Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Judith Snippet

Good Wednesday morning!

Some of you may not know this, but it can take a person a very long time to write a blog post.

And a person like myself...

A 55 year-old person...

A wordy person...

A "more is better" person...

Well, it can take a very, very, very long time indeed.

So I have invented the Snippet.

While I have a draft version of a very wordy, "more is better," long, long, long post in the works, I wanted to share this one "speedy quick."

SNIPPET - I took Miss Judith to the Zoo today for an hour, and we walked through a bubble blowing machine, past the carousel and into the Barn.

She spent quite a few minutes talking to a rather large black pig, and even a few more minutes talking to two goats.

We then meandered through the Alabama Wild section and talked about the goats and the pigs. I asked her, "What would you like to see next, Miss Judith? The giraffes, the elephants, the rhinos? You name it, and we will go!"

She tilted her head and simply said, "Goats."

So off to the Barn we went one more time, and she talked to two more goats.

As we were leaving the Barn, we heard ferocious roaring coming from the lion enclosure. We both assumed it was indeed the lions, so off we went across the train tracks and up a little hill to see the King of the Jungle.

Guess what?

The lion was unbelievably active.

I have never seen an unanimated male lion move so much in my entire 55 years on this here Earth.

And roar.

He just kept roaring and roaring and roaring.

This is how I usually find the lions at the Zoo...

"I scared," Miss Judith told me and raised her hands to me from her stroller.

I picked her up, and because I am supposedly the mature adult person in this type situation, I held her tight and reassured her the lion couldn't get us. We were safe.

However, inside I was kinda wishing Mikie was there so I could turn to him and say with arms outstretched, "I scared."

Fun fact for you...

I rarely enjoy being the mature adult person in any situation. Too much pressure.

I decided a little detour into the building directly behind us would be our best solution. A few more doors, air conditioning (and did I say a few more doors) between us and the oddly-acting lion seemed the way to go.

Inside the building, I let Miss Judith walk beside me. I keep all "valuables" on my person, so if I need to ditch the stroller to retrieve a little one it is no big deal.

Also, believe it or not, at this point in time, I am pretty proud to say I am faster than your average two year-old.

We were standing in front of the coyote exhibit when four young men came running up. They appeared to be in the eight to ten year-old category, and they were having a ball. They stood beside us talking for a few seconds, and Judith never took her eyes off of them. In fact, she even moved closer and closer to them. They never noticed her (or me), so when they turned and ran to the eagle exhibit, I watched Judith as the wheels in her little head were obviously turning.

She glanced up at me, and then without a word ran after the four boys.

I was right beside her, and as the boys excitedly talked about all the dead mice in the eagle exhibit (YUCK), she again stared them down.

And they again, did not notice her at all.

They turned and ran to the next exhibit, and Judith did NOT glance up at me before following them.

Obviously, she had decided THESE were her people.

And I decided then and there that walking time was over, and plopped her back into her stroller with a juice box and a couple of crackers to distract her from her new best friends running around the corner.

As we left the building, the King of the Jungle had settled down considerably. He was taking a nap.

And I felt like this was a good idea for a tiny two year-old and a not-so-tiny 55 year-old.

Goats and lions and four happy little boys.

They made our day!


The Enchanting Belinda

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pepper Place Pics, Easter Sunday Service with RT (and Parents), Judith Easter Pics, Oxford Easter Pics AND Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice

Good Tuesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - The Chick has been home the last two weekends which has been utterly divine. Last week she came in for pre-Easter, and this week she came in for actual-Easter (Oxford Family Easter Celebration).

Mikie and I have been pretty happy, I tell you.

Delirious even.

This past Saturday, we all went to the Original Pancake House on Southside and headed over to Pepper Place for a bit before heading back to the house.

If you want a picture taken with the Pepper Place Photo-Op Wall behind you, you're going to encounter some extreme sunlight.

Especially if there is not a cloud in the sky...

And the weatherman told you beforehand there was going to be some extreme sunlight going on all day.

My eyes were totally closed, but you would never know, would you?

Pepper Place Photo-Op Wall No. 2 is actually in the shade, and I much preferred having that pic taken.

No rusty bike and ivy...

But still good.

I don't know who this guy is, but I like him!

RANDOMNESS #2 - Easter Sunday Service with RT - If you recall, I posted last week (and mentioned above) The Faulkner Family Party of 9 celebrated Easter together the week before Real Easter...

