Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Restaurant Review (MELT), Two Two Easy Peach Cobbler, Pinterest Stuff (Fun Object Lesson About Prayer)

Good Thursday evening OR Friday morning!

I hope y'all have had a good week.

Let's get to it!

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - A Semi-Short, Semi-Funny Make-Up Story - Roxie wears all kinds of different make-up. Some from the drug store. Some from various and sundry cosmetic counters located around town.

The other day, she asked me to pick up a specific cosmetic item from a specific store while she was at work, and I agreed.

I'm really good that way. (Most chicks would love to have me for a Mom.)

When I arrived at the counter, a very attractive woman who appeared to be several years older than me (perhaps 60ish to my 50ish), helped me with the purchase.

She kept looking at me, back and forth, back and forth, and it made me uncomfortable.

Did I have something unseemly on my face?

Had I only put make-up on one eye?

Did I have lipstick on my teeth?

It turned out, none of the above.

"Is there anything else I can get you?" she asked, sweetly.

"Nope. That's it," I replied.

"Are you sure?" she asked slowly.

"Uh, yes. This is for my daughter. She's working today and she asked me to pick it up for her," I over-explained.

I do that a lot when I get nervous.

She put the item in the bag, handed me my receipt, and I turned my back on her to walk out the door.

"Wait!" she exclaimed.

Actually, she didn't so much "exclaim" as "said."

"Yes, ma'am," I responded.

"At least take this sample of neck cream, please. You know, as we age, our neck has special needs."


Let's get one thing straight, shall we?

I, like a number of other women in their 50s, 60s and so on and so on have a collagen problem.

Or should I say a "lack of" collagen problem.

Or perhaps I should use astronaut lingo.

Gravity is not my friend at this time of my life.

"Houston, we have a problem."

I looked into her imploring, sympathetic eyes and took the neck cream and quietly left the counter.

I climbed into the Big Gold Van, drove home and took a look at what I now considered my newest enemy, my neck.

I decided then and there to not take the "I bet I know how old you are, poor thing" stuff any longer.

That's right!

I am a vibrant, funny, tall-drink-of-water, 53 year-old (almost 54) woman, and although I am NOT winning the gravity battle right now, do NOT hand me special neck cream, Madam!

Just point me in the direction of the summer turtlenecks, and we'll call it a day!

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - Roxie returned from Guatemala exhausted... mentally, physically and emotionally.

And immediately started talking about "the next trip."

Here are a few of her pics from Guatemala 2015.

Hunter went on this particular mission trip. Roxie was thrilled to be able to share this experience with him.

This is Roxie's favorite little man from last year. All she wanted to do this trip was see him, hold him, laugh with him...

You get the picture.

Imagine her disappointment when she found out he was not there. He was in another town in another hospital recovering from surgery on his hips and legs. (He's going to be able to walk!)

The staff told her he was due home the end of the week, and she just held her breath.

And prayed.

And he came home on Wednesday before she had to leave Saturday morning.

It was a very sweet reunion.

MISCELLANEOUS #3 - My great-niece, Mackenzie, turned two in May.

Amber and Mackenzie.

Mackenzie loves Minnie Mouse, so it was a no-brainer when it came time for Amber to "pick a theme."

Cousin Lauren was present to show her how it's done.

Favorite gift from the party...

And Matthew and Lauren giving her much-needed driving tips.

MISCELLANEOUS #4 - Mike had a birthday recently.

He turned 54.

Or as I like to say...

He is now 50ish.

He and I will continue to be 50ish together for the next six or so years.

And then we will be 60ish...

But I don't want to go there right now.

Roxie and Mike.

Grandmother, Mike, Brad and Stephanie.

Mike, Austin and Melia.

Mike's only request for this birthday was a Jurassic Blast Dairy Queen Cake.

We ordered it together the Friday night before his party on Saturday.

We watched them take down the order.

We watched them take our money and put it in the cash register.

And we watched them shake their head and tell us NO ONE had prepared the cake for us when we arrived Sunday to pick it up at the appointed time.



And agony on me!

