Monday, February 29, 2016

My 2016 Word

Hey, Guys...

Since I missed my Friday deadline (wedding stuff), I thought I would leave a short little something for the week ahead.

And when I say "short," I mean SHORT!

MISCELLANEOUS #1 - Pastor Kevin preached a sermon this morning about choosing a Watchword for 2016.

A few weeks ago, I thought I had picked my Watchword for 2016, but I was obviously mistaken because last weekend I was talking to The Chick and somehow the word "victory" entered the conversation.

And after much thought and "hmmmmm-ing," my 2016 Watchword changed to "victorious."

And after today's sermon, it became official.

My 2016 Watchword is VICTORIOUS.

It fits me for a number of reasons.

In the year 2016, I want to finally be victorious over guilt.

Victorious over self-loathing.

And victorious over all insecurities.

And guess what else?

I have an actual verse to go with it!

"For whatever is born of God overcomes to world, and this is the victory that has overcome the world -- our faith. And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." 1 John 5:4-5

How about that?

And since it took me two whole months of 2016 to find my word, I'm going to keep my eyes open NOW for my 2017 word.

MISCELLANEOUS #2 - Through the years, I have taken my fair share of pictures.

I am not a professional photographer, but I play one over at my house!


Not a professional AT ALL.

However, I practice two simple photography rules which have worked well for me...

1. For every 200 pictures taken, at least one or two of them will be very good.


But very good.

2. Stay away from sun spots.

That's pretty much all I know about taking pics.

Sad, but true.

Judith was at the house all day Saturday and the sun was pouring in the windows.

And I took 200 or more pics.

And I decided I liked two of them very, very much.

Sun spots really work well with the one-and-under crowd.

At least, in my professional "at home" opinion they do!

It's wedding week at my house. Courtney and Josh will be getting married this coming Saturday evening.

Lots to do and many pictures to take.

Hopefully, I will have one or two to share with you the next time I post!

Have a great week!


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, February 19, 2016

Weekend Happenings, Pineapple Sherbet Punch, Pinterest Stuff (The Candy Bar Game) AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Mike and I kept Judith last Saturday, and we had a fun time. She's happy, into everything, energy personified...

And did I mention happy?

I'm starting Mikie on a vitamin supplement this week.

Or as we like to call them...

Pop Pills!

When Josh and Courtney came to pick her up, I had set the table with all of my Valentine's Day finest, and we had pizza.

Courtney wanted just a few more engagement pics taken including Judith, so we went to a local waterfall and took some good pics in the cold, cold weather. I'm going to share just a few of them.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mr. Faulkner celebrated his 89th birthday this past Monday, so Sunday Mike and I headed to Oxford for cake!

And to see The Chick.

Roxie came from Auburn to Oxford to wish her Grandpa well, and I would be lying if I didn't say that was the highlight of the trip for me.

My newest great-nephew...

Sweet Micah.

Roxie and The Birthday Boy.

Grandpa and Mike.

Grandma and Roxie.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read her current post about family pics. It is simply the best.

Pineapple Sherbet Punch

You will need the following:

4 cups pineapple juice
1/2 gallon pineapple sherbet
1 liter Seven-Up

1. Scoop all of sherbet into a large punch bowl.

2. Add pineapple juice and soda on top of the sherbet. When adding soda the punch will foam, so make sure to stir constantly so the foam can go down.

3. Serve immediately.

NOTE - This punch is supposed to serve 12 to 15 people easily. What "they" don't tell you...

It's very good, so a lot of people come back for seconds...

And even thirds.

Make sure you have extra "everything" in the fridge in case you run out before the end of the party.

Trust me on this!

Pinterest Stuff

The Candy Bar Game

1. It involves candy bars.

2. It involves funny clothing.

3. It has hilarious photographic possibilities.

4. EVERYONE wins. (CANDY!)

You will need the following:

A candy bar for each player.
One spoon and one butter knife for each player. Real ones, not plastic.
One pair oven mitts.
A silly hat, sunglasses, apron, etc.
A pair of dice.
A table big enough for everyone, or a blanket on the ground.

Here's how you play. Put all the "gear" in the middle of the table (sunglasses, hat, oven mitts, etc.). Everyone should already have their candy bar and spoon/knife in front of them.

