Saturday, September 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Avery!!

Seven years ago today, at precisely 12:12pm, a 8 lb 15 oz baby girl came bounding into our lives! This is the day that Avery was born! It kind of sounds like a lively event, huh? Well, it was that, and her life has been SO much more of THAT, too! Avery was described by her Papa Bill to her parents as, "she should have been born with a stop sign on her head" because she has, by far, been our most energetic little girl! She is vivacious, full of life, smiles all the time, is always in trouble for something, loves people, loves bugs, would live outdoors if you let her, competitive, always in motion, and so, so much more! Avery has brought a joy and life into our home, and sometimes we don't quite know what to do with all of that energy, and most times she humbles us because she gives us no warning what she will do in public, but Avery is Avery, and we wouldn't want her any other way.
She has made us so proud, too. She doesn't hold back in life. She gives it her all. She tries very hard at all she does. We couldn't be more proud of everything she has already been, is and will become.

She loves Jesus! We are so thankful that she has a desire to live for Him and do His will. She is often found huddled up with her sisters making plans how they will tell their friends about Jesus.
She loves her family! She may be the wild girl, but when the time comes she is ready to settle down, you'll find she is our cuddle bug. She loves to give hugs and curl up in our lap for some lovin'!
We are so thankful for Avery today and everyday. We want you to read this one day, Avery, and know that there is absolutely
NOTHING we would change about you. You make us want to laugh more, love more and enjoy life a little more each day. The day you were born was just as special as the day your sister's were born. You warmed our hearts with a smile that we're convinced you were born with! We will never forget going in your room to get you up each morning and there you would be looking up grinning from ear to ear. Nor will we forget the way you always want to be just like McKenna and Bailey, and the wonderful sister you are to take such good care of Quinn. We love hearing you and Addie talk on the phone and laugh your heads off over what happened at school that day, and when we look out the window and see you and Andrew catching, yet, another bug to "take care of."
We can't wait to see what God uses you to do. We would guess He's got big things in store for you! We pray you always seek after Him, live each day as a joy to serve Him and know He is always there for you.
These last 7 years have been a blast! You are always going to be our special girl! We hope that this birthday is your best ever! We love you!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tastes of Tuesday

Thought I would add a little more to my tastes of fall collection. Today, I'm adding Oreo Truffles. These are not exactly fall-ish, but you can certainly make them to fit the season by a drizzle of orange chocolate coating. Just use food coloring to tint vanilla coating, or buy the Wilton chocolate melts in a fall color. Anyway, these are absolutely fantastic. And trust me, if I'm passing along a dessert type recipe, it would have to be easy. I prefer to concentrate on the meal part of things rather than dessert, so I generally try to find something very easy. So, enjoy these few recipes I'm posting today, and be sure to check out my sister's post on Apple Squares. They sound like a must have!
Easy Oreo Truffles (courtesy Kraft Food and Family magazine)

1 pkg. Oreo chocolate sandwich
cookies, divided
1 pkg. 8oz. cream cheese, softened

2 pkg, 8 oz. each, semi-sweet baking chocolate melted
Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in a medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch diameter. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Refrigerate until firm, about an hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.
Sidenote: I have given these as teacher gifts. Once firmed, I place in a chinese take out box and tied a ribbon on the handle. I did this for Valentine's day, but it would be a sweet gesture anytime!!

Pumpkin Ooey Gooey Butter Cake (courtesy Paula Deen)
1 (18 1/4 oz) package yellow cake mix
1 egg
8 Tbsp. butter, melted

1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
8 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 (16oz) box powdered sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1tsp. nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, egg, and butter and mix well with an electric mixer. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan

To make the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and butter and beat together. Next, add the powdered sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and mix well. Spread pumpkin mixture over cake batter and bake for 40-50 minutes. Make sure not to over bake as the center should be a little gooey.
Serve with fresh whipped cream. This recipe will change your life!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This Week in Pictures

Thought we would catch you up on our week through pictures. Here's some highlights of our week with family and friends

Quinn is "hamming" it up for the camera. She was saying "Cheeeeeese."

McKenna, Bailey and their friend, Taylor, put on an outdoor "show" for us. Here, McKenna is demonstrating her scooter skills!

Bailey is doing the "one-footed" move on the bike

Bailey, Quinn, McKenna and Taylor

Our house...we still have our ferns hanging, but we're getting ready to put out pumpkins and hay very soon!!!! Can't wait!

What little table decor I have

Avery stole my camera again!

Quinn was enjoying a Blueberry Toaster Strudel

My dear friend, Karen, home from Southeast Asia where she serves as missionary/teacher. She'll always "pose" for the camera. We love having her around so we can laugh!!