Other than that, he had a very, very good party.

MISCELLANEOUS #5 - My newest great-nephew, Micah, was born May 5. He is Mackenzie's little brother.

Here are a few pictures of him in all of his newborn glory.

Grandpa and Grandma now have FOUR great-grandchildren, and they seem to love it.

MISCELLANEOUS #6 - As has been our practice the last few years, the kids give Mikie a "gift of time" on Father's Day.

And as has also been the practice the last few years, we take him to eat at Dreamland after visiting Grandpa in Oxford.

Below are some of my favorite Father's Day pics.


Mackenzie and Roxie reading at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Roxie loving on Micah...

Who appears to be the opposite of happy.

Roxie and Mike trying to get a good ENO/GoPro pic. (I haven't seen it yet, but I hope it is a good one.)

Little Judith waiting on her half slab of ribs at Dreamland.

Roxie, Mike, Judith, Melia, Courtney, Austin and Josh.

Restaurant Review - MELT - I have found a new favorite thing in Birmingham. MELT is a funky little restaurant in the Avondale area (close to Post Office Pies), and guess what their specialty is? Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.

I do not lie.

This place is good.

Of course, they have a lot of "other" stuff, too, but the people know their way around the grilled cheese sandwich.

I took Bev out for her birthday Tuesday, and I ordered the Macaroni and Cheese Melt...

And to combat all the cheesy carb goodness, I also ordered a bowl of fruit.

So, so good.

Roxie and her friends went there last night and they all ordered the same thing I did, except for Roxie. She tried The Classic (three different kinds of cheese), and declared it to be delicious, too.

Bev and I also ordered the fried pickles with mild jalapeno ranch sauce, and a finer pickle has never been tasted, I tell you.

The retaurant used to be a gas station, and it is cute and urban and hipster.

It also has a cornhole game outside in case you have to wait a few minutes for a table.

I'll be going back again (and again and again).

And Roxie and friends will be doing the same.

Pinterest Stuff

I love object lessons.

I especially love fun, easy and gets-the-message-across-well object lessons.

I found this on Pinterest and copied it. It comes from a blog called www.antidotesformoms.blogspot.com.

Jesus Gets Excited When You Pray!

I used 1 Timothy 2:1-6 (NLT). I wanted to stress that Jesus hears all prayers, not just prayers from adults, and we should pray for everyone!

Also, I wanted the children to understand what praying actually meant. I looked up and printed out the definition and some easy words to help describe what it means to pray.

After we took turns reading and discussing what prayer means and how it applies to the verses, I showed the kids what happens when we pray.

I used two glasses and filled them with some regular tap water, and for extra fizz, some sparkling water.

I went to a local store and bought generic Alka Seltzer tablets.

I allowed the children to pick the color for their water. My children at home chose orange.

I had them gather around. I said, "Tell me how this makes you feel." I dropped a tablet into the water and it immediately began to fizz.

The excitement on their faces was evident.

I asked them if it was exciting to watch the fizz, and they all said, "Yes!"

I told them, every time we pray to Jesus, that's how He feels. He feels excited because we're building a relationship with Him. We're talking to Him. We're including Him in our lives. Jesus loves us so much, and He wants to be a part of our lives.

I handed each kid two tablets and said each one of us could pray for someone or about something in our lives. I also gave them personal discretion if they didn't feel comfortable praying out loud, we would just pray in agreement silently with them.

To watch the kids pray with excitement was amazing! I know it partly had to do with the fizzy tablets they got to play with, but I also got to watch them gain the understanding praying is a good thing.

Praying can be fun!

If it's fun to go to the movies, shouldn't it be fun to spend time praying to God, too? I think so!

Also, I told the kids after we had gotten into a few prayers, we needed to be quiet and listen. They could hear the fizzing noise in action. I said sometimes that's how God works. He answers our prayers, but sometimes we have to be quiet and listen.

At the end of the class, I allowed the kids to save up their fizzes and they all dropped their remaining ones in together to see if they could overflow the water.

Just for fun!

