Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Little Helen, Second Annual Pumpkin Party, Quotable Quotes AND Pinterest Stuff (Object Lesson on Anger)

Good Saturday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Mike and I had the opportunity last spring to attend a silent auction benefiting Alzheimer's research. We go every year, and sometimes we bid on something, and sometimes we don't.

This particular year, we bid on a three-night getaway to a little cabin in the mountains of Helen, Georgia...

And we won!

Here are just a few pics of things that caught my eye in this quaint, lovely village...

I love tree faces.

Well, let me clarify.

I love kind, friendly tree faces.

Scary, sad or goofy tree faces are not my thing.

The cabin was tiny and cozy, but as soon as I walked in, I knew where I would be relaxing after long days of hiking, riding and strolling.

I tried to get Mike to put this in the car when we left, but he's funny about stealing big pieces of furniture from other people's homes.

He's too good for me!

A wooden farmer on our front porch...

And a windmill sighting on our way into town the first morning.

We had hoped for a very fall-like atmosphere when we booked our trip during the third week in October.

Cool breezes, gray days, vibrant colors, sweaters, boots, leaves falling and crunching underfoot.

The highs on Wednesday and Thursday were 86 and 85 degrees, respectively.

When we left Friday morning, the high was expected to be 62 degrees...

And it was blustery...

And quite autumnal as we drove OUT OF TOWN.

We did see some color, but it was here and there and definitely not everywhere.

I loved the "wall of wind chimes" at one of the stores. A breeze came through at one point and it was literally music to my ears.

My favorite hat on Mikie is still an Auburn cap.

My plaque reader.

There must have been 30 plaques on the hiking trail to Anna Ruby Falls...

And he read each and every one of them.

Our cabin table for two!

One roadside peanut store had five of these ladies (and gentlemen) inside and out. It took me a minute to realize the store wasn't as crowded as I had first thought.

I was very interested in this old-fashioned elixir used for everything that ails me...

But in the end, I opted for a caramel apple.

Did I mention the Town of Helen was celebrating Oktoberfest while we were there?

Did I?

Mike and I went to the Festival Hall one night to learn how to polka.

Turns out, "polka" is just another word for "very difficult, very fast dance," so we just watched the professionals and ate our ginormous pretzel with German cheese dip.

Also, at the ripe old age of 55, I think I might want to take accordion lessons.

It kind of fits my mood.


1. The hike to Anna Ruby Falls was really beautiful. It is uphill the entire way, but it is only .4 miles one way.

Also, the path is paved with benches and rails along the way. Some moms and dads even pushed umbrella strollers on the path.

2. We wanted to eat German food as often as possible while we were there. Our first night, we ate at Bodensee and ordered the $45 sampler platter and sides. There were five different kinds of meat on the platter (all of them very good), and bowls of red cabbage, sauerkraut, German noodles and bread.

I bet I know what you're thinking...

That's a lot of meat.

That's a lot of money.

That's a lot of carbs and cabbage.

We didn't overeat, and we took it back to the cabin. The night before we left, we had a German meal ONE MORE TIME.

NOTE - Except for the pretty color, I didn't care for red cabbage, but the other two sides were very good.

3. We also went to Hofer's of Helen Bakery for lunch one day and breakfast pastries the next.

Authentic and delicious!

4. Unicoi State Park is on the edge of town, and we drove to the Lodge to check it out.

Beautiful, beautiful place.

They have a nice zip-line course at the Lodge, too.

5. We were told by a native of Helen that a drive to Lake Burton was a good way to spend a fall afternoon, so we took his advice...

And he was right.

We would definitely return, and we would do all of the above again...

And more!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Mike and I went to Hartselle after church this past Sunday. It was our SECOND annual pumpkin decorating party with Judith and her sweet cousin, Sara Grace.

Just like last year, we set up our little party under a gazebo at Earth Park in Hartselle.

The menu included Bojangles chicken, biscuits, pumpkin sugar cookies from Winn-Dixie, salted/roasted pumpkin seeds...

And cute pumpkin plates.

Super simple, but good.

We made Sucker Pumpkins this year.

I pre-made the holes for Judith and Sara Grace, and we used sticker pumpkin faces instead of painting.

Each year, we'll try something new.

Sara Grace understood the concept of "make sure we have enough suckers for the pumpkin before eating them."


Not so much.

Josh and Courtney.

And Judith...

Reading a plaque...

Just like you-know-who.

It made him SO happy.

I know this is only a partial pic of her tiny face, but she is such a happy little girl.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Judith and I visited Grandmother this past Tuesday. She wanted to wear this hat for a majority of the visit.

While I don't really like anything that covers her curls...

I have to say the hat makes her little button nose even more adorable.

Quotable Quotes

"The most wonderful places to be in the world are: In someone's thoughts, someone's prayers and in someone's heart." Anonymous

Pinterest Stuff

Object Lesson

NOTE - I love how this family took a verse and made it their own. They found a devotion book that was age appropriate for their family, and they taught it in an object lesson their boys understood AND remembered.

A fool’s wrath is quickly and openly known, but a prudent man ignores an insult. Proverbs 12:16

To help our kiddos apply this to their lives, we did the following activities over of a couple of days:

1. We talked about it.

We found an invaluable family devotional book online, and I’m pleased to use this as we launch into conversations about Proverbs with our littles. This devotion for kids gives practical examples of how a “fool” acts and how a “prudent man” handles themselves when presented with particular situations.

