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Friday, January 22, 2016

Weekend Happenings, Pinterest Stuff (The Best $10 Date AND Fun Group Dates) AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Judith spent the day with us last Saturday, and we had a grand time.


Judith exploring.

I love the little birdie on her backside.

One of those items of clothing a one year-old can get away with wearing...

As opposed to your average 54 year-old.


Reading in the corner.

She likes her quiet time.


Judith naps with such style.

I call this particular style of napping The Diva Nap.


Whenever Courtney walks into the room, this little girl lights up...

Big time!






She loves to walk on her knees in between bursts of speed crawling.



And last, but not least...

Best hat EVER!

Again, one of those items of clothing a one year-old can get away with wearing...

As opposed to your average 54 year-old.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Tucker is growing very, very fast.


When The Chick comes home NEXT weekend, I don't know if she'll recognize him.


Or if I'll recognize The Chick.

It will have been a long three weeks.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Fun fact for you...

The Chick loves to hike.

This is a place in Auburn Mikie showed her after they attended Camp War Eagle, and she has gone there several times since.


I love everything about this picture.

The hair.

The colors. (Lots of brown and gray.)

The smile.

The big camera she's holding (just like her Mama before her).

Ahhh.

It makes me happy.

Blog Linkage - Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read today's post entitled, "Me and Paige, Paige and Me." It's all about dealing with the emptying of the nest.

Ree really gets me.

It's like we share thoughts even though we've only met the one time...

And I was rendered speechless in her presence.

That's right.

I was without speech.

It was one of the longest 42 seconds of my entire life.

Pinterest Stuff

The Best $10 Date

This is a perfect date if you are on a budget or just looking for something fun to do that’s out of the ordinary. Here are the rules and how it started:

It was nearing the end of the month and we still had $10 in our spending envelope! So we hopped in the car with our $10 and started brainstorming. We decided to drive to the closest grocery store and divide the money equally and see who could be more creative with their $5 to find something fun for the night.

We call it The Choose Anything Game, and the only rule is you can’t overspend. Corey chose a dinner item and I, of course, chose desserts.

The flexibility of this game is endless. It doesn’t have to be a grocery store. Here are some other ideas:

1. Target is actually my favorite place because of the possibility of buying something other than food.

2. I’m not a huge fan of Walmart, but they do have a $5 movie bin.

3. At a dollar store you can afford several items.

4. A craft store adds a whole new dimension to the game.

5. You can also pool your money and work as a team to buy one “larger” item at your favorite store.

The goal is to have fun, be goofy and be creative.

Fun Group Dates

1. Iron Chef - Pick an ingredient (like bacon, yogurt, pretzels, cinnamon, etc.) and split your group up to two different houses. Each group has to make an entrĂ©e and a dessert starring that ingredient. Make enough for everyone to share and one nice dish for a set of judges. Pick a couple of judges to come to one of the houses at the same time the other group arrives with their dishes. Have the judges taste and judge the dishes. You can make a judging card with elements like “taste,” “creativity,” “appearance," etc. and write the winners on a piece of paper and put it in an envelope. Everyone can eat together and then open the envelope to find out who won. The losers have to do the winner’s dishes.

2. Favorites - As the guys plan this date, have each one choose a “favorite thing” (favorite appetizer, dinner dish, dessert, game, etc.), and then plan the night around those items. For example, you could have someone’s favorite chips and dip at one house. Go to Mugshots for the favorite hamburger. Go to someone else’s house for the favorite dessert and then play the favorite game.

3. Sponsored by the letter "__" - Pick a letter and plan a date around that letter. If you chose “T” you could have turkey sandwiches in tents and play Taboo.

4. Groundhog Day - Pick up your date at a specified time and give her a single flower. Take her to a house where everyone is meeting. Everyone will be served a single piece of pizza. Play a game like Pictionary, and then take her home. Five minutes later, pick her up again and give her another flower. Go to the same house, have another slice of pizza and play the same game. Take her home. Repeat and finish with watching “Groundhog Day.”

5. Teach Your Date To... - Instruct your date that everyone in the group will have a set amount of time to teach everyone else something. Each person should come prepared with whatever they need. The group size should determine how much time each person will be given. People can teach serious or silly things (a magic trick, how to do a French braid, playing a musical instrument, how to check the oil in your car, etc.).

6. Date by Number - Sit down and decide everything you would like to do on your date as a group. (1. Have an appetizer. 2. Eat Subway sandwiches. 3. Eat chips. 4. Eat a side salad. 5. Have pie. 6. Watch a funny comedian. 7. Play a card game.) Then put all of those things on separate strips of paper and put them into a jar or hat. One at a time, draw them out doing those things in the order they are drawn. You just may have pie first!

Weekend Happenings

1. On this cold and not-so-snowy Friday night, Mike and I will be sharing a barbecue potato from Full Moon AND watching The Intern. I have already seen this movie, but I loved it...

Thus, I assume Mikie will love it, too.

2. Mike and I will be celebrating 28 years of wedded bliss (more or less) tomorrow. I will be sharing anniversary celebration data with you next week. I will also be getting my nails done AND checking out a couple of local estate sales (one of my newer favorite things to do) before Mike and I prepare to mark this ginormous milestone.

In honor of our 28 years, I am going to re-post the Top 25 Favorite Moments in 25 Years of Marriage post I wrote three years ago.

Nothing has changed on the list!

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.

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.

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 a real Christian husband and dad.

I hope you and yours have a warm and wonderful weekend. I'll be back next Friday with a couple of new recipes (I hope) and many interesting things to share (I hope... again).

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

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