Friday, August 11, 2017

Just a Few More Musings Regarding THE BIG FALL of 2017, An Elderly Person Bought Me a Starbucks, Moving Roxie, Tuesdays with Judith, Visiting with RT, Blog Linkage AND Pinterest Stuff (Back-to-School Traditions)

Good Friday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Just a Few More Musings Regarding THE BIG FALL of
- If you don't understand the caption, you will need to read the post prior to this one. Reading it will bring you up to speed on the goings-on in my simple, little ol' life.

1. As of yesterday morning, my right knee and elbow were both still hurting EXACTLY as much as they did moments after "The Big Fall."


I kid you not.

2. On the way to the car after "The Big Fall," I asked Roxie, "You know I didn't fall because I'm old, right? You know I walked up into my flowy pants."

"Uh, yes, Mom. I don't think one is better than the other."

Good point.

Good point, indeed.

3. I am now officially a hero in my two year-old granddaughter's eyes...

Because I have to wear SEVEN Bandaids at all times.


It's a two year-old's dream, I tell you.

That is all. As of today (or sometime next week), I plan to move on from The Big Fall and rarely, if ever, mention it again.

RANDOMNESS #2 - An Elderly Person Bought Me a Starbucks - The Chick was home last week getting ready for her big move to Auburn, and we were in the drive-thru at our local Starbucks getting our beverages of choice.

When I pulled up to pay, the young lady working there leaned out of the window and told me the car in front of me had paid our tab.

"Oh... My... Goodness! That is the first time anyone has ever paid for my food or drink! I am so excited! Do you know who it was?" I asked.

The worker replied, "No. He said he was from Tennessee, and he wanted to pay."

"Isn't that exciting?" I asked Roxie, as we drove away. "I mean, you think it is going to be just another ordinary day, and out of nowhere, BAM! A stranger pays for your Starbucks!"

Roxie calmly responded, "It's very nice, Mom. I saw him, you know. He was an elderly man."


"Oh, about your and Dad's age, I guess."

Well, as you can imagine, that took all the fun out of receiving a free Tall Vanilla Ice Frappuccino. I think I would rather pay than be called "elderly" at this particular point in my life.

You know how some people say, "Kids keep you young."

I'm here to tell you that is false, false, false.

Especially the third kid. The third kid is the one that throws around words like "old" and "decrepit."

And "elderly."

Heavy, heavy sigh.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Moving Roxie - After the above happened, we quickly moved Roxie out of the house and into her new digs in Auburn.

Not really.

It took the same amount of time as the last two years, and I am missing her greatly as I type this post...

Even after she indicated I might be "elderly."

This year, it took the back of a truck, the back of a car and a trailer to get her stuff from The Dale to Auburn.

And the three of us did just fine.

Roxie is living in a house with her three roommates from last year, plus another good friend of hers.

If you're doing the math, that is Five Chicks in one house.

Pictured above are AC, Ellie and Roxie.

Nat and Emma will be in other future pics...

Of that, I am certain.

Let the fun ensue!

Would a truly elderly person use the word "ensue"?

I think not!

RANDOMNESS #4 - Tuesdays with Judith - Since we had moved Roxie over the weekend, I REALLY, REALLY needed Judith on Tuesday to help take my mind off things.

She did not disappoint.

As we were waving good-bye to Pop Tuesday morning, a big truck with a big trailer behind it and a big Stump Removal Machine on the trailer, pulled up in front of our house.

Here's a little history for you.

On Monday, men came and tore down our deck AND our giant magnolia tree.

We're getting a new screened-in deck.

So I expected the Stump Removal Guy sometime during the week, but since it was supposed to steadily rain all Tuesday morning and part of the afternoon, I was not expecting him right then.

Judith was mesmerized, and I saw an opportunity for some big-time two year-old fun.

A towel, Judith and 20 or so of her favorite plastic animals (added after the pic was taken) sitting in front of the door/window in my bedroom, proved very entertaining.