The first player takes the die and rolls five times. The first player gets her turn and tries to roll doubles. If she doesn't roll doubles within her five tries, the dice get passed to the next person, and they attempt to roll doubles. This continues until someone rolls doubles.

When a player rolls doubles, they grab the gear in the middle, put it all on, and using only the spoon and butter knife, start trying to open and eat their candy bar. The other players are still taking their turns at rolling the dice, and as soon as someone else gets doubles, they rip the gear off the other player (who must STOP their attempts and be a good sport), put it all on, and try to open and eat their candy bar.

The dice keep getting passed around, everyone wanting doubles... and so on, and so on. The first person to eat her entire candy bar (while wearing all the apparel) is declared the WINNER.

It usually takes several rounds for a person to finish a candy bar.

Weekend Happenings

1. THE CHICK IS HOME... and ready for a very busy family/wedding weekend. We will celebrate Zac's 18th birthday TONIGHT with a cookout at Bev's house.

2. We will celebrate Austin's birthday a little early (Saturday) at Costa's and we will break bread together and give him gifts. He's going to be 25 on the 23rd.

How weird is that?

After the birthday celebration, the girls will head to Somerville to attend a party for Courtney.

3. After church on Sunday, the female-type members of our family will again head to Somerville for a party being given in honor of Courtney and Josh.

All in all, it will be a very party-hardy weekend.

I almost think Roxie would get more rest if she stayed in Auburn...

But we all know rest during the "wedding season" is highly overrated.

As of the typing of this post, we are 15 days away from the actual ceremony.


I'm going to need to borrow someone's inhaler.

I hope you and yours have a tremendous weekend. I hope you get to spend time with family and friends. I hope you smile, laugh and take a moment to let it "all soak in" as you sit around your family/friend dinner table.

I hope to do the same.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Just Tuck!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Weekend Happenings and Some OLD Stories

Good Friday evening!

I'm missing the mountains this year. Here are some old pics from our 2013 trip.

Tommy and Bev.

They are especially photogenic in the mountains.

Roxie at Pancake Pantry before heading to Ober Gatlinburg.





It was SO cold.





Grandmother and THE GRANDS.

Mikie and me.


RANDOMNESS #1 - Blind Date Story #11 - Since it is the "LOVE" month, I'm going to leave you with this OLD post about a blind date. (I had 16 blind dates in my dating career. Do you remember me telling you about those over the past four years?)

All of my blind dates had names, but I remember this one fondly as "Coach."

At certain times in my younger life, I was blessed (or cursed) with friends who had other friends they wanted to "fix up." Although the dread was almost unbearable, I would ultimately agree thinking, if nothing else, one day 20 years from then I would have something to blog about. (Just so you know, I know people weren't blogging 20 years ago!)

This particular story is probably number 11 or 12 in my Blind Date Career. I was, if anything, prepared for the absolute worse date in the history of the world... so you see I had a great attitude going into any and all blind dates.

My friend at work and her husband knew this wonderful guy who "would be just perfect for me." They would come along on the date (a UAB basketball game and dinner) to make things go more smoothly. (Actually, that was great. Having another couple I knew with me on a blind date was something I had never experienced before. No worries about conversation lapses; no talking through an entire date with something in my teeth because my friend would let me know; someone "talking me up" here and there.) This date already had more potential than all of my other dates combined.

I prepared myself for my blind date by buying a new sweater (I love sweaters... always my favorite form of clothing), a new pair of jeans and new earrings to match my new sweater... that I loved. If nothing else came from this date, I would have a new outfit.

I rode with my friend from work to the restaurant where her husband and "the date" would be meeting us. She had told me he was cute, and she had told him I was cute, so neither one of us was really expecting anything great or wonderful. However, Coach (not his real name) was a lot more than cute. Very, very handsome. Wow! I wish I had taken my camera. He was not blind date material at all.

Of course, being cute was not my strong point. I was, on occasion, funny. I was a good listener (if what you were saying was very interesting). I was tall, thin and had the softest hands on the planet because I slept with tons of Vaseline on my hands and feet with socks on them every other night of my life in my 20s. And usually when I first met someone on a blind date, I was wearing a new outfit. Those were my strong points.

I didn't know what Coach's strong points were other than he was very, very handsome. Have I already said that? During dinner, I also found out he was funny, and he thought I was funny (a plus). I'm not sure if he was all that interesting, but staring at someone without blinking because they are so handsome translates into attentiveness, so he thought I was a good listener.