Two Two Easy Peach Cobbler

I found this jewel on Pinterest...

And I've made it four times in the past two weeks.

You will need the following:

1 large (29 ounce) can sliced peaches - drained
2 sticks or 1 cup of butter - melted
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pour drained can of peaches into skillet or 9" x 13" baking dish. (I haven't used the skillet yet.)

3. Pour melted butter over the peaches.

4. Mix sugar, flour, milk and baking powder together to form batter.

5. Pour batter over peaches and butter.

6. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until top is golden brown and edges are crispy.

7. May take longer in a cast iron skillet.

Weekend Happenings

1. Friday night...

I got nothin'.

2. On Saturday, Mike and I are going on a Day Trip.

It is going to be a surprise.

For both of us.

Right now, I cannot decide where to go, but I have it narrowed down to four...

Which is better than the 16 I had earlier today.

3. On Sunday, we'll be attending church, Bible Study and possibly, recuperating from our SUPER FUN Day Trip.

At least one hopes.

Okay. That's it for this week. I'll be back next week with pics and stories from Bev's 50th Birthday Celebration, our Mystery Day Trip and some 4th of July stuff that will be happening.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next Friday, July 3!


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, June 19, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Best Corn on the Cob EVER, Peach Dumplings AND Restaurant Review (Kool Korner Sandwiches)

Good Friday morning!

Since we last spoke, a great many events have taken place.

Are you ready?

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - Roxie and friends had their Senior Awards Night. It was very nostalgic, and I vividly remembered many of the kids on the stage that evening...

From the time they were babies, attending preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school...

You get the idea.

Everyone who walked across the stage that night looked like a "little" kid in my mind's eye, and not the 18 year-old young men and women whose images I captured with my camera.


Kelci and Roxie.

Hannah, Roxie, Ragan and Ally.

Roxie and Ragan (looking gorgeous in all white).

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - Tommy had a birthday, and we all celebrated with him.

Have you noticed, it is much easier to celebrate someone else's aging process than your own?

Tommy and his traditional ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

Melia, Tommy and Austin.

Roxie and Mikie playing a spirited game of cornhole!

MISCELLANEOUS #3 - The Senior Recognition Service at our church on the Sunday morning before Graduation has always been a fun event. It was my last "official" Recognition Service as a parent, so I tried to remember everything I could with and without the camera.

The best way for me to take pictures in our church is when the "subject" appears on the screen.

The official "Roxie is in her robe" picture with Hunter.

MISCELLANEOUS #4 - The 2015 Graduation Service of GHS was awesome.

The speakers were excellent.

The atmosphere was celebratory.

And I actually made it outside in time to take pics of the "hats in the air."

Third time's a charm!

Taylor, Alyssa, Roxie and Scotty.

Roxie and Savanna.

When Roxie is extremely happy and emotional, she will grab the person's face and gaze joyfully into their eyes.

It is one of my most favorite things about Roxie.

Roxie and Allyson.

Roxie and Hannah.

Roxie and Seth.

Roxie and Kendall.

Roxie and Mason.

Roxie and Hunter.

Roxie and her diploma!

MISCELLANEOUS #5 - I'm going to tell you something. My MOST favorite thing about Graduation is the Reception my church has after the ceremony.

We invite as many family and friends as we want ($6.50 a head), and we all meet at our Fellowship Hall. The Fellowship Hall is decorated and a snack dinner is served buffet-style in the middle. Family and friends can visit with each other for several hours.

And the best part...

I get to enjoy it just as much as everyone else because I'm not officially "hosting" the party, I didn't have to cook AND the clean-up is not on me!

Roxie and Josh.

Josh was present for the Ceremony and about 30 minutes of the Reception before he had to go to work.

Good pictures don't just happen.

They take a little work.

T.J., Roxie, Katie and Zac.

Ally, Roxie and Ragan.

Roxie and Grandmother.

Aunt Bev, Roxie and Uncle Tommy.

Melia, Roxie and Uncle Guy.

Grandma, Roxie and Grandpa.

Everyone decorates a table for the Reception. Roxie and Ally shared a table and it was FABULOUS!

