Friday, August 28, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Pinterest Stuff (Top Ten Attractions in Each State AND Ideas For Energy-Boosting Breakfast Toasts) AND Quotable Quotes

Good Friday afternoon!

First things first...

Mike and I purchased a new computer, and it is awesome. Our old "home" computer was over 11 years old which equals 216 in human years. That means SLOW!

While our new computer is super fast, I have not learned how to transfer pics from my camera... yet.

So, I asked Mikie to send several pics from this week (on his phone) to my e-mail.

My e-mail isn't set up either... yet.

I am sad to report, I have some really good pics from this past week, but no way to share them.

Next week's post will be very picture-intensive!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Mike and I invited Josh and Courtney to dinner last Thursday night in Cullman...

And as Mikie was driving, I tentatively asked him the question that had been weighing on my mind since the Engagement Party the previous Sunday night.

"Will we be grandparents the day Josh and Courtney get married, or are we grandparents as of the Engagement Party?"

"The Engagement Party," Mike replied immediately.

"Well, alrighty then," I said.

And then my mind started going 90 miles per hour because I needed to wrap my head around the fact Judith, who is now seven months old, wasn't just any ol' precious, cute bundle of sweetness.

She was my granddaughter.

Thus, making her the MOST precious, cute bundle of sweetness in the world.


The universe.

If you ever wondered if I would be one of those obnoxious grandparents who talked incessantly about their grandchildren, wonder no more.


Yes, I will be one of "those."

RANDOMNESS #2 - The news may or may not have reached your part of the world, but I turned 54 this past week.

That's right.

And I have a ton of pics to prove it...

Next week.

Until then, let me share some of last year's pics...


I looked so young back then.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

Quotable Quotes

"Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindnesses. Kindness in your face. Kindness in your eyes. Kindness in your smile." Mother Theresa

Pinterest Stuff

Top Ten Attractions in Each State

I immediately "pinned" this, but I also wanted to share the website with you. You can go to www.attractionsofamerica.com for many more lists.

1. U. S. Space and Rocket Center

The U. S. Space and Rocket Center is located in Huntsville, and the city will always be remembered as the birthplace of America's space program. It was Dr. Wernher von Braun who adopted the city as the final place to refine and set up the Apollo Rocket. The event is memorialized in the form of a permanent exhibit at the U. S. Space and Rocket Center. Nearly 16 million people have visited the Center, and dozens of interactive exhibits are held in the Center all through the year. The Center also hosts the extremely popular Space Camp, Aviation Challenge Camp and Robotics Camp that are attended by thousands of competitors every year.

2. Birmingham Zoo

The Birmingham Zoo is truly beautiful. Spread out over more than 122 acres, the Zoo is home to more than 800 animals from all over the world. The Zoo has more than 50 different exhibits that are open all through the year. Apart from the exhibits, the Zoo also holds education classes for children and adults. Special classes are also available for teachers, preschoolers and students. Special classes like bird photography training, after school labs, etc. are also held depending on availability and interest. During the summer vacations, the Summer ZooFari Camps are very popular with children and the camps are often booked well in advance.

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - A description (like those above), the website and address are given for each and every attraction.

3. Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail

4. Point Mallard Park

5. Cheaha State Park

6. USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park

7. Gulf Shores

8. McWane Science Center

9. Huntsville Botanical Garden

10. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Of course, it goes without saying the next time I head to Georgia, Tennessee, etc., I will be checking their lists, too.

Ideas For Energy-Boosting Breakfast Toasts

Sliced Banana, Almond Butter and Chia Seeds
Hummus, Chopped Walnuts and Pomegranates
Sliced Pineapple, Cottage Cheese and Chopped Cashews

There were a total of 21 different combinations, but these were the only three I could see myself eating.

And I always assume everyone is exactly like me!

Weekend Happenings

1. Did I mention The Chick is coming home today?

Did I?

Well, she is, and I am beyond thrilled, I tell you.

And that is no exaggeration.

I bought a new outfit and everything.

So, as far as Friday plans go, I plan on staring at Roxie...

Unless she has other places to be...

And then I will still be happy because she will be in the immediate vicinity.

There's a lot to be said for kiddos who stay in the immediate vicinity.

2. Saturday is going to be a good day, too, because not only will Roxie be "in the immediate vicinity," but Josh is coming home from Hartselle, and he will be here until Sunday afternoon.

I can hardly contain myself.

Needless to say, on Saturday, I plan on staring at Roxie AND Josh...

Unless they have other places to be...

And then I will still be happy because they will be in the immediate vicinity.

I think you get the idea.

3. After church Sunday, me and mine will head to Trussville for my traditional birthday meal of Taco Salad and Birthday Cake.

I will receive gifts and cards and a multitude of good tidings and well wishes from my immediate family.