At the basketball game, we talked and talked and talked, and I found out he had gone to church when he was a kid, but wasn't really interested in going at that particular time in his life. Well, I've got to tell you, with an ugly blind date that would have been considered a "deal breaker." No, no, no. I'm just kidding. With me, that was a "deal breaker" with anyone.

My relationship with God came first, and anyone I dated seriously (meaning more than once) had to have that same commitment. It was the number one rule. The big one.

Gosh, he was handsome!

No! A rule is a rule. So then and there, I "churched" him. I started talking about how I had accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 12 years-old, how much I enjoyed playing the piano at my church, how much I loved being Children's Choir Director, how I used to spend every Saturday in my teens visiting and working on the bus ministry, how my Granddaddy was a minister and my Daddy was a deacon, etc., etc., etc.

On the ride home from the basketball game, it was just the two of us. The conversation was very easy and natural... no awkward pauses. (Very rare in "blind date" circles.) We laughed, we joked and I "churched" him a little more by asking him to come visit my church with me sometime. At the front door, he looked at me and grinned, "It's a shame this isn't going to work out."

"Yeah, it really is," I agreed. "Are you sure you wouldn't want to come to church with me?" I asked hopefully.

"Maybe sometime," he said.

"Nope. The right answer would have been 'Is this Sunday okay with you?'" I said, only half kidding. He told me he just wasn't interested in church right now, and I appreciated his honesty.

Then he reached out and held my two hands. "Boy, you do have the softest hands in the world." My friend must have told him about my Vaseline/sock regimen.

"I know," I said with a sigh. He squeezed my hands, told me he had a great evening and then... drove off.

The next day my boss (a combination benevolent uncle/big brother) asked me how everything went. "Oh, it was fine," I replied.

"I'm sorry. It obviously didn't go well."

"No. It was a great date and he was a great guy... but I had to 'church' him."

"Oh, good grief. Why do you keep doing that?" my exasperated boss asked.

"One, it's important to me... and two, three and four, IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME," I tried to explain.

He shook his head, grinned and walked away. It was futile to try to talk "some sense into me," as he well knew.

My friend who fixed us up knew it, too. She came around the corner smiling, and said everything seemed to have gone well, but she had talked to Coach and he had told her the final verdict (attorney talk). "Well, maybe next time," she said cheerfully.

However, it wasn't the next time... and it wasn't a blind date. I waited patiently on the Lord, and was rewarded with the "whole enchilada" (a/k/a my Mikie). He loves it when I call him the "whole enchilada!"

I endured four or five more blind dates after Coach, knowing the "right one" would ultimately turn out to be the one God had planned for me all along.

But, I'll always remember Coach fondly, because he was by far my "best" blind date. And having become a "blind date" professional, no one knew better than me that the words "best" and "blind date" rarely go together.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Elf Boots - As promised, I'm re-posting my "Elf Boots" story from a year or so ago. This is what happened when I dressed myself (without Roxie) for a speaking event at my church.

What I'm about to tell you will let you know about a side of me I have kept to myself... up until now.

I was asked to speak to a group of women at a Christmas event, but my topic I would be speaking on was about living in the "fall" season of life.

I could have worn festive/sparkly Christmas garb, but instead I wore a burnt orange sweater with a dark brown camisole and a print skirt with a myriad of fall colors splashed all over it. My only problem with the outfit had to do with footwear.

I have pretty brown pumps that go with the outfit, but since no one wears hose these days (even in the winter), I had to decide whether the outfit needed boots OR tights. It wasn't a "tights" kind of outfit, so I opted for a new pair of boots. Suede boots. Brown suede boots. I tried them on. They felt marvelous. I bought them!

I left for the event before Roxie came home from volleyball practice that particular day. I thought I looked pretty spiffy in my autumnal outfit and my brand spankin' new brown suede boots. I walked with confidence to the podium. I gave my talk knowing I looked ultra-fine. And I left the event with warm feet AND calves because of the new boots.

I walked into our home, and I was immediately met by Roxie at the door.

"How did it go?" she asked. And with one quick glance up and down, she didn't give me time to answer the first question before the second question came out of her mouth.

"Tell me you did NOT wear those boots with that outfit!"

"Well, yes, I did. I wouldn't have changed shoes in the car on the way home. I thought you would like them. Look. Feel them. They are suede! So hip! So happening!"

