I think Saturday might be the day. (Mike will probably read this post, and call me to tell me why Saturday will NOT be the day, but until that call comes in, I'm hopeful.)

3. Sunday is church day. Again, I'm not sure about the plans, but just relaxing after church sounds pretty good to me.

4. Monday is Labor Day. The Chick will return home, and I hope Mike and one or both of the boys can have a nice, long fishing day.

That would just about be the perfect LONG weekend for The Faulkner Five.

Have a great LONG weekend yourself. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy time with family and friends.

I'll be back Monday morning with a fascinating narrative on what actually happened during our Labor Day Weekend... and I'm pretty sure it will not correspond exactly to the above list.

I'm saying that because of LOTS of past experience.

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

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. One more pic of Roxie. She had her official Junior photo taken at school this week, and she looked marvelous! But I'm her mother... What do I know?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mindless Monday

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I'm 52. Today. Yep. Today, I am 52.

I had a wonderful family birthday party yesterday, and I have a few pictures from that event.


Here I am in all of my 52 year-old glory.


I've told you I was big on distance and angles when it comes to having my picture taken. Mike stood on a concrete plant stand to take the following pictures.


Me... Glory... Again!


Me and My Chick.



This is my Autumnal-Yet-Summery-Floral-Chocolate-Fondant-Birthday Cake. Katie used sugar paper for the petals.

Were you aware there was such a thing as sugar paper?

You live 52 years and you think you have a pretty good grasp of what's out there in the pastry world... and then someone says sugar paper and you're totally and completely blown away.

One of my new favorite things... sugar paper!


Perfection!


Me, Austin and Melia.


Doesn't Melia look stunning in gray. She was so pretty yesterday. I cannot wear gray, but Melia and Roxie both wear it well.


Me. Brad and Stephanie.


Bev, Mom and me.

It makes Mom angry when I stick my leg out to appear shorter than her and Bev... so I do it as often as possible in pictures.

In this picture, I am doing "my trick" to appear shorter, and she is telling Bev she is not having her picture taken with me one more time if I don't stop sticking my leg out.


I just think it's funny.

Mom... not so much.


Me and My Josh.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I'm getting psyched about The Pioneer Woman's NEW HOLIDAY COOKBOOK which will be out this fall.

I hope, hope, hope she has another Book Tour.

And I hope, hope, hope she stops in Birmingham again.

And I hope, hope, hope after I stand in line five hours, I'll be able to say something other than, "Uh... Huh... Huh... Huh... Huh," while she's signing my book. (Mikie had to interpret last time.)


I'm planning on wearing the same blouse every time I go to a book signing so she'll recognize me in the crowd.

RANDOMNESS #3 - My sweet friend, Sue, asked me to take some pictures of her equally sweet daughter-in-law, Jenny, at the beginning of the Summer.


You remember, Jenny, right?


Jenny gave me this BEAUTIFUL cross as a "Thank You" gift (along with an equally beautiful silver pendant initial necklace).

I love them both.

I hope you and yours have a glorious day. Until a few seconds ago, I didn't really have any definite, set-in-stone type plans, but as I've been up for a little while and the blood is flowing to the ol' brain, a plan is emerging.

Yes, it is.

And I'll tell you all about it Friday!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Practically Ageless Belinda

Friday, August 23, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - I love watching The West Wing. Sadly, I love watching The West Wing WITHOUT Mikie.

After we watched the first episode together, he looked at me and said, "I don't usually like to watch more than one episode at a time."

Okay.

I thought it was a little late to let me in on that enormous fact, but I dealt with it in a semi-adult manner. (Little or no whining.)

But then he just kept talking.

"I also don't think I want to watch an episode every night. I like to spread it out a little."

Who was this man pretending to be my husband who had one hour earlier agreed to watch a show with me over the next few weeks for some special (and inexpensive) "us" time?

"How much do you like to spread it out?" I asked.

"Maybe twice a week... but more realistically, once a week."

I just looked at him.