It will be a day totally and completely centered around me...

The Enchanting Belinda.

Except for the departure of Roxie AND Josh on Sunday evening heading to Auburn and Hartselle, respectively, it should be a very, very good day.

I hope you and yours have a fun weekend. I'll be back next Friday with birthday pics, more Pinterest Stuff, more Weekend Happenings and hopefully, a new-to-me recipe I am planning on trying the first of next week.

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, August 21, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Day Trip - Columbus, Georgia AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday morning!

I have some BIG news...

RANDOMNESS #1 - Josh and his girlfriend, Courtney, celebrated their one-year anniversary Sunday evening...

And then they got engaged.

Josh planned the whole thing.

A late lunch/early dinner...

A movie...

And a drive to Clarkson Covered Bridge in Cullman for some "proposing."

Courtney agreed.

Mike, Austin, Melia and I drove to Josh's apartment to set up some festive snacks (Baby Bites from Pastry Arts, nuts and Sparkling Apple Cider) and waited for them to arrive and share their news with us face-to-face.

Judith didn't really "get" what was going on...

Face time with Roxie.

Still not getting it.

I will provide details (the when, the where, etc.) as I find out.


RANDOMNESS #2 - As most of you probably know by now, Roxie went through Rush her first week at Auburn and pledged Chi O.

I know literally nothing about sororities, so I've been learning with Roxie during the process.

Mike, Hunter and I drove down for Bid Day...

The day all the girls find out which sorority they will be joining.

It was just a tad overwhelming, and I'm still trying to figure it all out, one week later.

The following is ALL I know about Bid Day:

1. Over 1,500 girls stand in small groups in front of the Auburn Arena. Parents and loved ones stand around and wait.

2. When the Arena doors open, over 1,500 girls start screaming and RUN inside. Parents and loved ones stand around and wait.

3. You can hear screaming every few seconds from the Arena.

4. You tell your Mikie he has time to go to the bathroom. "The girls will probably be in there for hours because they will all be handed Bid Envelopes to open telling them which sorority they will be joining," you say knowingly.

5. You obviously know nothing. A mere 15 minutes AFTER the girls run in, the girls run out...

Still screaming.

6. Roxie ran to us, showed us her sorority and told us to follow her.

7. We then headed to The Village and found the red and yellow balloon arch leading into the Chi O Chapter Room.

8. Every sorority has different colors so once you spot your colors, all you have to do is push through the crowd until you arrive at the door.

Pushing through the crowd is not an easy task.

9. Roxie rushed inside to get her t-shirt, bag and instructions.

10. When Roxie came back a few moments later wearing her new t-shirt, we all moved into the Chapter Room and the new pledges were introduced.

11. Group pictures were taken outside.

12. Mike, Hunter and I took Roxie to Niffers, and we sat under an air conditioning vent and tried to figure out what had just happened.

Very exciting. Very overwhelming. Very GOOD hamburgers.

That's Bid Day in a nutshell.

If you have never been before, you now know everything as seen through the eyes of The Enchanting Belinda.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Mike and I participated in the Royal Casino Breakout at Breakout Birmingham with friends Sunday evening.

Without giving too much away, we were all put in a smallish room with gambling equipment, lots of hidden clues and a huge time clock which counted backward from 60 minutes.

Our group was successful in breaking out of the room with FOUR SECONDS TO SPARE...

And a little help from our Game Master.

I don't want to give you any more details because it could ruin your own experience if you decide to go.

And you should.

You should definitely decide to go.

Look up Breakout Birmingham on the Internet, round up a group of eight or less and schedule your "escape."

And try to beat our record.

I dare you!


The following are the things I planned for me and Mike during our little stay in Columbus, Georgia:

Columbus Riverwalk
Whitewater Express
Front Porch of the South (GIANT Flea Market)
Kadie the Cow (GIANT plastic cow)
Minnie's Uptown (Soul Food Restaurant)
Burt's Butcher Shoppe (Steakhouse)
The Black Cow (Fancy Restaurant)

Here's a review of the above:

Columbus Riverwalk AND Whitewater Express - It was like 1,000,000 degrees and we didn't feel like rafting, paddle boarding or kayaking the day after we dropped our baby off at college. What can I say? We felt a little old. It was very pretty though, and we will go back.

NOTE - Whitewater Express is ON the Riverwalk. It is a twofer.

Front Porch of the South - We couldn't find it.

Kadie the Cow - We couldn't find HER.

Minnie's Uptown - Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Burt's Butcher Shoppe - We didn't feel like a big meal for lunch in 1,000,000 degree weather.

The Black Cow - We found it. It was lovely. We didn't eat there. We put it on the list for next time.