2. We did an object lesson.

We went on an imaginary journey in the backyard together. I put an empty backpack on my son and said, “Imagine you’re headed to school and you see your friend Nick on the way to class. What if he said, ‘You look stupid’?”

My eldest son responded with how he would feel.

I then put a brick inside of the backpack. I explained if he didn’t ignore the insult, it would weigh him down. We continued to play out different scenarios that might cause hurt or anger throughout a typical day, adding bricks to his backpack each time. At some point, those insults (and the feelings incurred by them) become too much to bear. We talked about how, eventually, you have to put them down.

Unfortunately, if you’re tired from carrying them, you’ll likely drop the bag quickly. That is why one can lose their temper over something small, causing pain for anyone involved. But if we can avoid holding onto the brick in the first place, we save ourselves (and others) heartache.

3. We asked the following questions:

I’ve found myself dissecting verses and then redefining them with the kids. I used the definitions they gave me as I asked these questions about the verse.

What is a fool?

Kids’ answer - Someone not smart.

What is wrath?

Kids’ answer - Anger.

What is an example of someone’s wrath being openly known?

Kids’ answer - Hitting someone.

What is a “prudent” or wise man?

The kids didn’t know. My answer - Someone with experience and knowledge.

What does it mean to ignore someone?

Kids’ answer - To not listen to someone.

What is an insult?

Kids’ answer - Saying something mean.

I also asked, “Does God ever get mad? Is that a sin?” That led to a great discussion! Having anger is not a sin, but rather how we respond in our anger determines whether we are obeying God or not with our actions.

4. We used the verse in discipline.

A silly dispute broke out between my 7-year-old and one of the 4-year-olds. I was able to pull them aside and ask them what we learned earlier from the verse we discussed. I re-read the verse and we discussed how hitting someone wasn’t “ignoring an insult,” but rather “acting foolishly” by showing “wrath quickly and openly.”

5. We returned to the object lesson.

Following the fight between two of my sons, I took them outside and had them hold the brick for a minute to remember holding onto anger can cause our tempers to flare. We then set the bricks down gently and “gave God our burdens." I must say, we will be returning to this activity, especially when the boys get physical with each other.

6. Other observations - My preschool boys clung to the phrase, “In your anger, do not sin.” While the brick lesson seemed to stick, the Proverb itself seemed too complex.

Don’t ask a distraught preschooler to hold a brick... even for a second. It likely won’t end well. Maybe wait until the heat of the moment has passed.

Have a great weekend, and I'll talk to you soon!


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Pics (Tate Farms in Meridianville, Alabama), Caramel Apple Trifle AND Pinterest Stuff (10 Scriptures to Help on the Hard Days)

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS - Mike and I went to Tate Farms in Meridianville, Alabama this past Saturday with Josh, Courtney, Judith and Courtney's Grandma Margie.

To say I was happy would be the understatement of 2016.

Great pumpkin patch...

Great weather...

Great day!

Although people offered to carry her from the parking lot to the front gate of the Pumpkin Patch, Little Miss Independent wanted to walk.

Personally, I would have killed to have someone offer me a piggy-back ride to the front gate, but that offer wasn't forthcoming.

Judith loved the swings...

And didn't understand why some people spent time going down the slide...

When there were perfectly good swings only a few steps away.

Again, several people offered to carry Judith's pumpkin for her...

But she would have none of it.

The corn cribs were a huge hit.

Who knew sitting in tons of dry corn kernels would be such a fun thing to do.

I'm filling the baby pools up this week...

And I don't mean with water!

Another big hit...

Petting baby bunnies.

And eating caramel apples.

I cannot forget the caramel apples.

It takes a little time to get there from The Dale, but Tate Farms is an excellent pumpkin patch to visit during this special season!

I highly recommend it!

Caramel Apple Trifle

You will need the following:

1 box of cake mix (spice, yellow, pound cake, etc.)
1 large container of Cool Whip
1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
1 jar caramel topping sauce
2 cans of apple pie filling

1. Preparing the cake according to instructions on package. Let it cool.

2. Prepare your pudding and chill.

3. Begin your layers. I like to start with the cake at the bottom so that it provides a base. It makes it easier to serve.

Layer as follows:

Layer of cake
Drizzle caramel sauce on top of the cake
Layer of vanilla pudding
Layer 1 can of apple pie filling
Layer of Cool Whip

4. Top it off with Cool Whip and caramel sauce.

Pinterest Stuff

10 Scriptures to Help on the Hard Days

Matthew 11:28-30 - “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

1 Peter 5:6-7 - "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”

Romans 8:28-29 - “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 - “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14 - “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord."

Philippians 4:6-7 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Zephaniah 3:17 - “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”

Philippians 4:13 - “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 - “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Matthew 7:7-8 - “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”


Write the verses on index cards. Now place them in places you frequent each day... by the kitchen sink, in a cabinet, on a bathroom mirror, by a door, in the laundry room. Think about your day and what happens during the day. Maybe take the cards with you and place them in all of your places you spend your time each day. You can also keep the cards together, punch a hole in the corner and put them on a ring. Slip them into your purse or diaper bag so they are handy when you need a little encouragement.

Have a great Tuesday!


The Enchanting Belinda
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