What is the use of waiting nine years for a series to end if not to watch nine seasons in a period of six days or less?

I tried to explain to him how "cancelled" or "retired" series-watching worked, but he would have none of it.

And then I was forced to replace him.

Although Austin has watched The West Wing before, he agreed to watch it again. And because I taught him at a very young, impressionable age, he knows how to watch it.

"Do you want to watch one more, Mom? It's only 1:32 a.m."

It's very gratifying when you realize you "raised one right."

Mikie and I watch Duck Dynasty after church on Wednesday nights. We watch the most current episode, and then we walk away. When the season is over, we will wait seven or eight months for the series to return again.

We like living on the wild side.

RANDOMNESS #2 - The First Week of School will soon be one for the history books. Roxie has had homework every night this week, along with basketball practice.

I offered her a "Friday Homeschooling Option" last night.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Every Friday, you can stay home with me, and we'll homeschool my way," I explained.

"What does that mean?" she asked again.

"First, we'll sleep until we wake up so we'll be well-rested and ready to learn. Second, we'll beautify and get ready for our field trip. Third, we'll go shopping for a new purse since we didn't have time to get one before school started Monday (what with it starting 24 hours earlier than we had originally planned). Fourth, we'll have lunch at an old barbecue joint I saw on Andrew Zimmerman: Bizarre Food in Alabama. Fifth, we'll go see the new movie The Butler because of it's entertainment value AND historical relevance."

I looked at her. I didn't know if she needed more convincing, so I said, "We'll go to at least three stores and 'compare' shop for the purses. That will count as Math. As we're eating our barbecue featured on Andrew Zimmerman: Bizarre Food in Alabama, we'll talk about the digestive system. That will be our Science. And I think it's pretty self-explanatory why we chose The Butler for a homeschooling Friday."

"Do you mean it? Can we really do that?" she asked.

"Would you really go with me?" I asked.

"We probably need to wait a few weeks before we start. There are football games and lunch and I have a lot of friends in my classes on Friday."

Curses. Foiled again!

"Well, I wish you had mentioned that before I worked on my lesson plan. Those things don't just write themselves, you know."

I think I'll try again in November.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Austin received his first "Professional" paycheck this past week.


Hopefully, there will be many, many more of these in his future.

Blog Linkage

1. Go to Nitty.Gritty. and read today's post entitled "The day that Daddy came back." I love stories about good daddies.

2. Go to www.kellehampton.com and read yesterday's post entitled "Enjoying: Car Line." Kelle puts a "positive" spin on the car line situation... and I like that about her.

Weekend Happenings

1. Friday is a pretty simple day. Roxie's going to the first football game. Austin is working at the Chick. AND JOSH IS COMING HOME FOR THE WEEKEND! Pretty simple AND pretty great.

2. Saturday will be filled with car washing, I think. There isn't a clean vehicle on the property, and I want that to change... tomorrow.

3. I haven't mentioned it, but Sunday I'll be celebrating my 52nd family birthday party at my Mom's house. Katie will bake me a spectacular cake (because that is what she does), and I will open gifts (because that is what I do) and fun will be had by all (but, especially me).

I don't actually turn 52 until next Monday, but it has been my experience in five decades that when someone invites you over to feed you birthday cake and give you gifts, you don't haggle about the actual date as much as you just RUN to the venue where the event will be taking place.

And in case any of you are wondering... I'm continuing to age exceptionally well.


Perhaps you recall my "gray sweater/gray pumpkin" pic from a year ago.

With the right angle, lighting, DISTANCE and so much more, I AM AGELESS!

Have a lovely weekend. The cooler temps have left Central Alabama and have been replaced by 100 percent humidity... as it should be in August.

I'll be back Monday with a little birthday celebration (narrative and pics), Randomness, a new recipe I HOPE will actually happen between now and then... and more.

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

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Sorry about the lack of pics. I've posted some animal photos to fill in the gaps today. Some old and some new.