These are the activities we actually did complete:

Cafe Amiche (Authentic Italian Restaurant)
Uptown Columbus (GIANT Pepper Place)
The Historic District
The Columbus Museum (Art Exhibit)
Country's BBQ
Planet Pops

And the review:

Cafe Amiche - Very good Italian fare, and as we all know, Columbus is known for Italian cuisine. They didn't offer cheese ravioli on the menu, but I ordered and ate something equally pleasing. We will definitely go back.

Uptown Columbus - Since Mike and I love Pepper Place, we also love Uptown Columbus on a Saturday morning. Lots to see and enjoy.

The Historic District - I guess since we are so old, riding through Historic Districts has become our new favorite past time whenever we are in a new city or town. Love.

The Columbus Museum - We enjoyed an hour of browsing in this beautiful, air conditioned, quiet place. Very serene.

Country's BBQ on Broadway - What a fun place to eat. The restaurant is in a renovated bus station with a big bus attached to the side as an extra dining room. If you ever go, order the grilled corn on the cob...

And not the barbecue onions.

Planet Pops - Columbus, Georgia's version of Steel City Pops. I had a Banana Peanut Butter Cream Pop made with ALL natural ingredients. Mike had an Orange Cream Pop that tasted like fresh orange juice.

I'm a hardcore Steel City Pops girl, but Planet Pops was pretty good, too.

There is so much left to do in Columbus, but Mike and I both agreed, the Fall or Spring seasons would suit us better.

The following activities are found on the Fall Itinerary:

Walk the Riverwalk
Bird Watching Zip-Line Tour
Uptown Columbus - AGAIN!
Kadie the Cow - WE MUST FIND HER!
The Black Cow - It was too pretty not to eat there at least once!

Blog Linkage - Please go to www.kellehampton.com and read today's post about kids going to college...

And watch the video provided...

Multiple times.

Weekend Happenings

1. As soon as I post this, I am headed to Auburn for lunch with The Chick. I am going to deliver some jewelry frames I made for her room AND take her out to lunch.

I'm going to take in everything she has to say and just BE with her for a little bit in the middle of the day Friday.

And for any of you who may be shaking their heads and mumbling the term "helicopter mom" under their breath...

Well, I can't hear you.

What with the chopper being so loud and all.

Upon my return to the Dale in the afternoon, Mikie is taking me to see San Andreas at The Dollar Movie because some stuff happened last week and we didn't get to go.

2. Mike and I are doing The Fish Market thing with some friends Saturday night.

I would say we were going to Pepper Place, but unless something miraculous happens and all the humidity in the Birmingham area is sucked out by some cosmic force, it ain't gonna happen.

I am officially DONE with humidity this year.

Done, I say.

3. Sunday will be a day of rest after church and Sunday lunch. It will also be a good day to kick-start a couple of projects I've been thinking about the last couple of weeks.

But definitely the rest thing.

Have a tremendous weekend. I will be back next Friday with who knows what!

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, August 14, 2015

Weekend Happenings, Columbus, Georgia - Day Trip, Quotable Quotes and Pinterest Stuff (Lego Prayer Object Lesson)

Good Friday evening!

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - I guess you could say Roxie's move went off without a hitch.

Last Friday, we arrived, moved in, cleaned, made the bed, hung the curtains and organized the desk.

We ate lunch, went back to the dorm and did just a few more little, nit-picky things.

And then it was time to go.

Hugs were given.

No tears were shed.

And before Mike and I knew it, we were in the car driving 45 minutes to Columbus, Georgia where we had planned on spending the night and exploring the city on Saturday.

It felt pretty surreal.

I guess in my heart of hearts, I assumed we would drive back through Auburn late Saturday afternoon, load up The Chick and head back to The Dale.

We would say something like, "Well, we tried, but college just didn't work out for us."

And everyone would be happy.

Roxie would work and travel for a year...

And the next year, we would try "the college thing" again.

It didn't quite work out the way I had planned in my head.

Ragan came over Thursday before we moved to offer support AND give a few last minute hugs.

Roxie's roommate, Hannah, had already set up the ever-so-cute Coffee Station.

And Roxie added her super comfy chair to the mix...

As well as her super comfy home-away-from-home bed.

As of today, Mike and I are headed to The Plains for Bid Day. We will see The Chick for a little while before she goes in one direction and we head home.

Again, not the way I had originally envisioned it 18 years, 11 months and 13 days ago.

Not even a little bit.

But she is happy and excited to be starting this next Chapter in her life. (More on that below.)

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - Day Trip - Columbus, Georgia - Columbus has a lot of fun things to do, but since Mike and I are in our 50s and the temperature AND humidity were in the 100s, I made a Summer To-Do List AND a Fall To-Do List.

Just between you and me, I think the Fall List is going to be a lot more fun, and I will share that with you in its entirety NEXT FRIDAY!