Austin, Roxie and Zac!

Roxie and Sweet Kelci.

Restaurant Review - Kool Korners Sandwiches

If you had told me I would be a fan of a Cuban sandwich shop, I might have been a little surprised, but let me tell you...

I am most definitely a fan!

When we go to the movies, our favorite place to eat is Mugshots in Vestavia.

We love it!

But, on weekend nights when a huge blockbuster movie is playing, that restaurant can be crowded and a little unpredictable as far as "get in/get out" time goes.

Jurassic World was our ultimate destination, but we didn't dare want to be late (miss any previews)...

Or rushed (not be able to enjoy our hamburgers).

So we found a great alternative.

If you go one red light beyond the Mugshots red light, you will see a Publix.

When you see the Publix, pull in and look for Kool Korners Sandwiches.

From what I can tell from the wall, the restaurant moved here from Atlanta. Atlanta loved them. Again, this is information I gleaned from the wall.

And now, I, The Enchanting Belinda from The Dale in Alabama, love them, too.

I ordered the roasted chicken sandwich on Cuban bread. It is served warm and pressed (not unlike a panini).

The bread is a little crunchy, but not messy.

I also ordered a side of fried plantains. I enjoyed two of the plantains. They gave me eight. I have nothing against plantains, but if I had the order option, I would definitely go with a "small."

Mike and I shared a guava pastry. Guava was described to us as a jelly-like mixture with a taste somewhere between strawberry and pear.

I would buy this stuff by the gallon to put on toast if I knew where to purchase said item.

I am a big fan of the guava.

The next time we go (and there WILL be a next time), we will still order the sandwiches, but we will share the bread pudding and maybe, just maybe, a pineapple soda.

It cost the two of us about $20, but you could definitely get it down to about $7 each if you didn't order a bunch of the "extra" stuff.

We were in and out in 35 minutes.

We were not rushed.

We saw ALL of the previews before the movie.

We were very satisfied.

Best Corn on the Cob EVER

I've tried this several times, and it really is good!

1. Fill pot with water.

2. Add a stick of salted butter and 1 cup of milk.

3. Bring to a rapid boil.

4. Put ears of corn in boiling water. Turn heat to low and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.

That's it! Easy!

Peach Dumplings

These are wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

You will need the following:

1 1/2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls
1 stick butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup orange soda
2 to 3 fresh peaches (I used canned peaches and it turned out great.)

1. Butter 8" x 8" inch baking dish.

2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. Peel peaches and cut each into 4 to 6 slices

4. Roll each peach slice in a crescent roll and place in a buttered dish.

5. Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and vanilla. When it has thickened, remove from heat and pour over the dumplings.

6. Pour the soda in the middle and along the edges of a pan (not over the rolls).

7. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until they become golden brown.

8. You can sprinkle more cinnamon-sugar on top of the baked dumplings if you like.

9. Serve warm.

Upcoming Miscellaneous Topics...

Roxie's Trip to Guatemala
Austin and Melia's Cruise
Mackenzie's 2nd Birthday
Arrival of Mackenzie's Brother, Micah
Mikie's Birthday Celebration
Camp War Eagle
Father's Day

Weekend Happenings

1. Josh is coming down tonight to spend some brother-time with Austin. They may be eating at the house before beginning their evening. I'm just waiting to hear!

2. Tomorrow morning, our family will head to Trussville to participate in our annual Balloon Release at Granddaddy's grave. After we release the balloons and have a prayer, we will head across the road to Jack's and share a breakfast together before heading in all of our separate directions.

This will be our 11th Balloon Release.

3. On Father's Day, we will go to Oxford after church to spend some time with Grandpa. Our "gift of time" to Mike will take place at Dreamland Barbecue where we will celebrate the best Dad to our kids I could ever imagine.

And ribs.

We will partake of ribs!

I hope you have a fabulous weekend. I have lots of things to talk about this Summer, and I hope you'll join me.

Take care, and I will talk to you next FRIDAY.


The Enchanting Belinda
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