Finally, my aunt gave me my first blog award (see Autumn award on right sidebar), and I'm to pass it on to some of my favorite blogs, so hopefully you'll read this and just copy and paste the award on your blog!
I'm just forwarding it to a couple of you, but feel free to award yourself at my expense if you want!!

Amy D.

Little Miss Lumbee, Drew!


The Greene's

Check back soon for a new fall recipe...maybe even today!
Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Yummy Fall Treat

Thought I would share one of my favorite treats for the fall. Of course, it is great in the winter months, too, when the coffee pot is never turned off at our house. Warning, though...this is not remotely healthy. It is, however, comforting, wafts a great aroma through the house and is just down right GOOD!
I have always sworn that I first had this at my Bridesmaid's Brunch when I got married, given to me by my aunt but she says that is not where I had it, but no matter where I had it, it became a household favorite of mine that I love to share with my friends when they are over. Not sure about the definitely do plop it in, though, but I wouldn't recommend it since your dealing with hot coffee! :) So, if you are in need of a great fall/winter treat, put on the coffee pot, grab a great book or magazine and treat yourself today!


1lb butter
1 box light brown sugar
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 qt. vanilla ice cream

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Most of you know that I love fall. I love it partly because I was born in the fall, so about the time my birthday comes, there's a sense of new beginning for me personally, as well as a sense of newness around me. There is no where else I would rather live than near the mountains when fall hits. I couldn't bear the thought of having to live in the desert or at the beach during the months of October and November. I would drive whatever distance to just seen the leaves change and smell the autumn air. I love the smell of people burning leaves this time of year, the smell of my Ooey Gooey Pumpkin Cake in the oven and the turkey in the fryer at Thanksgiving. So, for the next few weeks I'll be posting some of my favorite fall activities and recipes. Today, take a look at these pumpkins that the girls and I made yesterday. We had fun putting our own personal touch on them. The big pumpkin is one that I made last year.
I'll be pulling my fall decorations out this week, too. I know that fall doesn't officially start until next week, but I cannot wait! We're starting NOW!
So, what's your favorite part of fall? Have any family traditions you want to share?
Each year I like to add another tradition or favo
rite to the season, so I'm always looking for new ideas. Feel free to steal mine if you like! :) Can't wait to get started....Let's go! It's Fall Y'all! (Sorry, couldn't resist!)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Were You When...

We've all heard, and even said, "I remember where I was..." when such and such happened. It may be a song that takes us back, or a smell, or just a moment where time stands still and we remember. For me, I remember where I was when our country changed forever...when evil took over and lives were ripped from families and fear replaced security. I know where I was on September 11, 2001. We lived in Dillon, SC and I was expecting my third daughter, Avery. I was so close to my due date that I was miserable. To compound everything, I had been on about six weeks of bed rest already and I just wanted some relief. My Mama had traveled down from Richmond, VA to take care of me and relieve my mind of all I needed to do. We had gotten into a morning routine of breakfast for the girls and sipping coffee and watching the Today Show for us. The mood of the news everyday at 8:30-ish was always low key, entertainment related, but this particular morning the mood was so much different. The air was heavy with tension and attempts to remain calm, but it's as though we knew in that moment that our lives would be forever changed. Fear immediately overtook me as I sat, without blinking, watching the news. I thought, "Surely they are talking about some other country...NOT ours!!" The truth of that day just kept getting worse and worse as more attacks were later reported. No one could believe it.
For me, bringing a child into the world...very soon...I went from wanting to have her right then, to "stay inside forever, my precious girl...stay where you are safe." I don't know how long it takes for us to truly grasp all that day has changed for us, because I definitely think the changes are still presenting themselves to this day, but this one thing is what I took away from it all.
People were flocking to churches, to spiritual friends, and whatever and whomever could offer them peace. I remember looking across the street from my bedrest spot and seeing more cars in our church parking lot than I ever remember seeing before. People were coming out in the droves just to talk to God. It didn't take a whole lot of time, however, that we, once again, forgot that He's never changed from being the Peacespeaker. He speaks it everyday. If we only knew how He speaks it over our life each day, we would be shocked. It took horrible events, that in no way He ordained, to draw our attention back on Him and our need for Him.
I remember when I lived in Venezuela, I longed for my country, the United States. I would hear the national anthem on TV, or on trips back to the States, and I would bow my head and weep...I still do. I believe in "one Nation under God." I believe in a country that was founded on His truth. No amount of attacks or terrorism will change that for me. Today, I am remembering lives lost, places changed and more than anything, a God who never has changed.