And a good time was had by all.

My plans for Real Easter included going to church with Mikie and Roxie, and then heading down to Oxford to celebrate with Mike's side of the family.

Austin, Melia and Rhett were having Easter with Melia's family...

And Josh, Courtney and Judith were having Easter with Courtney's family.

I was good with all of the above. Making holidays and birthdays last longer than 24 hours is kinda my super power.

I am NOT kidding.

So when Austin called and said their Easter plans had changed a little, and they were going to join us for the Easter Service at church, I was pretty thrilled.

It was an Easter bonus, I tell you.

A really good Easter bonus!

RANDOMNESS #3 - Here are some pics of Judith in all of her Easter Day glory...

Pretty in pink and green...

And black and white.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Oxford Easter - It is our tradition to have the traditional egg hunt in Oxford, so that is always fun.






Just a few more of Mr. Micah.

Matthew loves the selfie, and who better to take one with than The Chick!

Jared and Amber.

Roxie and I picked up a few canvases and some white duct tape (and a big ol' tarp). We taped off a white cross on the canvas, and then the kids painted anything they wanted using the nylon dish scrubbers from the Dollar Store dipped in a pie plate of paint. We used five different colors.

Each one turned out very well.

We let them dry in the sun, and we were able to peel the tape before everyone left.

Mackenzie's turned out really well, but she had to leave before I was able to take a pic of the finished product.

Trust me.

They ALL looked great.

Ham and Lima Bean Fried Rice

You will need the following:

1 1/2 cups frozen baby lima beans
5 scallions
3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup (about 8 ounces) cubed ham
2/3 cup matchstick carrots, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
2 (8.8 ounce) pouches microwavable white rice (such as Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice), prepared according to package directions
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce

1. Cook lima beans in boiling water to cover in a medium saucepan over medium-high until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, thinly slice green parts of scallions, and set aside. Thinly slice white parts of scallions, and set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Pour beaten egg into skillet; sprinkle with salt, and cook, without stirring, until egg is set on top and lightly browned on the bottom, about 1 minute. Flip and cook 20 seconds. Transfer cooked egg to a cutting board; fold in half, and roughly chop.

4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium-high. Add white scallion slices, ham, carrots and garlic; cook, stirring constantly, until ham is lightly browned and vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.

5. Add rice and sesame oil; cook, stirring constantly, until rice is hot, about 2 minutes.

6. Stir in chopped egg, soy sauce, lima beans and green scallion slices.

This may or may not sound great to you, but it is really good. I will be making it again!

Have a great week. I'll be back soon with more SPRING stuff to do with your family...

A list of new and old traditions and how the Faulkner Family Party of 9 celebrates Easter now...

And pics.

Lots of pics.


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Here are a couple of pics that didn't have a specific spot in the post.

Each of the adult kids had an Easter egg in their Easter Bucket last week containing tickets to Locked In downtown.

The time was already scheduled (3:30 that very day).

Mikie and I were going to keep the babies. However, in the end Melia wanted to stay at the house with the babes and me, so Mikie went in her place.

They didn't quite win, but they definitely had a good time.

They want to try again.

Our old Easter traditions included taking pics of the adult kids in model poses on the front porch.

Tweaking, tweaking, tweaking!

The Chick nailed it!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Birthday Celebration, Tuesdays with Judith, Keeping RT, Early Easter, Quotable Quotes AND Pinterest Stuff (Bible MINUTE-TO-WIN-IT Games AND Easter Story Snack Mix)

Good Tuesday evening!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Mrs. Faulkner's Birthday - Mrs. Faulkner had a birthday a few days ago, and we all went to Oxford to celebrate with her.

Grandma and RT.

Lauren is "mother" to all of the younger cousins.

She has the answers to all of their questions, and she can herd them from here to there pretty well, too.

Judith is about five months older than Micah, so they are starting to play together at these family functions.

In this particular picture, Micah is not playing by Judith's rules.

And Judith is not at all pleased.

Where is Mother Lauren when you need her?

Aunt Courtney and RT.

After we left the party, we took Courtney and Judith to one of our favorite places "along the way."

Coldwater Creek is exactly what it says it is. A very cold water creek.

On hot, summer days, many families can be found dipping their feet and wading to cool off.

April may have been a little early to dip Judith's feet for the very first time.

August may be a little too early, too.

