RT

RT

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

AND FOR THESE PEEPS, I AM THANKFUL...

Good Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving morn!

One part of my family celebrated Thanksgiving this past Sunday in Oneonta.

It was a lovely day.


Courtney, Josh and Judith.


Austin and Melia.


Mallie and Zac.


My Mini-Me.

Yeah. I wish!


Beverly and Tommy.




T. J. and Katie.


Brad and Sweet Sawyer.


Uncle Austin and Relaxed Judith.


Super Josh.

He celebrated Thanksgiving on four hours sleep.

Napping is allowed on four hours sleep.


Courtney and Judith.


Mike, Roxie and ME!


My original offspring.


Courtney, Josh, Roxie, Austin and Melia.

My current offspring.




The annual reading of The Thankful Letters.


We have been doing this since Austin and Brad were three and two years-old, respectively.

Of course, those letters were dictated...

AND basically, they were thankful for milk and the red Power Ranger.


Typically, the men don't cry while reading their letters.

Typically, one or two of the females begin to bawl.

ALWAYS, I do not show the pics of the bawling females.

But I do keep them for my own personal enjoyment!


With Judith and Sawyer, we had five generations at this Thanksgiving get-together.

I am going to share just this one pic today.


All the Mamas and the babies!

Can you tell I get so excited about the babies, I don't pay attention to the background.

Please excuse the 50 or so folding chairs.

Feel free to do as I do...

Focus on the BABIES!

We're going to celebrate Thanksgiving for a second time tomorrow. I hope you and yours have a very meaningful, blessed time with family and friends.

From my home to yours...

HAPPY, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Sincerely,

The Enchanting and Very Thankful Belinda

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Baby Tea, Tuesdays with Judith, An Exercise Story AND Pinterest Stuff (Thanksgiving Games)

Good Friday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - There was a little Baby Tea Sunday honoring Austin and Melia's bouncing baby boy...

And it was lovely.


The theme was "Welcome to the World," so globes were prevalent around the room.


Melia and Austin got a little bit of everything.


Great-Great MamMa was in attendance...


And Lauren joined in on the fun, too. (How cute are these two together?)


Melia, Lauren, Great-Grandma, Great-Aunt Becky and Brandi.


Sawyer also put in an appearance at the Baby Tea, and although pleasant, really didn't see what the fuss was about.

Typical "male-at-a-baby-tea" reaction.


As is customary, Austin dropped by the last 30 minutes or so of the Tea to check out the loot.


And these two guys spent some time getting to know each other a little better.

RANDOMNESS #2 - I have been wanting to take Judith to the local library for the past few weeks, and the original plan was to go on a rainy day when we couldn't get outside and play.

I don't think we are ever going to have a rainy day again, so we spent an hour at the library anyway.




They have a lot of "new-to-us" puzzles...


And board books. (Not to mention the dress-up boxes, toddler-size dollhouse, garage, etc., etc.)

She had a very good time, and when it was time to leave...


We still had plenty of time before lunch to play outside.

She has become somewhat of an expert when it comes to crunching little acorns in the driveway.


And finding the biggest leaf in the pile is super easy.




I know what you're thinking.

"When has it recently been cold enough in Alabama for a baby to wear a padded vest AND a toboggan?"

The answer, of course, "It hasn't been cold enough in Alabama for closed toe shoes. Much less a padded vest and a toboggan."

I'm sorry.

I don't feel I can wait any longer to enjoy Fall with Judith, because it is obviously going to go directly from Summer to Winter this year, and I apparently didn't get the memo!

And how cute is this toboggan?

RANDOMNESS #3 - The following was first posted in 2010.

Well, I attended a Body Pump class yesterday afternoon. My Zumba friends, Joan and Lauren, are bound and determined to try each and every exercise class known to man, and they said I might enjoy this class. (It's like they have never even met me before!)

It was a small class... six people total. In an exercise class, that can be a good thing or that can be a very, very bad thing. There's nowhere to hide.

For those of you who have never participated in a Body Pump class, there is a bar involved, and little weights on the ends of the bar. It is not super fast. There is no chance of you getting "lost" and not understanding what you are supposed to do with your little bar and your little weights. It's just a matter of survival.