In our church this month we are doing the 30 challenge of "One Month to Live." It's true that sickness, death, attacks on our country all shape how we they serve as reminders of why we are here in the first place. Today, as you remember 9/11, what is God showing you? Is He reminding you of something...a promise, a conviction, a truth...that would prompt you to live your life differently? I pray that today you take time to remember...not just horrible events of a day 7 years ago, but that you remember the horrible, yet REDEMPTIVE, event of thousands of years ago when Jesus came and gave His very life so that we'd be set free. It's an event I cannot forget.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Fall TV

I have never hidden the fact that I am a little addicted to TV. I have been known to plan my life around least I did before I had DVR. I enjoy lounging in front of the tube watching my favorite shows, while sipping some good coffee, year around! Here's a little of what I have been watching lately:

Deal or No Deal: Was I the only one that got a little excited to see Jessica Robertson
win the first million on the show. I have nothing to hide from you...I CRIED! I love to see people happy. She was pregnant with her second child. I am so surprised she didn't go into labor right then!

Prison Break
: I've told you before, Jeff and I love this show. We planned to be home by 8pm
on Labor Day just to see the season premiere, which was two hours long. We ran a little late from being at a friend's house, so I was really grateful for my DVR that night.

Football: We have been watching some football around here lately. Our season started with a Thursday night game for the Gamecocks. They looked like a bunch of girls playing the first half, but played a little better the second half...good enough to beat NC State (with love, for Resia!). We have been watching some Wake Forest football, too. That's on the agenda today. We have a special friend who plays for them. Look for #67. We think he's great! Oh, and Resia, we'll be cheering for Wake when they play State, too!

Rachael Ray, Oprah, etc: My talk shows start back up on Monday! Yay. I know that Oprah is not everyone's favorite, nor is she mine, but I can't wait to see her time with our US Olympic gold medal winners on Monday. Rachael Ray starts up, too, and I'm just a sucker for a new recipe.

So much more TV to come...Biggest Loser, Lost (in the winter); Survivor; American Idol (January); ER ( I have watched this show since it premiered in '92, as I was studying for a psychology exam); House; Tori and Dean (that's a bit of a guilty obsession, but it completely amuses me)
Oh, and for the inquisitive minds out there, my girls go to bed at 8pm, so yes, I do have time for all of this TV!!

There's so much great TV to watch. What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I am just having one of those weeks, I guess. I wanted to post pictures to prove it to you, in fact, but I have no batteries for my camera, so I'll take some pictures later. The second I get past the fact of what just happened, something else happens. I guess you eventually get to the point that you really don't care anymore and you can just laugh things off, like I'm trying to do.

It all started on Tuesday. Jeff and I were to host our Life Group that night, so I had some preparations to do, some errands to run, and some organizing to do so that I could even let people into my home that night. Was it a full moon on Tuesday? I really don't know, but if I was a bettin' person... My kids were under the influence of something, bless 'em! As I was trying to cut up sausage, lay out ingredients and peel my shrimp for the shrimp and grits dish I was making, everything else around me just exploded. The girls were in and out, in and out. They were calling each other names. Everyone kept getting hurt, so there was a lot of crying going on...not to mention the constant "Mama, can I...?" I was getting a little on edge, let's say. I needed Jeff home to take care of crowd control. Did I mention the entire neighborhood's kids were coming in and out, in and out? But Jeff wasn't due home for another thirty minutes when all of this was going on. So, I just tried to plug along and "git 'er done." I managed to get my prep work done and my friend, Beva, came over a little early! Thank the good Lord above that she did. I put on the grits and they decided to clump, so Beva patiently stirred and stirred some more and got those clumps all out! I put on the sausage and shrimp, and as Beva will testify, one of those shrimp jumped right out of the pot! I threw it back in though and "took care of it."
Dinner miraculously was finished without another hitch, but when I went to pour myself some water, I lifted the cup to my mouth and tried to drink it from my neck instead! There was a witness. Allison saw it all. Had a little giggle at my expense, but I'm OK with that. If you can't laugh at yourself...really! Little did I know that once everyone left that I'd find yet another mess I was responsible for. I had put up my mildew cleaner from cleaning the bathroom that afternoon. It, apparently, tipped over and leaked out all over my brand new bath rug, giving it a nice new white circle! I was irrate! Do you know how much bath rugs cost? Yes, I laughed it off...until I went to the bathroom and discovered I had my underwear wrong side out all day. Full moon?? Pun intended, yes! Thank goodness the rest of the evening went on without me making another mess of things, but there's always Wednesday....