For almost an entire hour, she just sat there and watched as he sprayed the house with mud and removed the giant stump and roots.

She was extremely sad to see him leave.

I was extremely sad to see him leave this behind, but something better will be here soon.


Please say I'm right!

Still raining, Judith and I read a large stack of books, and as is her custom, after I read them to her, she took them to the other couch and read them back to me.

She has a lot of inflection in her voice.

She makes the story really dramatic, which isn't always easy to do when you're reading about counting farm animals.

I can tell she's going to be a good Momma someday.

After the reading of the books, it was still raining.

No thunder.

No lightning.

Just rain.

"We're going puddle jumping," I announced.

She just looked at me, and as we changed from pajamas to puddle-jumping clothes, I told her about the giant puddle her Daddy, Uncle Austin and Aunt Ro used to play in when they were little.

It took her about two seconds to decide puddle jumping was the funnest thing ever!

And I know "funnest" isn't necessarily a real word.

But it kinda fits.

Then I took her to THE puddle her Daddy played in once upon a time...

And she played and played and played.

We both declared this particular Tuesday "exceptional" in every way!

RANDOMNESS #5 - Visiting with RT- RT is ready to play with big boy toys now. Seven month-old toys, if you will.

So I pulled out Hank, the Pink Elephant...

Hank, not so very long ago, was Emma, the Pink Elephant, and played with his cousin, Judith.

The initial introduction went very well, I thought.

But then it turned into a wrestling match.

A wrestling match Hank was unable to win.

Time and time again.

Boys and their pink elephants!

Blog Linkage - The ultimate Summer Bucket List can be found at www.kellehampton.come. Go NOW and read her post entitled, "About That Summer Bucket List." It will blow your mind!

Pinterest Stuff

Back-to-School Traditions

NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - I love all of these ideas. They do not have to be done at any specific time during the back-to-school week to be totally effective. In fact, many of them would be good for the weekend or week after the hectic first week.

1. We read them a letter that my husband and I wrote to them. It teaches four values we felt were important to remember while at school. When they go to Kindergarten, we give them a few charms (on a keychain that is now on their backpacks) to help them remember the important points. Each year, we read the letter and have them pull out their charms. I found all of my charms at Hobby Lobby.

Be Kind and Help Others (Smiley Face Charm) - Do all you can to make others happy. If you see someone who is sad, help them. If someone is being teased, be their friend. Make others laugh. Care about them.

Learn (Book Charm) - The reason you are at school is to learn and progress academically. Focus and take advantage of the education that is being offered. Do your very best.

Be Tough and Brave (Prayer Charm) - There will be lots of hard things that you have to do at school. Some will be scary. Pray to God for help when those scary times happen. 

ANOTHER NOTE FROM ENCHANTING BELINDA - If you do the above, be sure and add a verse when talking about each charm. Over the years, those will be memorized verses.

2. Weigh and measure each kid and mark their heights in the garage.

3. A visit from “The Magic School Bus” is a great way to get the little kids excited about a new school year! Imagine your child’s surprise when they answer a knock on the door to find a bag FULL of back-to-school supplies/goodies.

4. Add a little excitement by sending your kids on a Back-to-School Scavenger Hunt in search of their new school supplies. You have to buy them anyway, so why not turn it into a fun game?

5. The first day of school can be a hard one for Mom (especially if you’re dropping off a Kindergartner for the first time).  Why not host a “Boo Hoo Breakfast” for all your mom friends and get together for breakfast after the school drop-off. Whether you’re crying tears of sadness or joy, every Mom is sure to appreciate some time together to eat and chat!

6. Begin having "School Prayer" in the car on the way to drop off your kiddos. It may seem like the years you spend dropping off kids in front of the school or waiting to pick them up in the carpool line will never end, but one day that part of your life will be over. Just think of all the personal prayers you will have prayed over your children before dropping them off at school for the day. Build, build, build that spiritual foundation!

Have a great weekend. I'll be back soon with some more pics, more stories and more ideas and recipes.