"Do not use the word 'hip,' and I am NOT believing you wore those boots." The only thing MORE dramatic than Roxie would be me... Roxie's Mama.

"Why? What is wrong with them?" I was beginning to think I had gone color blind and maybe the boots were gray suede which would explain why Roxie was getting SO upset.

"You do not wear flat boots with a long skirt. You only wear flat boots with a shorter skirt and tights. You should have boots with at least a two-inch heel with that outfit."

"Well, I didn't want to trip in front of everyone, so I opted for the flat instead of the heel. These are fine. No one but you would ever notice that little detail."

"No, ma'am. Everyone noticed it. You broke a 'boot rule.' Promise me you will only wear those boots with a short sweater dress OR skinny jeans."

"Roxie. I am not wearing a short sweater dress. Those things are tight in the wrong places. And if I'm wearing skinny jeans, it is just because I ate too much the day before and my regular jeans are unbelievably uncomfortable. And I will NOT tuck my uncomfortable regular jeans inside boots... because then my boots would be too full."

I'm afraid at this particular point of the conversation, I may have been whining.

A lot.

"All I know is you cannot wear those boots again with the clothes you own. You look like an elf."

And with that, she hugged me and headed to bed.

Roxie is good, but I was sure she was exaggerating... until I headed to Wal-Mart the next day, the mall that weekend and church on Sunday. Her "boot rules" were exactly right.

I did look like an elf...

In front of over 500 women...

Who probably already knew the "Boot Rules."

And it normally would have bothered me a great deal except for how warm and cozy my feet and calves were that night.

And that confirms any doubt I might have had about being in the "fall" of my life. Comfort before style. That's my new motto... and I don't care who knows it!

Just don't tell Roxie!

Weekend Happenings

I am going to have such a good weekend!

1. Mike and I are keeping Judith for a little while in the morning while Courtney and Josh run some wedding errands. We are SO excited!

When Courtney and Josh return (in time for lunch), I am going to have the dining room table set with the red heart plates, and we are going to have heart-shaped pizza, drinks in red heart glasses and candy and Valentine's cards for everyone!

SO, so excited.

2. Mr. Faulkner's 89th birthday is Monday of this week, but everyone is heading to Oxford after church to wish him a very happy day.

Best part of Sunday...

Roxie is coming from Auburn and meeting us for this birthday milestone.

SO, so excited.

3. Mike and I are going on our Valentine's Day date Sunday night. We are planning on going to see Bridge of Spies (LOVE Tom Hanks) and getting a coffee on the way home.

This will be the first time since Roxie was five months old I haven't had a family Valentine's Day Banquet with pink food and gifts with everyone present, so Mike and I are starting a new Empty Nest Valentine's Day tradition. I'm not sure what we're going to do every year, but it's just us now...

And it's going to be epic!

NOTE - Just so you know...

I am leaving Austin and Melia a little Valentine's Day gift on their doorknob Sunday afternoon...

And Roxie will be receiving a very wonderful Valentine's Day gift before she heads back to Auburn from Oxford Sunday afternoon.

I've got it covered!

Have a lovely weekend. I'll be back next Friday with a bunch of preschool stuff I've been doing with my "Nana B" kiddos, a new recipe I tried this week and SO much more.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, February 5, 2016

Weekend Happenings, Nana B Stories, Pinterest Stuff (Toddler Car Wash, Valentine Floats AND Valentine's S'mores Snack Mix) AND Blog Linkage

Good Friday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - My Nana-for-Hire business is doing exactly as I envisioned. I am enjoying it immensely, and I am meeting some of the sweetest families. Kids are literally the funniest humans on the planet, and when I leave a job, I may be a worn out 54 year-old, but I am worn out 54 year-old with a smile on my face.

Here are a few things I had forgotten during these last few teenage/young adult years around my own home.

1. When a little one interrupts story time with a frantic, "I have to go potty," the little one is NEVER kidding.

Pick the little one up and RUN, DO NOT WALK, to the nearest potty.

You'll be glad you did.

2. There is not a piece of clothing or jewelry you own as an adult that is as meaningful (or as much fun to show off) as Superman or Princess Sofia underwear.



3. A large group of crows landing in the backyard of the home of one of your charges is better entertainment than front row seats to The Lion King on Broadway.

I kid you not.