All in all, I thought I had done pretty well. I left Joan and Lauren to do the Zumba class which met immediately following the Body Pump class, and started to walk down the stairs. Hmmm. Calves and thighs were a little shaky.

I walked to the van (albeit slowly), and raised my arm to unlock the door. Hmmm. That was difficult. I couldn't really raise my arms. They were happier hanging straight down beside my body.

I sat down in the Big Gold Van, and since I was unable to hold my arms in the "10 and 2" driving position on the steering wheel, I drove home with my thumbs in my lap. If you are (or are related to) a police officer, please know I drove 20 miles under the speed limit all the way home... because my legs were shaking so badly I couldn't really push the accelerator down.

I wouldn't say I was sore last night. The word I would use is "inoperable." I was totally and completely "inoperable."

This morning, I am totally and completely in "pain." That's right. I said it. P-A-I-N.

Will I do it again?

Yes. I told my friend, Cam, I would do it with her (and Lauren and Joan) next Tuesday afternoon.

I wanted to be open to new and exciting life experiences this 49th year of my life. I did NOT want this 49th year of my life to be my last.

I'm looking for some people interested in trying some new and exciting spa treatments in the coming months. Any takers? Anyone? Anyone? Call me.

Pinterest Stuff

Thanksgiving Games

Scavenger Hunt

Here's one that's always a favorite among the Thanksgiving activities. Instead of playing it like a normal scavenger hunt game, give it a Thanksgiving twist. Have pictures of turkeys hidden all around the house and that is what the teams have to search for. Provide a list of clues for the location of the hidden turkey pictures. You can make it all the more interesting by asking them to do tasks before providing them with the clues. The team with the maximum number of turkey cards wins.

Balloon Waddle

This one is not only fun, it's extremely challenging as well. And it leads to a lot of laughs. Blow up some balloons (and call them turkeys). Make the participants stand in a line on one end of the room and give them each a blown balloon. At the blow of the whistle, the participants have to place the balloons between their thighs and waddle across the room to the finish line. The person who finishes first, wins. If while walking, the balloon bursts, then the person is disqualified. If there are many members, have them play in groups and then hold a final waddle to determine the winner.

Picture Puzzle

Print out large pictures of things that are thanksgiving-related like turkeys, cranberries etc. Cut these pictures into square parts in either 4,6 or 8 parts (depending on the number of people that there are). Mix all the pictures. On a flat surface (or even the floor), keep a chart paper and some glue ready. Distribute the pictures amongst all the participants, but make sure that they can't see them until the buzzer rings. At the go of the buzzer, the participants have to turn their picture over and then scramble to find the people who have the rest of the picture. They then get to the chart paper and proceed to stick the parts together to make the full picture. The team that finishes first, wins.

Have a great pre-Thanksgiving weekend. I'll talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dedicating Sawyer, Tuesdays with Judith, Quotable Quotes, A Toe Story, Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken AND Pinterest Stuff (Object Lesson on Anger)

Good Saturday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - My great-nephew, Sawyer (son of nephew, Bradley, and niece-in-law, Stephanie), was dedicated this past Sunday.

He did a great job, and whimpered/cried/fussed not at all.




Poppa T and Sawyer.

Such a sweet little guy!

RANDOMNESS #2 - A Little Toe Story (First Posted November 16, 2009) - I went to my rheumatologist yesterday for my six-month check-up.

And, no. I did not develop arthritis upon turning 50.

I developed arthritis at the ripe ol' age of 39.

I'm special that way.

Anyway, the receptionist always gives you a picture of a skeleton, and you are instructed to shade in the areas which are giving you the most trouble.

Sometimes I shade in the brain area, and my Doctor patiently explains to me I can't have "arthritis of the brain," and I just laugh and laugh because I think I am hysterical.

But this week, I took extra-special care to heavily SHADE IN my big toe on my right foot.

For the past six months, it has been dealing me fits. It feels like it is broken, but unless my "arthritis of the brain" has kicked in, I cannot recall doing anything to break it.

When I sat down with my Doctor, he looked at my "skeleton" and said, "I take it your big toe is bothering you?"

"Uh, yeah!" My Doctor is a genius!

And then he looked at the big toe on my right foot and the big toe on my left foot, and there was no noticeable difference.

Then he held the big toe on my right foot in between his hands.

"Your toe is hot. There is fever in that toe."