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Good Tuesday evening!


You've heard the Bible verse, "Pride goeth before a fall," haven't you?

Well, if you were one of about a hundred or more people in the parking lot of Gardendale's First Baptist Church between the first and second service, I kinda supplied the visual for the verse...

If you know what I mean...

And I think you do.

Something you may or may not know about me... I am not necessarily a vain person. I mean, I have my good hair days and my bad hair days. I have outfits that look better on me than others. I try to look presentable and wear lipstick on more days than not.

I am, after all, a Southern girl born and raised, but all in all, I don't over-obsess when it comes to appearance.

In other words, I didn't think I was very prideful about my looks.

Until Sunday...

Because Sunday I wore my navy blue patterned flowy pants, my off-white silk flowy top and my big ol' navy blue and rhinestone studded necklace.

Also, my hair was exceptionally big and coiffed.

Remember when Justin Timberlake said he was "bringing sexy back?"

Well, I am single-handedly "bringing big hair back."

I am not ashamed to admit I liked the 80s. I thrived in the 80s. I miss the 80s.

When big hair comes back, I am going to start bringing back the enormous shoulder pads...

And I'm starting a petition to get Designing Women on Netflix for the next generation of Southern women to watch and learn.

All of the above being said and recorded for posterity, I may or may not have looked at myself in the full-length bathroom mirror of Gardendale's First Baptist Church second floor bathroom after Sunday School and thought to myself, "Looking good, Enchanting! Looking good!" before meeting Mikie in the hallway and heading to our seats for the first service.

Yes. I know. Very, very prideful.

Not only was it a good service, but The Chick arrived home Saturday afternoon and was sitting with us, so I was feeling especially happy and bouncy.

In hindsight, I now know I was feeling much too bouncy, because in the parking lot of the church, crossing the street to get to my car, my right toe/shoe caught in the leg of my flowy pants.

I lurched forward, but caught myself. Mistakenly thinking I had gotten my toe/shoe OUT of the flowy pants, I took another little hop/step to make up for the slight trip/stumble.

The only thing worse than tripping/stumbling in the middle of the street in the church parking lot AND catching yourself, would have to be tripping/stumbling in the middle of the street in the church parking lot AND realizing you didn't catch yourself, but instead walked up your flowy pants leg two more steps...

And then falling in front of the cars coming to and leaving church (completely stopping traffic in two lanes) on your hands and knees.

And if that wasn't enough of a humiliation (and I'm assuming it wasn't enough because it just gets worse from here), I rolled over onto my back with my hands and legs up in the air...

And I rocked back and forth very turtle-like until Mikie put his hands under my arms and HOISTED me to my feet.

There was nothing left to do except dust myself off and do the princess wave to all of the cars who were patiently waiting to park and/or leave the parking lot.

I did not limp to the car. I needed to limp, but I refused. When I see that in writing, I immediately start thinking to myself, "That was pretty prideful, too, wasn't it? Why not just admit one toe, two knees, my right wrist and elbow and the top of my left wrist were all scraped and bleeding? Not profusely bleeding you understand, but bleeding just the same."


That's a question for the therapist if I've ever heard one. I'll need to write that down in my handy-dandy notebook.

There isn't much left to say except if and when I wear flowy pants again, I will probably hold them up in front (not unlike a wedding dress) while walking to and from church or up and down steps.

Also, I seriously doubt if I will ever look in the full-length bathroom mirror of Gardendale's First Baptist Church second floor bathroom ever again.

Nor will I utter, "Looking good, Enchanting! Looking good!"

Mentally or verbally.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

I will end this little tale with two final words...


RANDOMNESS #2 - My great-nephew, Sawyer turned ONE today, and we attended his birthday party this past Saturday.

Talk about a cute party...

These are just a small smattering of the wonderful decorations at the party.

Watermelon and pizza.

I ask you, is there a better birthday lunch?

I think not.

This was RT's first official time to attend a kid party. It just took a few minutes until he got the hang of it.