Dipping and wading is not her "thang."

RANDOMNESS #2 - Tuesdays with Judith - On this particular Tuesday, park-hopping was on our list of fun things to do.

A little pre-park-hopping-rocking was in order while Nana B finished getting everything ready.

I call this one, "BIG HAIR, DON'T CARE!"

The only way she can keep these glasses up is to wear them off to the side.

It isn't for me, but she definitely pulls it off.

I don't know who had more fun...


Or Judith.

Maybe it was a tie.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Keeping RT - As luck would have it, I was able to keep RT for an entire day last Friday.

It made both of us extremely happy.

This didn't happen until his Daddy came to pick him up and take him away.

If you have ever wondered, this is exactly what a broken heart looks like.

RANDOMNESS #4 - Early Easter - Sometimes when you celebrate Easter a week early...

Your new dining room table and chairs do not come in on time.

The perfect china for card tables and plastic table cloths is most definitely bright, colorful and disposable.

Every family present received an Easter Bucket with a little of this and a little of that for each family member.

Josh and Austin both received Rick Burgess' new book.

RT sat in the seat of honor on top of the table...

And he behaved beautifully.

Courtney made chocolate-covered, caramel-drizzled, crushed M & M sprinkled apple slices.


Melia contributed a delicious lemon-lime pound cake.



Aunt Melia read the Parable of the Easter Lily for our Easter story time.

Judith was totally engaged for the first five pages, and then she went AWOL.

And RT basically just passed out!

This is what reconnecting siblings look like.

Judith had a special Easter art project and she did a fabulous job...

Until Uncle Austin...

And Mommy decided to give it a try, too.

Then it was Cousin Time!

Don't ask.

And once again, someone upset Little Man by taking him away from Nana B.

Will they never learn?

Quotable Quotes

"I like having conversations with kids. Grown-ups never ask me what my third favorite reptile is." Simon Cholland

This one is SO true.

Pinterest Stuff


Adam and Eve Apple Stacker

Give each team 5 apples and have them do their best to stack them. The team with the most apples stacked in one minute wins.

NOTE - You could also have a person from each team eat an apple and the person who eats most of the apple in a minute wins.

Noah's Ark Animal Drop

For this one you will need 2 jars and a bunch of plastic animals.

Tape a picture of Noah's Ark to the outside of each jar.

Have each person put the jar beside their feet.

While standing very straight and tall, each person tries to drop an animal into the jar from their nose. The team with the most animals in the jar at the end of one minute wins.

Issac the Shepherd Gathers the Sheep

For this you will need 2 straws, 40 marshmallows and two plates.

Each person will have one minute to get 20 marshmallows (sheep) onto the plate (the pen) with the straw.

Word of God Peanut Butter

Luke 4:4 - "And Jesus answered him saying, 'It is written, that man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'"

For this challenge, smear peanut butter onto a piece of bread. Place it at the end of the table.

Each team has to bounce a ping pong ball across the table and get it to stick to the peanut butter. At the end of a minute, the team with the most ping pong balls on the peanut butter bread wins.

Stormy Seas Balloon Blowing

Mark 4:37 - "And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full."

Fold a boat out of paper. Each team places their boat on the edge of the table.

They use a large untied balloon to try to blow their boat across the table. Use the air in the balloon to push the boat.

If the balloon runs out of air, the team member has to blow it back up. The team that gets their boat the furthest at the end of a minute (without blowing it off the table) wins.

Easter Story Snack Mix

Pretzels – The cross. “He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.” Colossians 2:14 (NLT)

Craisins – Jesus’ blood.  “He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Ephesians 1:7 (NLT)

Ritz Cracker - The stone that was rolled away! “They found that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance.” Luke 24:2 (NLT)

White Jellybean or Mini Marshmallow – Our sins are washed away.  “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” 1 John 1:9 (NLT)

Goldfish – Be fishers of men. “Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!'” Matthew 4:19 (NLT)

Sweet Treat – He is risen! “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Psalm 34:8

Put everything into a large plastic Easter egg and hide the eggs. Tell the kids when they find an egg, come back to a specific place and wait until everyone has returned.

Sitting in a circle, have everyone open their egg and eat each snack piece (ONE AT A TIME and IN ORDER) while reading the verse and/or talking about what that particular snack piece means in the Story of Easter.

Have a great week! I'll be back soon with more, more, more.


The Enchanting Belinda
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