4. Sticker sheets for two and three year-olds are the ultimate surprise/art project/reward/etc.

Money means absolutely nothing to them, but a sheet of superhero or princess stickers is a bargaining tool a "Nana-for-Hire" can use again and again and again.

5. If a small child asks you how much you weigh, do not be angry or embarrassed.

Enjoy the fact that the same small child can be taught to say, "Nana B weighs 120 pounds... and that is all."

6. If a small child asks you how old you are, do not be angry or embarrassed.

Your typical three year-old has no problem repeating the phrase, "Nana B is 29 years-old."

There are many, many more advantages that come with being a Nana-for-Hire...

But I'll share some of those in a different post.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Bev and I went out for just a bit this morning to run an errand...

And because it was Friday...

And the sun was shining...

And the birds were singing...

I HAD to try something new.

As soon as the errand was finished, we went to Sprout and Pour in Homewood. It is a juicery. I saw that word in the store, and when I typed it just now, my computer did not recognize it as a "real" word.

But I still like it.


Yep. It's a keeper.

But I digress...

I ordered a Banana Date Smoothie because I am a beginner and the juice drink offerings were a little scary.

I much prefer to drink something pink than green, and this particular smoothie had familiar and not altogether scary ingredients.

Bananas, dates, raisins, almond milk, cinnamon, strawberries, just to name a few.


Kinda normal.

And it was very, very good.

I will go back, but only on the very special occasion...

And probably never to drink anything green.

RANDOMNESS #3 - As I told you last week, our family had a little party for Courtney and Josh. Here are a few pics to commemorate the event!

Bev decorated the tables with tulle and teacups, which was the theme, so it worked out well!

Josh, Courtney and Judith. Josh didn't stay. He just came to drop off The Girls.

Miss Lauren was there.

Courtney's mom, Donna, Courtney's niece, Sara Grace, Courtney, Judith and Courtney's sister, Kimberly.

Stephanie, Katie, Roxie and Courtney.

Judith helped pack things away at the end of the party. You can never train them too early.

Josh and Mike loaded the George Foreman and other gifts into the back of the truck.

Believe it or not, there are no wedding festivities going on this particular weekend, but the rest of February is full!

Blog Linkage

1. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog List and read "A Loopy List."

2. Go to The Anderson Crew under My Blog List and read "Long Day." There are a lot of things about this post which "hit the nail on the head."

3. Go to www.themomcreative.com and read today's post about the "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star Party." Lots of good ideas and plenty of pictures to help you visualize.

Pinterest Stuff

Toddler Car Wash

I’m pretty sure every toddler boy has about a million Hot Wheel cars. This little activity helps with some fine motor skills, and you get some clean toys in the mix. All you will need is an extra toothbrush, a bowl of soapy water, a bowl of clean water and some Hot Wheels!

Let the fun begin!

Valentine Floats

Mix two scoops of vanilla ice cream with Cherry Seven-Up. Use a Twizzler for the straw!

Valentine’s S’mores Snack Mix

Create this snack mix with all of the following ingredients: graham crackers, chocolate, mini marshmallows, Vanilla Cupcake Goldfish and some festive Valentine’s M & Ms.

Just add 1/4 OR 1/2 cup of each ingredient to a large bowl...

And Enjoy!

Weekend Happenings

Josh will be getting married exactly one month from today...

Thirty days...

Breathe, Belinda. Breathe.

Because we are blessed with five family birthdays in February, as well as Valentine's Day AND fun wedding stuff, this coming weekend will be one of our least busy over the next four.

Which we all know means it will become incredibly hectic right after I publish this little post.

Am I right?

1. Some of Saturday will be spent doing productive things in my house, and checking off a few things on my Mother-of-the-Groom List.

2. Sunday will be a church day. Also, I am doing a little research about how to make the Sabbath more of a day of worship and rest and less of a day of catch-up from the past week and prep for the upcoming week.

I've been reading some Facebook and blog posts from some young mothers who are working to make this happen in their own families. While it is WAY too late for my grown kiddos, it isn't too late for me and Mikie to spend our remaining Sundays on this planet in a more intentional and Biblical manner.

It's not too late at all!

Check back with me in a month or so, and I'll let you know if it is working!

Have a wonderful weekend. I'll be back next Friday with a lot more luv to share with you and yours.


The Enchanting Belinda
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