Thursday, January 25, 2018

Leftover RT Pics from December, And She Sleeps, Nana B Stuff (Nana B Book Club), Pinterest Stuff (Object Lesson - Making Room for Jesus) AND Blog Linkage

Good Wednesday morning!

RANDOMNESS #1 - Leftover RT Pics from December - I love the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Playset.

Love it, I say!

I set it up on an ottoman in the den for the Grand-Tots to play with, all the while explaining to them about the Angel, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus...

You get the picture.

Judith was very much getting the overall idea of what Christmas was all about this past year, even learning about the gifts the Wise Men brought from afar. (I loved hearing her say "frankincense.") Her first stop every visit to the house was the Nativity.

Much like his older cousin, RT's first stop every visit to the house was also the Nativity. However, his reasons were very, very different.

For this little bit of RANDOMNESS, RT's nickname will be "Destructo."

I caught him mid-swipe in this pic. You can see the left arm in position to totally annihilate the Nativity.

This pic is a total blur. Everything in this picture is motion in progress.

Wise Men - Gone.

Camel - Gone.

Angel - Still atop the manger, but only because Nana interrupted.

You can see some of the remnants of the Nativity in this pic, and by the expression on Destructo's face, I can tell you it will only be a few more seconds before everything else flies off the ottoman...

Baby Jesus and Angel included.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

RANDOMNESS #2 - And She Sleeps - Judith is an "on the go" little girl, but when she sleeps, she sleeps very, very soundly.

I love to watch her while she's sleeping.

Blog Linkage - Go to www.kellehampton.com and read her post entitled, "I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Museum of Ice Cream." I think this museum has been in three cities so far, and I am hoping one day it will be close enough for Central Alabamians to visit.

Anyway, the pictures are great and it looks like so much fun.

Let me know if you ever hear of it making an appearance a little closer to us than Miami...

And I will do the same.

Nana B Stuff

Okay. I'm starting a new heading today called "Nana B Stuff." This is not to be confused with the old heading "Nana B Stories." The two are totally different.

I'll put an idea I'm using with the Grand-Tots (or that I've heard from other Grandmothers) on A Simple Life now and again. Always remember, like many of my "ideas," most of them are borrowed or tweaked. The "original idea" part of my brain isn't what is used to be, but as long as I can read and listen, I think I'll be okay!

I've decided to start a Nana B Book Club for the Grand-Tots as soon as they turn three. My plan is to send Judith a book and a card/letter/note/picture via snail-mail on the first of each and every month. As soon as RT turns three, I will begin sending him a book in the mail, too.

And so on and so on and so on.

I've always loved getting mail AND reading, so I thought it would be something to share with the little ones.

Pinterest Stuff

I found the following Object Lesson (and many others) on a blog you can find at www.meaningfulmama.com. From what I can tell, she has a lot of really good ideas.

Mary and Martha Object Lesson - Making Room for Jesus and Learning about Hospitality

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

The first Bible story that came to mind when thinking of hospitality was the story of Martha and Mary found in Luke 10:38-42. This is a short story about Jesus going to visit Martha and Mary. Martha ran around making everything perfect for the Lord. Mary just sat with Jesus and spent time with him. Martha became upset and complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping at all. Jesus told Martha she was worrying about all the wrong things. Jesus commended Mary for spending time with Him. This relates not only to the importance of putting God first in our lives, but also speaks of hospitality. If we are running around doing all the stuff, we don’t get to enjoy our guests and build relationships, which is so important.

1. All you need is a container with a lid, a small bowl, some rice or sand and 3 balls or rocks. I used ping pong balls.

2. Have the kids put the balls in the container (I used a small mason jar), and then fill the container to the brim with your rice or sand. Everything fits great.

3. Next, have them dump all the contents into a small bowl. Remove the balls and have them put only the rice back in the container. Tell them to put the balls back into the container.

The balls don’t fit. The larger objects represent God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The rice represents all of the other stuff in our lives. When we put the other stuff as the priority, nothing is left over for God. However, when we put God as the priority, the other stuff can fall into place around Him.