The battery-operated Thomas the Train ride was a big hit with the two and under crowd.

Turns out, Sawyer was a pro when it came to annihilating the Smash Cake.

I think it's in his genes.

Aunt Katie, Sawyer and Uncle T.J.

Josh, Sawyer, Judith and Courtney.

Sawyer didn't take his eyes off Josh. I think he sensed the remainder of his Smash Cake was in danger.

I think he was right.

Pinterest Stuff

Candy and Ice Experiment (Object Lesson)

You will need the following:

Candy of your choice
Ice cubes

Ask everyone to eat a piece of candy.

How does it taste?

Ask everyone to put an ice cube in their mouths and leave it in for as long as possible.

Immediately after removing the ice, replace it with a piece of candy.

Now how does the candy taste? (Because the ice has numbed the tongue, they should not taste the candy.)

Why did the candy taste different the second time? What caused the change?

When we only think about ourselves, our heart (tongue) is numbed toward others. When we are unable to taste the sweet candy (we are unaware when others need help), we are not able to taste the sweet reward for giving service to others.

There are many acts of service we are able to give each day. Service, big or small, is equally important. Learning to recognize when service is needed is a learned skill. Small acts of service are often easier to perform because they can be done immediately. What are some small acts of service you saw/did/could have performed today?

The next time you are with your family, or at school or in a group, ask yourself if there is something you can do for someone else? When you begin tasting the sweetness of service, you will crave it and want to do it more and more. The more service you perform, the more you will be able to recognize where service is needed. You might need to work at reminding yourself by asking the question, “Is there something I can do for someone else?” Soon it will become part of your life.

Have a great week. I'll be back in a few days with a couple of back-to-school traditions.


The Enchanting Belinda

Thursday, July 27, 2017

5th Annual Lake Vacation (Lake Martin), My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, Blog Linkage AND Pinterest Stuff (Writing the Word)

Good Thursday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS - I didn't post we would be going on vacation these last few days, but we did and we are back now!

This is our fifth year to rent a house on a lake in Alabama with our immediate family.

The first year, we rented a house in Guntersville, and we decided it was a "go" as far as an annual thing was concerned, but we wanted to try a different house the next time. Just between you and me, if VRBO doesn't have pics of any of the bathrooms in a particular rental, there is usually a very good reason... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

The second year, we rented a beautiful new-to-us house in Guntersville, but two days before our vacation was to begin, we received a call from the owners telling us bed bugs were a leftover problem from the previous renters, and although they were going to "bug bomb" the house and the "bug man" assured them we would be "good to go," he didn't feel right about renting to us.

We greatly appreciated the head's up, and I found an available house the next day at Lake Guntersville.

There's a reason you book vacation rentals a year in advance... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

The next two years found us at Lake Logan Martin in a beautiful home that fit almost all of our needs. In fact, I was hoping we could go on renting this house year after year after year.

Last year when we pulled into the driveway, there was a For Sale sign in the yard... and I don't want to talk about it any more.

This year, I found a great house on Lake Martin, and I think it fit each and every need we had as a family of nine... and I do want to talk about it a little more!

Josh, Courtney and Judith rode down with us Thursday afternoon, and we unpacked and settled into our new digs.

The house was very unique...

Filled with antiques...

Collectibles of all kinds...

Beautiful inside and out.

I absolutely, positively loved it.

We even found a collection of old VHS tapes... AND a way to actually watch them!

We went on a boat ride as soon as we settled in, and Judith drove the boat for the second year in a row.

She was very "passenger aware" and kept looking to the back of the boat...

And that is why it is always good to have a co-captain when a two year-old takes the wheel.

We found a level place to set up the dishwashing/baby pool/bubble station, and Judith was good to go.

Lake hair aspirations.

Fish lip aspirations.

Roxie was finishing up her nine-week stint as a camp counselor at Camp Crestridge in North Carolina, and she was unable to join us this year.


I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Heavy sigh.

RT and his family showed up on Friday...