I woke up Wednesday super tired, but really ready to get some stuff accomplished, so I headed out to be productive. Jeff called me and told me that he needed his football shirt for the game they were having last night, so I told him I'd take care of it. Well, I took care of it alright. I had not washed it yet, so I decided to go ahead and do that before I met my sister for lunch. I unloaded some things that I had been keeping in the washing machine waiting on a full load, and did a load of whites/lights instead. I discovered, however, when the load was done that I apparently had not removed everything. I did not see the cherry red rug underneath a light colored sheet that I had left in there! I can now officially say that I have pinkened my first load of laundry, and Jeff's football shirt now looks like he coaches a girls' football team instead of a boys'. If anyone knows how to remove pink from just about anything, let me know. I have used OxiClean and bleach....FIVE TIMES! I got just about no change...very little change!

You know, it's just things like all of this that make me wonder if McKenna's "zip zero" comment (see yesterday's post) isn't true. I am almost scared to face today. I have already sneezed 192 times this morning and my eyes are watering something awful. I did knock Quinn over...pretty hard...but I didn't see her there. Maybe I should crawl back in bed! I don't know, but I know one thing. I will be taking a closer look at my underwear, my rugs and my cooking from now on.
Yep...if you can't laugh at yourself...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Zip Zero

We had our life group last night at our home. We meet here every Tuesday right now until our host's home gets ready...they just moved in. Anyway, after group McKenna came down from staying upstairs with the babysitter and she stood in the kitchen talking to my friend, Beva, and me. We were discussing Beva's root canal that she had had earlier that day. Beva was explaining to Kenna the procedure done, and it prompted Kenna's memory of learning about cells during science class that day. She began to explain how simple, small blows to the head could cause a warp in brain cells. I really was half paying attention to the particulars, though. I hear "science class" and I have bad flashbacks to my own days in science! I did tell Kenna that having babies makes one lose a degree of brain cells. She was like, "huh?" I told her that each time I had a baby, I lost my brain cells and couldn't think straight, to which she replied, "Mom, you must be what they call a 'zip zero'." Beva and I busted out laughing. McKenna was being serious about her studies, but didn't think how I must feel to be called a "zip zero." Well, I didn't feel too good. I told her now must be the time for me to just lay up in bed and never move again. At this point I pretty much feel like a "good for nothin'" thanks to my four kids. Wonder what they would call me if I had a fifth kid? Let's not find out!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Library Time

Quinn and I have now tried to start going to the library every Tuesday for Toddler time. We didn't get to go last school year because Quinn always napped during that time of the day, so now we needed something to do to make this little bundle of energy FOCUS! :) She has not, up to this point, gotten the purpose of going, which is to listen to the stories. Thank goodness that every other book, there is a song. I think my baby is musically inclined. She likes to boogie, so when she hears the songs in the library time, she completely FOCUSES! My friend, Barbie, takes her boys, Aiden and Austin and Quinn now thinks that she goes to see them so that she can steal their snacks! Yes, I take her snack for all you moms sitting out there questioning my parenting right now. She just doesn't like the snacks I take her, OK? She likes what everyone else has instead. I think I am going to have to start slipping Barbie a $5 each month so she can buy snacks for Quinn. Anyway, library time today was slightly stressful for me because of Quinn's insistence on getting Aiden's snack. Even when the librarian passed out Animal Crackers, Quinn couldn't manage to FOCUS on those either. As a matter of fact, she walked around with them until she tripped over a mat and horses, rhinos and dogs went flying everywhere! It's funny how when it's your kid that "acts up", you get all of these stares from the other mothers and you just wonder what they are thinking. My thoughts are, "if you would've just made her sit down" or "she must not be read to very often" or, quite possibly this is the one "she must be the baby in her family." The looks are the reasons that I shy away from these mom's groups in the first place. Most every one I have ever been a part of results in the LOOK! I despise the look. By the fourth baby, you pretty much could care less if your child eats what is "right", has a clean face all day, or has 6 hours of stimulation each day. As a matter of fact, I'm letting my child sit in front the TV in the other room right now as I blog. There may be food all over the floor when I return, but I'm good with that.
Let me, in turn, tell you what I love about Quinn right now. She definitely talks all the time. Yes, she talks all of the time because I talk all of the time to her. She sings all day long...something to the sound of "do, do, do." She goes down for nap and bedtime each day wanting to pray.."pay, pay," she says. She calls me "Mama" all day, too...then it's on to "Daddy" when Jeff comes home. She picks up a camera and says, "cheese." I just really love everything about this baby. She is a hoot, and she knows it! I am so thankful for this little ray of sunshine that God blessed us with. She might be a stinker in the library, but I'll think we'll keep her! :)