I also related this to hospitality. If we get so caught up in the small stuff, the real priority (our guests) will be lost because we don’t spend time with them. We get too caught up in doing other things and don’t build relationships.

Try and prep well beforehand so by the time your guests arrive you can focus on them.

I cannot wait to try this one.

Have a great rest of the week. I will talk to you very soon!


The Enchanting Belinda

Monday, January 15, 2018

Quotable Quotes, Blog Linkage, Italian Chicken Bowls, Crockpot Hot Vanilla, Little Man Had a Birthday, That Time We Went to Top Golf Without Reservations and Ended Up at the Bowling Alley AND Cousin Love

Good Monday afternoon!

I have had a very nice, cold January weekend, and I am not being sarcastic.

I love me some good winter weather as long as there is a very good heat source when I sit down to sip a piping hot cup of lavender and honey tea.

Without the heat source and/or the cup of tea, I, along with everyone else in Alabama, would much prefer spring or fall temps.

Since we've dispensed with the obligatory "weather" conversation, let's move on to the post, shall we?

I'm going to do the Randomness and the pics at the end of the post again. I may decide to do it this way from now on, but as of this moment, I am still undecided.

Quotable Quotes - Since RT had a Peter Pan-themed birthday party recently, I decided to share the quote Melia used on the back of his invites. I've always loved it!

"Little boys should never be sent to bed. They always wake up one day older." Peter Pan

I wholeheartedly agree with Peter.

Blog Linkage

1. Go to Nesting Place under My Blog Linkage and read her last post entitled, "3 Hardworking Pieces For Every Home." I especially like the ladder with throws for the porch or covered deck area.

2. Go to Confessions of a Pioneer Woman under My Blog Linkage and take a look at her last post entitled, "And I Would Caulk Five Hundred Tiles."

Aren't those bathrooms going to be beautiful? Staying in the new Boarding House is way up there on my Bucket List.

I'll let you know when I plan on going, and maybe we can carpool!

Italian Chicken Bowls

You will need the following:

1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons basil
2 teaspoons marjoram
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup plum tomatoes
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4 cups cooked rice of choice (optional)

1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix salt, pepper, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and paprika.

3. Place the chicken and veggies in the baking dish. Sprinkle all the spices and garlic evenly over the chicken and veggies. Drizzle with the olive oil.

4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until chicken is cooked, and veggies are slightly charred.

5. Broil 1 to 2 minutes to brown chicken.

6. Place 1/2 or 1 cup of cooked rice of choice into 4 individual meal prep containers.

7. Divide chicken and veggies evenly on top of the rice.

8. Cover and store in the fridge for 3 to 5 days or serve for dinner!

NOTE - I have made this twice now, and the second time I used a small packet of Zesty Italian Seasoning in place of all of the spices named above. It was delicious both times.

Crockpot Hot Vanilla Recipe

You will need the following:

5 cups milk
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup hot water
6 to 7 teaspoons vanilla
2 to 3 cinnamon sticks

1. Combine sugar and hot water in large pan. Stir, and bring to gentle boil.

2. Transfer mixture to crockpot. Add milk, cinnamon sticks and vanilla.

3. Stir, then cook on high for 2 hours (or low for 4 hours).

4. Pour into mugs, then top with whipped cream and sprinkle cinnamon on top of the whipped cream!

I made this for the last two Christmas Eve Family Brunch's I've hosted, and it has been a pretty big hit.

This recipe only serves five, so feel free to double it because several people may want seconds.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Little Man Had a Birthday - That's right. It has already been a year since RT came to be, and what a sweet year it has been.

Mimi gets the "Most Photogenic Grandparent Award." So pretty.

Since it was a Peter Pan Party, pirate mustaches were a must.

Courtney and Judith wore them well...

As did Zac.

The Smash Cake was a hit.

He didn't so much "smash" it as "savor it leisurely using only one finger."

Don't think for a minute RT didn't inform Sawyer, "The green cupcakes for the guests are at the table over to my left, Bro."

I think play time with Judith, Sawyer and RT went very well. There was a lot of passing by each other, pat-pat-patting on the heads and no fighting.

That's highly successful for a three, eighteen months and one year-old, I think.