First of all, we drove around the Historic District. Mike and I both enjoy doing this whenever we find ourselves in a new town.

Their version of Pepper Place Farmer's Market takes place in Uptown Columbus. There are a lot of funky little shops, tons of sculptures, street music, fountains, dressed-up dogs, fresh produce, etc., etc.

This wasn't our first choice, but because of the hot, HOT temps, we picked The Columbus Museum to browse, and believe it or not, it did not disappoint.

Mike and I are very much alike in that we do not "get" a lot of art.

We are also very much alike in that we like to make fun of art we do not "get."

We stayed an hour... but we could have stayed so much longer!

Usually, Mike and I stay away from chain restaurants when we visit new places, but Country's Barbecue was an exception. Mike remembered eating there when he was younger...

I had never heard of it...

And it was listed as a Top Five restaurant choice on every list we looked at regarding Columbus, Georgia eateries.

There were two Country's in Columbus, and I was so glad we chose this one. Originally, it had been the bus station. In fact, there was an old bus built onto the side of the building. It was part of the diner, but we had already sat down and ordered our food before I discovered we could have actually eaten on the bus.


That's the story of my life, Baby.

Mike remembered the grilled corn on the cob, so we both ordered that item.

I also ordered the barbecue onions.

That was probably my only mistake on this whole trip.

"Just say NO," to barbecue onions.

That would be my advice to you.

You are welcome.

And this is the picture of me and Mike sitting ON the bus AFTER we had finished our lunch.

Such a cute place to dine.

I spotted this guy on the way to Auburn on Friday, and I made a mental note to find him on the way home.

Yes, these are the types of things I make mental notes about in my head.

Strange, but true.

Right before you get to Harpersville, you will see this giant frog on the left.

He isn't listed as the largest frog in the United States, but I have a feeling this may be an oversight.

Anyway, he is well worth a visit!

Again, we'll be talking about Columbus, Georgia a little more next week, too.

ROXIE - THE COLLEGE CHAPTER - Roxie has been gone for exactly one week today. She has been participating in Rush. Rush is a new thing to me, so instead of guiding her and giving her much-needed advice, I have been asking a lot of questions and trying to be very supportive.

As far as I can tell, Rush involves a great deal of "people" time. She has constantly been going and coming from events this past week, AND TODAY WAS BID DAY.

That means Mike, Hunter and I left for Auburn early this morning to participate in Bid Day.

Roxie and about 1,499 other girls ran into the Auburn Arena and within just a few minutes they all ran back out.

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you, Roxie... Chi O!

I think that's right.

I am not entirely sure.

Anyway, next week classes start, so I'll be able to tell you a little more about this transition we call "growing up, up and away."

Pinterest Stuff

I have found a lot of Object Lessons for kids on Pinterest in the last month or so.

Back in the day, I loved a good Object Lesson...

And just because my kids are all adults now doesn't seem to matter.

I still love them.

Object Lesson - Lego (or Duplo) Prayers

This prayer activity is suitable for groups of children or even a whole congregation as long as you have enough bricks! Have an adult or child lead the prayers for each group, however big...

You will need one Lego or Duplo brick per person

Hold your brick.

Pray for yourself. Thank God for the things he has given you. Ask Him to bless you and help you bless others.

Count the bumps on your brick.

For each bump on your brick, pray for a different person, friend or family member. Ask God to bless them this week.

Find someone who has a different color brick than you.

Thank God for making each person special.

Find someone with the same number of bumps on their brick.

Thank God for families and friends and all who care for us. Pray He will help us be friends to those who are lonely.

Swap your brick with someone.

Thank God for the person you swapped with, and ask God to bless them this week.

Put all of the bricks together and build a structure or tower with them.

Thank God for the church and the communities where we live. Pray He will help us include others and tell them they are loved by God.

Quotable Quotes

"A moment of patience during a moment of anger will save you a hundred moments of regret."

Weekend Happenings

1. As mentioned above, Mike, Hunter and I went to Auburn today, and we are just returning. (Thus, the late, late post.) Tonight, we are eating cereal AND watching Netflix.

2. We are hoping we get to see Josh Saturday around the lunch hour, and Saturday afternoon will be spent in a "crafty" manner, I think.

If the crafts turn out okay, I will share them with you next week.

If not, please pretend you never heard me speak of it.

Thank you.

3. On Sunday, we will go to Sunday School, church, have Sunday lunch...

And then rest up for Breakout Birmingham! I'll have all of those details for you next Friday, too, but until then, feel free to Google it...

And you will know as much as I do about this new entertainment venue.

Have a great weekend with you and yours. I'll be back next Friday with a little bit of leftover Summer stuff and much news about something!

Take care.


The Enchanting Belinda
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