Monday, August 19, 2013

Mindless Monday, Quick and Easy Apple Tart, Summer 2013 Re-Cap

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - School started today. I honestly thought last Friday the first day of school was Tuesday the 20th.

I was mistaken.

And I lost a day of prep time.

And I had to get up SUPER early this morning to finish the prep I should have finished Sunday evening.

I'm not proud, but I speak the truth.

And I wasn't the only one who was a little upset when they discovered school actually started Monday, August 19.

Nope.

The Chick lost 24 hours of "Summer Reading Time."


Roxie sat on this couch under her uber-soft blanket for five hours and 18 minutes Friday afternoon. FIVE HOURS AND EIGHTEEN MINUTES!

Even I had a headache.

The good news... She finished her third and final book Sunday evening.

The bad news... Even she admits she will probably wait until the last possible minute next year to begin (and finish) her Summer Reading.

I can rest easy knowing I have taught The Chick well.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Back in the day (which in this case means last year and the year before), I would pick a new and different restaurant and take The Chick and Friends out for a back-to-school dining experience.

We went to the Original Pancake House downtown for their Freshman Back-to-School Lunch.




Last year, I took them to a little restaurant called Olexa's in Mountain Brook Village.



This year, I was officially uninvited to drive them to their back-to-school meal in The Big Gold Van because... Well, because they can drive themselves, thank you very much!

But they did give me the honor of picking the restaurant.

And I picked Slice.

And they loved it.

And because I wasn't there, I don't have a single picture.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

NOTE - I've already picked out the restaurant for their Senior Back-to-School Meal.

It's going to be epic!

RANDOMNESS #3 - The Faulkner Five Back-to-School Dinner was held at P. F. Chang's this year. We took The Lovely Melia and Grandmother along for the ride, and a good time was had by all.


Roxie and Josh. You may have noticed Josh's new do. I'm still getting used to it, but it's growing on me. (Pun very much intended.)



Josh's giant hand photobombing what would have been a really, really good pic of Austin and Melia.


A really, really good picture of Austin and Melia. (What you cannot see is Roxie wrestling Josh's massive arm out of their picture to prevent another photobombing situation.)

I am forever beholden to her.


Roxie, Josh, Austin and Melia. Technically, Austin isn't going back to school, but we let him tag along with Melia.

We're super nice that way.

I didn't take a picture, but Mikie ordered not one, BUT THREE, desserts for the table... And one of them was the Great Wall of Chocolate Cake.

That man speaks my Love Language.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Summer of 2013 Re-Cap - It was a very unique Summer for The Faulkner Five. Four out of five of us were going in different directions each and every day.

At least two out of five of us made it home for dinner each night.

We saw a total of TWO Summer Movies together as a family.

We had THREE Faulkner Family Game Nights.

The majority of our time was spent one-on-one, one-on-two, one-on-three, but rarely with all Five Faulkners together.

I'm pretty sure I was the only one it bothered. The other members of the family were fine with one, two, three or four and adapted very easily.

However, I learned some very important lessons this Summer.

1. Love on the ones you're with.

2. Do not grieve for the whole.

3. Enjoy the pieces.

As kids begin leaving the nest, thoroughly concentrating on the one, two or three family members in your presence is a blessing.

Not as big a blessing as the whole. (Don't worry. I haven't gone completely Un-Belinda-Like on you.)

But a wonderful blessing nonetheless.

Here's the official Summer of 2013 Re-Cap...

Roxie - The Chick went to the beach twice (once with family and once with friends). She spent the week at Lake Guntersville with The Faulkner Five. She spent time with friends and family. She dog-sat and baby-sat and successfully earned a fair chunk of change. When I talked to her last night, she said she had a very good Summer.

Josh - Josh's Summer started out very badly (attacked in an armed robbery at Fred's), so it could only get better.

He worked, watched just about EVERY Summer movie that came out and spent a good bit of time fishing.

He also enjoyed several days of our Lake Vacation.