RANDOMNESS #2 - That Time We Went to Top Golf Without Reservations and Ended Up at the Bowling Alley - Roxie planned a family trip to Top Golf for the Sunday before she went back to school. We aren't golfers, but we were all game, and even excited once we went into the new facility...

Where we learned about reservations being highly recommended 72 hours prior to arrival.

That was okay.

We are much better bowlers...

And with Spring Break just around the corner, I think we can make Top Golf happen in the near future.

Full disclosure...

There's an adult hand on the bottom of Judith's bowling ball.

I didn't want you to think she had super-human strength or anything.

It didn't matter if she hit one pin or all of the pins, RT was a great cheerleader for his Momma.

The serious pic...

And the happy pic.

Judith trying to quickly order pizzas before we left the Bowling Alley.

And Uncle Austin promising her we could order pizza next time.

RANDOMNESS #3 - Cousin Love - Judith and I recently visited Sawyer at Beebo's house, and we had a very sweet time.

I hope you and yours have a most wonderful week.

Talk to you soon.


The Enchanting Belinda

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Revisited, And Just Like That... Judith is Three AND Quotable Quotes

Good Friday afternoon!

RANDOMNESS #1 - 2017 Revisited - I'm going to revisit 2017 with a pic or two (or three) from each month. The past year always looks so much better when I go through my photos and find the moments I've forgotten about. (The forgetting part is becoming more and more frequent.)

January 2017

For all the sadness 2017 contained, it was extremely wonderful the year started out with the birth of Little Man.

February 2017


He was definitely a keeper.

Austin turned 26 in February, and Melia hosted a birthday party for him.

March 2017

March isn't a huge "event" month for our family, so pictures I loved the most in that month were of the Grand-Tots...

And Mikie.

April 2017

When it was all said and done, April was about Mrs. Faulkner's birthday, Easter AND lovin' on the babies.

May 2017

If April was about Mrs. Faulkner, Easter and babies, May was definitey about The MotherWalk, Mother's Day and Baby Dedication.

June 2017

Mike and I went to Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio (just because).

Well, mainly to meet Fiona, the new baby hippo at The Cincinnati Zoo.

This picture is of her mother.

Fiona didn't make an appearance the day we went, and I'm still trying not to be bitter about it.

And I'm still having difficulty!

Roxie spent nine weeks this past summer in Asheville, North Carolina as a Camp Counselor, so Mike and I also went there for a weekend visit.

Unlike Baby Hippo Fiona, The Chick showed up!

July 2017

What is there to say?

Fourth of July and 5th Annual Lake Vacation.

Both without Roxie.

Heavy, heavy, sigh.

August 2017

In August, we moved Roxie back to Auburn AND I turned 56...

So we all ate at Niki's West.

(Roxie isn't in the picture because she took the picture. I wanted to make sure you knew she was in attendance!)

September 2017

Roxie turned 21...

And Judith and RT got bigger and cuter.

October 2017

If there was a Halloween festivity, WE did it, attended it and/or ate at it!

November 2017

Mike and I spent a few days in the middle of a November week at a beautiful farm in Chelsea.

Horses, cats, cattle, goats, lots of walking and sitting by the fireplace.

So, so nice.

We also enjoyed Thanksgiving in Oxford with the great-nieces, great-nephews and a grand-tot.

Remember when you were five and you would just leap for no reason whatsoever, and your hair would fly out behind you.

Me neither, but it was fun to watch.

December 2017

The perfect early December snow day with Mikie...

And Christmas.

RANDOMNESS #2 - And Just Like That... Judith is Three - And my heart is happy and kinda sad all at the same time.

Pre-birthday cake cupcake.

This may or may not have been a big mistake.

Sweetest three year-old I currently know!

Quotable Quotes - "My kids don't need to see a Supermama. They need a Mama who needs a super God."

Okay. This is quite possibly the longest post I've ever put together. (Mostly pictures, I know, but still very long.)

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend, and I will talk to you soon!


The Enchanting Belinda

P.S. Next week I will have pics from Little Man's first birthday party.

I say this about all of them, but this year has gone by even more quickly than the others, I think!
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