I thought perhaps my toe had the flu.

And then my Doctor said something that made me feel 100 years old. "You may have the gout."

"Well, that's just peachy," I thought to myself.

But then I immediately thought, "I'm not going to say I have gout. I'm going to say I have 'toe flu.'"

And I felt immediately better.

One X-ray and 15 minutes later, my Doctor informed me I did not have "the gout." Nope. I no longer had toe cartilage in that particular joint.

"Well, where did it go?" I asked.

"It's degenerative. It happens. I can give you a shot which will help with the pain for awhile, OR you can try a topical solution and see if that gives you any relief."

One guess which option I chose.

That's right.

I'm going TOPICAL, Baby.

The idea of giving my poor big toe a shot where it hurts most makes me shudder... just a little.

All of the above to tell you, I DO NOT have the dreaded toe flu... or gout... or brain arthritis.

But my cartilage is mysteriously disappearing.

Bizarre, huh?

The good news... He said I was good to go as far as walking two miles a day and/or Body Pumping.

(Just between you and me, I was hoping to get a Doctor's Excuse for Body Pump.)

Heavy, heavy sigh.

NOTE - I know I paint a very pretty picture, and many of you think I have a perfectly perfect life, but I wanted you to know that I, too, experience pain now and again.

Believe it or not, The Enchanting Belinda is very, very human!

RANDOMNESS #3 - This past Tuesday, I took Judith to the park in Fultondale with the life-size plastic animals arranged here and there.


She still gravitates to the swings, and that is fine with me.

I will push her from now until the end of time if it makes Little Chick happy.


She had a very long conversation with this particular dog statue.

Long enough for Nana B to get a little bored and steer her toward some of the more exotic plastic animals.


She fell in love with the giraffe.


And she begged the giraffe to love her back.


Let it be known here and now, I would never walk around like this.

Never.

Just one more reason to love 22 month-olds...

Pulling a top tight across their belly just doesn't bother them.

At all!


The walking trail was perfect after swinging, sliding, talking to animals and eating a little picnic.


Just perfect.


And our post-park/pre-nap snack of vanilla milk and bananas was pretty awesome, too.

Quotable Quotes

"I am not in control, but I am deeply loved by the one who is."

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken

You will need the following:

3 medium-large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup corn starch
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup cold water, plus 2 tablespoons corn starch
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Sesame seeds, for topping

1. Chop chicken into 2-inch pieces. Add to a large resealable bag and add corn starch. Seal and shake to coat chicken.

2. Drizzle a large skillet with the oil and preheat over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute 1 to 2 minutes (just to brown the very outside, chicken should not be cooked through) and remove from heat. Add to a greased slow cooker.

3. Whisk together the cold water and corn starch until dissolved. Add soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ketchup and rice vinegar and whisk to combine.

4. Poor sauce over the chicken. Cover and cook on low 3 hours. Serve over cooked rice and garnish with sesame seeds if desired.

Pinterest Stuff

Object Lesson

Anger

1. I asked my kids if they ever got angry at someone and said mean things. Then I asked if anyone ever got mad at them (parents, siblings, friends, etc.). 

2. I asked for some examples of things we say or people say to us when we’re angry. (Make sure you tell them ahead of time not to repeat any bad words or say really bad stuff.) 

3. As each child said something, my helper crumpled up a half-sheet of paper and threw it to them. When everyone had taken a turn, I asked them to smooth out their paper and make it nice and flat like it was before it was crumbled.

4. Of course, this was impossible. We talked about how when you say hurtful things to other people when you’re angry, you end up hurting them in ways that can damage their spirit. It isn't easy to undo the hurt.

5. The final point you want to make... think before you speak.

"My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." James 1:19

Have a great rest of the weekend! I'll talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Happy Fall, Y'all Party (First Posted in 2009) AND Pics of Halloween 2016

Good Tuesday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS - Mike is out-of-town for a few nights this week (last night being one of them). I tell you this because he most definitely would have been with me last night if it hadn't been for the "I'm-in-another-state" thing.

I met Courtney, Josh, Judith and Donna (Judith's Grandma... Courtney's Mom) at Grandma Margie's house (Courtney's grandmother).

From there we went Trick-or-Treating at a few houses before heading down the street to a very nice church Fall Festival.