He moved out a week ago and began going to school this morning. He will begin working in Hanceville by the end of this week.

His Summer improved as the days and weeks passed by.

Austin - Austin worked at the Chick. However, he also had one part-time "radio-type" gig in July, and is preparing for two part-time "radio-type" jobs at JSU and Donoho during the upcoming football season... while still working at The Chick.

He spent a week with The Faulkner Five at the lake, and a week with Melia and family at the beach.

Things are moving along swimmingly.

Mike and Belinda - Summer is Mike's busy, busy time at work, but he fished and played with the kids a good bit.

And he took me to the beach for a mini-vaca. We haven't done that in a very long time, and it was relaxing and fun.

Mike and I had plenty of "alone" time this Summer, and when we weren't too tired from life events, we took advantage of the time to have a lot of dates. Some were tried and true, and some were new to us.

Either way, we have established we still like each other, and we think we will survive the totally Empty Nest when the time comes.

I have Roxie's Back-to-School "I'm a Junior pic." She spent the night with friends last night, and they got ready together this morning.

She came outside for the pic without shoes, so I'm really hoping when she arrived at Homeroom this morning she had something on her feet.

If not, I'm sure I'll be getting a call any time now!


Isn't she lovely?

Quick and Easy Apple Tart

I copied this recipe from The Pioneer Woman's cooking show this past Saturday. I tried it. We liked it. It's a keeper.

You will need the following:

1 whole sheet puffed pastry, cut in half
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 whole apples, cored, halved and sliced (not peeled)
Store-bought caramel sauce, for serving
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place the puffed pastry rectangles onto a baking pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or lined with parchment paper. Add the sugar, salt and lemon juice to the apples. Stir to combine. Allow to sit for a few minutes.

3. Arrange the apple slices on the pastry rectangles in a straight line, overlapping as you go. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

4. Remove from the pan immediately and place on a serving platter. Serve with caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

This was delicious. As you can tell by the pics below, I left the pecans out of the mix because Josh isn't a pecan eater. Next time, I will do half and half.




Have a "good as you possibly can" kind of day. It's the first day of school. At some point during the day, at least one out of every two females between the ages of five and 51 years of age will burst into tears.

Actually, I think the correct number is 100 PERCENT, but I didn't want to appear overly-dramatic.

Take care, and I'll be back Friday morning.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Tear-Free (for the moment) Belinda

Friday, August 16, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Quotable Quotes

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Josh moved into his apartment near campus this past Monday. I was under the false impression it would be easier the "second time around."

Not so much.


Roxie had a hard few days. Saying good-bye to Taylor Saturday morning and Josh two days later... Well, let's just say The Chick has had better weekends.

Much better.


I'm going to do BEFORE pics this week, and I'll show you AFTER pics when everything is in place.

Josh is in a small, one-bedroom unit. He loves it, and it is just big enough for him and a couple of guests.

His kitchen has everything except a tiny microwave (it's on my Yard Sale list), and he's been cooking a good bit this week. (Scrambled eggs, chicken fingers, oatmeal, etc.) He's breaking out the crock pot the first of next week and trying a small (very small) roast, carrots, potatoes with gravy meal.

Josh learned to cook many, many things at 12, 13 and 14 years of age. He's also becoming quite a good "grill master." It gives me some comfort knowing he will not starve.


You can't take a good picture of the living room area from this corner without getting the entire kitchen in the pic. Again, it's a SMALL, one-bedroom unit.

His cable will not be turned on until Tuesday of next week, but he has a movie collection, X-Box game collection and three books he hasn't started reading yet.

He hasn't missed his cable connection too, too much.


This is the movie/game collection I spoke of above.


Austin enjoyed Granddaddy's recliner for three of his four years in Jacksonville. When Josh asked Austin if he could use the chair this year, I was surprised when he said, "Sure," with absolutely no hesitation.

Not only is it a very comfortable chair, but it was (and is) Granddaddy's chair.

The sales price for this chair is listed as "priceless," and only Harold's six grandchildren will have the option of owning it as time goes by.

