Monday, September 30, 2013

Mindless Monday, October Dates in Alabama, Baked Coconut Shrimp, Josh's Birth Day Story - Part One

Good Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Josh's 20th Family Birthday Celebration is now one for the scrapbooks.

In case you haven't been able to tell by the pictures, Josh has lost about 50 pounds since high school. He has done this by cutting out sweets, working out (a lot) and NOT eating birthday cake... which is not to be confused with eating sweets.

Totally different thing altogether.


When it came to choosing a birthday cake, Josh didn't want to be tempted.

He asked me to make his most "un-favorite" dessert of all times... lemon pound cake.

He blew out the candles, but he did not partake of the cake!

I kept the Fall color scheme going and just added Josh's favorite color to the orange and yellow... black.

Such a festive party.

Sweet Taylor gave him a birthday bag with some of his favorite treats (to save for his December "cheat day") and a large water for the party.


Mike and I gifted him with some new boots.

Taylor and Josh.

Mike, Becky, Grandpa, Grandma, Josh and Guy.

Zac, Tommy, Bev, Josh, Brad, Stephanie and Katie.

Roxie and Josh.

And, yes. I am painfully aware the pictures from last Monday look almost exactly the same as the pictures this Monday.

I didn't plan the whole "there needs to be AT LEAST 30 days between kids' birthdays" thing very well, did I?

RANDOMNESS #2 - If you are interested, and you probably are not, the first 2013 Faulkner Family Fun Fall Drive did not happen this weekend.

Mike and I had a nice, low-key date Saturday evening, but it was already dark before we were ready to leave.

One of the most important rules for the Fun Fall Drive is to begin and end the Drive during daylight hours.

Otherwise, we're just driving around in the dark, and I get whiny because I cannot take pictures at night.

Mike will tell you... You don't want to be around me when I'm whiny.

These are some ghosts from one of last year's Drives.

Austin and Melia actually enjoy the Fun Fall Drives.

Josh and Roxie... not so much... at all.

In fact, they HATE, HATE, HATE the Fun Fall Drive, and they probably will not be invited this year.

And they are SOOOO grateful.

Just Mikie.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Josh's Birth Day Story - Part One - I've done it before... and I'll probably do it again. Josh's birthday is Friday of this week (October 4), so since the dates fell "just right," I'm going to tell the story... ONE MORE TIME!

As I wrote on the blog many years ago, Austin's birth was an emergency C-Section. I did not care for the emergency C-Section. In fact, I thought the women I knew who had C-Sections and "loved" them were certifiably insane. I didn't like not being able to cough or laugh. I didn't like hurting if I tried to walk upright. I didn't like the driving restrictions. I didn't like the staples. I didn't like being allergic to morphine. The list could go on and on and on. (I'm a whiner. I admit it. I am NOT a good surgical patient.)

That being said, I was determined to have Josh without the C-Section. I told my doctor not once, but many, many, many times how I planned on this birth taking place.

But I've gotten a little ahead of myself, haven't I? Before we arrived at the end of the nine months, we had the pregnancy. Because I had gained 50 pounds eating powdered doughnuts and 3:00 p.m. Sneaky Pete hot dogs every day (and I mean EVERY day) during my pregnancy with Austin, I decided to be much more disciplined with my eating habits during my pregnancy with Josh. And I did much, much better. By the time he arrived, I had gained 30 pounds... which I think is very, very good.

I had two little complications during my nine months with Josh... the first being my first bout with gestational diabetes. I had taken the test and was waiting for my results.

The day I was scheduled to receive the results, I met my friend, Shelly, for lunch. I ordered the hot fudge cake for dessert when she informed me SHE was on a diet, and I absolutely could not eat hot fudge cake in front of her. Shelly was a formidable presence. I knew she was very serious. I also knew if I ordered the cake after she had TOLD me not to, she would throw it on the floor. (I am not kidding!) She was that kind of friend.

So, as a compromise, I ordered the cake "to go." She wasn't happy, but she didn't wrestle it out of my hands either. We said our good-byes, and I went to my house. I was walking in the door with my box of cake making my way to the fork drawer when the telephone rang.

Now you have to understand something. I was living in Cullman at the time, and telephone calls (especially from family and friends from Trussville and Hoover) were precious. Also, I didn't have a cell phone with free weekend minutes OR an answering machine. I didn't have the option of NOT answering the telephone. Coming into the house a mere thirty seconds later, I would have missed the call altogether.

"Hello," I answered breathlessly as I started opening my cake box and reached for the silverware drawer across the kitchen. (I had one of those extra long telephone cords. Remember those?)

"Mrs. Faulkner. This Dr. Walton's office. I just wanted to tell you your test came back and you have gestational diabetes," an anonymous nurse-type person said on the other end of the phone.

"What does that mean exactly?" I asked, with a chunk of hot fudge cake and whipped cream dripping off the end of a fork right in front of my face.

"It means STEP AWAY FROM THE CAKE," she said. No, no. Not really. But she might as well have said those words. I lowered the fork as she gave me instructions, growing angrier by the minute at my EX-friend Shelly.

It was going to be a very long pregnancy without sweets... and my EX-friend Shelly was going to pay dearly for causing me to miss my LAST piece of hot fudge cake for the next 25 weeks. Yes... she was most definitely going to pay!

I'll let you know HOW MUCH she paid tomorrow.

Baked Coconut Shrimp I fully intended to make this BEFORE this morning's post, but it didn't happen. Thus, I will be making it Thursday night, I think.

If you want to wait to see what we think of this recipe, I'll let you know Friday morning, but it really sounds good, doesn't it?

You will need the following:

1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups sweetened, flaked coconut
3 egg whites

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

3. Rinse and pat dry the peeled and deveined shrimp.

4. In one bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt and cayenne pepper.

5. In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until they are foamy.

6. In a third bowl, pour the 2 cups coconut.

7. One shrimp at a time, coat it first in the cornstarch mixture (covering it completely), then dip it in the egg mixture and then roll it in the coconut.

8. Place it on the baking sheet and repeat until you run out of mixture.

October Dates in Alabama

I found the October issue of Birmingham Parent Magazine in a doctor's office Saturday morning, and there are some good events scheduled this month in and around The Magic City.

Hikes for Tykes
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 5, 12, 19, 26
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
This is a hands-on adventure for preschool children and their families. It is FREE! Call 205-540-6642 or go to for more information.

35th Annual Alabama Tale Tellin' Festival
5:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, October 11 and 12
Church Street in Selma, Alabama
Expect plenty of homespun humor and toe-tapping music. Call 334-878-2787 or go to for more information.

NOTE - Mike and I have always wanted to take the kids (or go ourselves), but there was always a timing conflict. It just sounds fun to me.

Birmingham Botanical Gardens Fall Plant Sale
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, October 19 and 20
Herbs, sustainable trees, fall annuals, shrubs, natives, perennials and more.

Alabama's Wildlife Center's Owl-O-Ween
11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park
Features children's educational activities and programs and the opportunity to meet a live owl. FREE after paid admission to Oak Mountain State Park. Call 205-663-7930 or go to for more information.

Okay. That's it for today. I'll be back Friday with more of everything.

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


The Enchanting Belinda

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