And he brought a Splash Pad to add to the Baby Pool Park.

The perfect addition.

We did some cookin'...

And some fishin'.


And we did some smilin'.

Lots and lots of smilin'.

And then it was time for RT's first boat ride.

He was very, very safe...

And maybe a little unimpressed.

DISCLAIMER - Boat is tied to the dock and not moving at all.

Also, six adults were standing in a semi-circle around him.

No words.

Judith loved feeding the geese...

Or as she called them, "The big ducks."

DISCLAIMER - No life jacket at that particular moment, but water is clear and about three feet deep.

Also, not counting Courtney, three adults standing right there watching, watching, watching.

This was one of my favorite things at the house. You could wash dishes and look out this giant window into a hummingbird garden. At any give time, you could see one, two...

Up to six hummingbirds flitting about and having fun.

You could also watch them and NOT do dishes. Just depended on your mood.

It was a very good trip. I would be lying if I told you it was perfect in every way, because it was not. (See tiny picture of Roxie on phone calling from North Carolina above!)

However, there were some very sweet moments, and some good memories made.

And I did not post the not-so-perfect pictures.

That will be for another time!

My Favorite Things RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE - I am starting a new heading today. It will pop up from time to time because my favorite things tend to change pretty often.

1. I love McDonald's Sugar Free French Vanilla Iced Coffee... like once a day... like five or six days a week. Depending on which McDonald's I purchase my cup of "iced joe" from on any particular day (Fultondale, Trussville, Gardendale, Cullman, North Birmingham, Homewood or Hayden), it costs between $2.08 and $2.41.

I'm starting a Go Fund Me page soon. Feel free to contribute often and much when that happens.

2. I love audio books. I spend a good deal of time in the car two or three times a week, and when that happens, I listen to audio books. All kinds of audio books.

In fact, I am so in love with audio books, I am replacing my I-pad at the gym (I watch Jimmy Fallon clips and old Johnny Carson shows, etc.) with a hand-held CD player as of tomorrow morning.

Hopefully, I will soon be one of those "well-read" people I so envy...

Or I may end up going back to Jimmy Fallon clips and old Johnny Carson shows.

We'll see how long this "favorite thing" lasts.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.creativehomekeeper.com and read this woman's blog. You will find an excerpt from it below under Pinterest Stuff. She loves being intentional about the important, eternal things and she has some wonderful ideas to share.

Pinterest Stuff

Writing the Word

(Excerpt from Creative Home Keeper Blog - Intentional Living for the Grace-Filled Life)

Sometimes I write just a verse or two, other times I am transposing whole passages of Scripture in my journal. Depending on the words or what God is revealing to me, I write them word for word, or I might paraphrase them into a prayer from deep within.

It doesn’t matter how I write, it’s the simple discipline of writing out the Word that is rapidly transforming my faith.

When God’s Word is flowing through my pen and spilling out onto my paper, it is no longer just a passive discipline to read the Word. I am fully immersed in it. Writing is slower than reading so I am able to marinade on each word longer. Truths I may miss from a read through are being highlighted in my brain and written out to completely grasp the mystery of the Gospel.

Some days I write a lot whereas other days I write a little, but there is no day when none of God’s Word is being written down. It’s a daily spiritual discipline that has drawn me closer to God.

Writing the Word is bringing my heart and mind closer to the throne of God.

This season, He has drawn me closer to Him through written words.

Do you write the Word on a consistent basis?

If not, may I suggest you start? You don’t have to write out whole or long passages, but just a verse or two to help you capture the main idea of what He is teaching you in your daily reading.

NOTE FROM THE ENCHANTING BELINDA - On Pinterest, I found a monthly scripture writing plan. Just SEARCH "Monthly Scripture Writing." Many, many options will appear since most months have not only general scripture references you can write each day, but some also have a topic for the month. For example, "Grace" or "Kindness," etc.

Have a fantastic rest of the week. I'll be back very soon with more!


The Enchanting Belinda
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