I will say, Austin kept the chair in pristine condition. There is nary a spot/stain/pick/hole in this chair.

Josh has been schooled on the importance of keeping the chair in "like new" condition.

Hopefully, he will be up for the task.

As far as how "The Helicopter Mom" in me is doing, the answer is not as good as I would have hoped.

He has to talk to and/or text someone in the house once a day to give us an "I'm Alive" report.

He's coming home Saturday and Sunday to get a few more things and spend some time with us before school starts.

And I am very, very sad.

Not unlike all the other moms out there doing the exact same thing, and feeling the exact same way.

I could just kick myself for not having one or two more kids.

Or Mikie.

I could definitely kick Mikie!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Roxie's new Back-to-School Tradition worked out well.

I surprised her with a little trip to Cahaba Heights, and we shopped at several new stores.

There were only two rules.

I would buy one item from each store for her. (She could buy more with her money if she chose.)

Each item bought had to be something she could use for back-to-school.

That's it.

The only rules.


Serendipity was our first stop. It is one of the nicest stores I've ever visited, and they had some very unique and pretty things to choose from.


I bought the really pretty mossy green sweater, and Roxie purchased the mustard-striped scarf.

Please bear in mind, these are not clothing items she will wear at the same time.


After making those purchases, we walked next door to Fleet Feet, and we were delighted to find a great sale on Nike tennis shoes...

We were over-the-moon when they had the exact shoe she has been wanting...

And then we were beyond devastated when we discovered her foot had grown, and she needed a half size larger... and they didn't have them in that size.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

However, there were Nike shorts on sale and she picked out a great pair of those.


I had thought she might pick out a candle or room accessory at this store, and that is the direction she was heading when she came upon the softest, lightest pajama pants in the world.


Pretty cute, huh?

Please bear in mind, these are not clothing items she will wear at the same time.


We stopped at O'Carrs for lunch, and while I thoroughly enjoyed my FAMOUS Chicken Salad and Fruit Plate (pics will be available Monday), Roxie didn't order very well, and her lunch wasn't quite as spectacular as mine.

Don't worry. She's ready for the "next time."


This is Roxie in all of her back-to-school glory.

Please bear in mind, these are not clothing items she will wear at the same time.

NOTE - We also stopped at Mountain Outfitters (beside Whole Foods) on the way home. She purchased a yellow Southern Marsh t-shirt which is not shown in the above pic.

We didn't think it would add anything to the ensemble!

Quotable Quotes - I love me some Mark Twain.

"Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read yesterday's post entitled "Down Syndrome: Where We Are Now." Nella has Down's Syndrome, and she is three years-old now. Kelle's post is wonderful. She is such a good advocate for this special community, and I wanted to make sure to share her story with y'all today.

Weekend Happenings

1. Mikie and I will be alone tonight. Austin is working. Roxie will be with friends. And Josh... Well, Josh moved away this past week.

But Mikie and I are going to do something fun. I'm not sure what, but I'll figure it out.

2. Saturday evening, we will be taking Austin, Melia, Roxie, Josh and Grandmother out for our annual Back-to-School dinner.

We usually like to try a different restaurant, but I think the general consensus this year is P. F. Chang's.

It's a good choice, I think.

3. After church and Sunday lunch, Roxie and I will be heading out in search of the perfect jean. (Wish me luck!)

Josh will head back to Hanceville late afternoon to get ready for his first day of his Sophomore year at Wallace State.

Roxie will prepare her Monday morning outfit for her first day as a Junior in High School.

And so another fun-filled school year will begin.

I'll have a Summer re-cap on Monday. It was a different Summer, but it was also a good one, too.

Mike's hoping I'll cook something this weekend, so maybe I'll have a new recipe to share Monday morning, also.

Have a lovely weekend. I don't know if the Fall-like temps are going to stay around for awhile, but enjoy them while you can. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy worship. In other words, have a really great two days!

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

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda
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