I gave it very high marks. It was perfect for Judith.

No lines, small crowds and several age appropriate games just right for a cute little bumblebee.


In this pic, she is a very happy bumblebee (seen here with Grandma Donna)...


And in this pic, she is a very thoughtful bumblebee.

She's probably thinking, "I've been given two tons of candy, and I have yet to have a piece. What's the deal?"


Josh taught her how to play the golf game at the Festival...


And when she finished, she promptly picked up a new ball, and walked away with the club and ball as her prize.

I didn't take a pic of the golf club and ball being taken away from her.

That would have been a pic of a mad bumblebee.


They had a little train pulled by a small John Deere tractor.

Of course, Josh wanted to ride...

And that made the ride MUCH slower than it normally would have been.




Cutest John Deere Driver in the history of the world.

No kidding. We loved this guy!


Why stand behind a line and throw a ball into a bucket when you can gently place the ball in the bucket instead?


Seriously. Why?

She got the same amount of candy and a lot more cheers than the kids throwing, believe me.


And throwing the glowy hoop-like thingy over the pumpkins?




Again, gentle placement and rearrangement seemed the way to go.


Throwing bags covered with Velcro strips at a board with covered with Velcro strips...


Well...


Please refer to the ball toss and glowy hoop-like thingy above.


And just in case you were wondering...

This is a very tired bumblebee.

Happy Fall, Y'all Party

This is a party for fall lovers, young and old. It includes old-fashioned fun, relays and great food.

Invite up to ten people (teenagers or adults) and have the following activities. This party is definitely an outside party, so check the weather often and have a Plan B if you have to move it inside at the last minute.

Wheelbarrow Races - You will need two wheelbarrows, a little hay and two blankets for this race. After you have "padded" each wheelbarrow with hay and a blanket, divide the guests into two teams. Once the teams are divided equally, one person will ride in the wheelbarrow while another person pushes them to a designated tree or bale of hay at the other end of the yard. Each team will have to push the wheelbarrow around the tree or hay and make it back to their team. Depending on numbers, make sure everyone gets at least one turn pushing OR riding. For the relay to be fun, there should be at least THREE runs per team.

Pumpkin Chunkin' - This is hard for a pumpkin lover like myself, but it is fun, too. Again, supply as many medium-sized pumpkins as there are people. If there are too many people, ask each team to pick two of their strongest players to chunk a pumpkin. (You will only need two pumpkins per team.) Standing behind a line, let the two members of each team take turns chunkin' their pumpkin as far as they can. Measure the distance to see who wins this game.

Scarecrow Relay #1 - Give each team the following items:

1 pair of overalls
1 flannel shirt
1/2 bale of hay
1 farmer's hat
1 pumpkin (for the head)
1 Sharpie marker (to decorate the face)
1 lawn chair (to let the scarecrow sit when finished)

When you begin the relay, the team who finishes their scarecrow first wins. The scarecrow has to be able to sit independently in the chair (head and all) for it to be considered totally finished.

Pumpkin Pie Throwing Contest - You do NOT have to make a dozen pumpkin pies to be wasted. Use food coloring to make an inexpensive brand of whipped cream orange. Tape three or four quarters to the bottom of the pie tin before adding the whipped cream. Then divide into teams and have them take turns trying to hit the target. (The target could be the scarecrows you just finished making.) Adding the quarters will give the pie tin a little weight and allow them to throw it farther. The team who hits the target the most times will win.

Searching For a Penny in a Haystack - Make two piles of loose hay (fairly large piles). Drop 10 to 20 pennies in each pile in different spots. Give each team a time limit (1 to 2 minutes) to go through their pile of hay and find as many pennies as possible. The team with the most pennies is the winner.

You can finish off the evening with an old-fashioned hayride around the neighborhood. If you are taking teenagers and you don't have a trailer to pull them, you can use loose hay in the back of a truck with them sitting DOWN and SAFELY ride around a large neighborhood in the crisp, fall air.

ADDITIONS - If you begin this party before dark, you can let the kids or adults play horseshoes or bob for apples.

TODAY is the day to plan this party for family and friends. I've had two of them, and they are always a lot of fun!

Have a wonderful first day of November! I will talk to you soon.

Sincerely,

The Enchanting Belinda
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