Thursday, September 30, 2010

Signs Signs Everywhere are Signs

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Burberry Quilted Jacket

I just love the timeless Burberry quilted jacket. Now that I live where the climate is warm, this sort of coat makes more sense than my three in one ski jacket. It's more uptown than my fabulous Patagonia fleece. However, I wonder if it will keep me warm? At what temperature do I need a warmer jacket? I'd love your input! Please do tell!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

This week's tip is something we all already know. If you have a special someone in your life, whether it be a spouse or someone you are dating, it's important to take time for dates ALONE. Now Mama Henley loves family time. It is my favorite thing in the world because I know where all my little ducklings are and my man is with me. Nonetheless, as a married couple, DH and I need time alone. It doesn't have to be for a weekend or overnight, though both of those are great. However, couples will really thrive if they have at least one date night a month. I realize not everyone can afford sitters or can relax with one in their home, but it is so important to have couple time. This is a time where no one is wiping bottoms, or cutting someone else's meat, or talking on the phone. Uninterrupted time together is so important. It reminds us why we fell in love in the first place. We feel young and energetic and probably get to enjoy a good meal or at least a cup of coffee.
Make the time. We're all busy. I hate that word because it so overused. Yes, our days are long and full. I get it. I'm on my 6th load of laundry in one day and have emptied the dishwasher twice. I watch DH with his full work days that can spill into the evening. I just think it's important to guard that time with one another. Carve it out. Give up something else and make your special someone realize just how special they are. You'll be glad you did. Now back to you're regularly scheduled Tuesday's Tip.... (just be glad I didn't address S... E.... X on this one... I will one of these days! )

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Favorites

In the heart of fall, I love love love to go to a football game. There is nothing like a home game in Sanford Stadium unless it's the 2010 season! This year our Dawgs are having a hard time. Nonetheless, it is always fun to be between the hedges. It brings back memories of butterflies during a first date, a fight between 2 fraternities, band parties, great Guthrie's chicken fingers, TBone's grilled chicken salad after the game, and dressing up in dresses and hats for a football game. We'd wake up early to do our hair and put on dresses to go sit and watch football. I love it. Pledges wore coat and tie and looked all spiffy. As the crowd roared, "GOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS!!! Sic' em!! Woof Woof Woof!", the hair on your arms would stand at attention. There is no better place to be on a Saturday than at a football game in Sanford Stadium.

My favorite game was the Clemson/Ga. night game in 1991 on October 5th. What a fun night!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today was planned MONTHS AGO. I had planned to board a plane and fly to a destination to which I had never been, to meet 4 women whom I have never met in person. Plans were put in place, emails were exchanged, and ferry schedules were secured. I could not WAIT to hug the cute necks of Bevy, Jess, KK, and Gabi!!! I could not wait to meet this FAB FOUR in person. After all, I know all about their struggles, their triumphs, their families, and their dreams. We have connected in the blog world and become fast friends.

Sometimes life does not go as planned. This weekend, reserved months ago, was suddenly filled with obligations. The obligations are all happy ones, but I realized a few weeks ago that I needed to be here. Tomorrow I will help with our school bake sale. Tonight I will help our littles as they work through their homework. I am happy to be here where I am needed. However, I am sad that my dream did not come to fruition. It's tough when that happens.

Nonetheless, I can always see God's hand in things. He knew my husband's schedule for this week. He knew how many things would break and need repair men at our house. He knew that a child would struggle with school and really need me. He knew it all.

This afternoon I called my sweet friends. They greeted me with loud yells and happy screams. Their meeting began with bloody mary's on the ferry. And I was not there. KK sent me a fabulous gift. She has no idea how perfect it because I had one just like it that recently broke! Thank you, KK. I sent virtual hugs to my virtual friends. I hung up the phone and cried. I cried because I was sad to miss it, not because I'm in the wrong place. I know I'm supposed to be here. But it is sad. And it hurts. And one day, I'm going to make this virtual friendship a reality.

You girls have so much FUN!!!!!!!! And get to blogging!!!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One Woman, One Oven...

One woman, one oven, 2 days, ELEVEN pound cakes! Let the baking marathon begin!!! We're having a great Bake Sale at our school on Friday! We sold so many cakes and pies!! Can you believe it?!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

Good Morning, y'all!!! DH and I had the best dinner out last night to celebrate knowing each other for 20 years! With the bad economy, people are eating out less. People are also using coupons more. I have always been a coupon queen, though there are many who have mastered the art as well or better than I have. However, for those of you who are new to using coupons, you may like to know some tips. Even if you don't need to save, it's always nice to have extra money in your own pocket instead of in the grocery store's proverbial pocket!
When you walk around your local store, take note of blinkies, which come out of the small machines and are located near certain products. Resist the urge to use the coupon right away unless you need that item for something you are making that week. Most likely that item will go on sale in the new future and you can use your blinkie then and save an even higher percentage on that item.
You will also notice that some items carry coupons on them that you peel off of the package. Keep your eyes open for these. These are called peelies.
At the register sometimes a coupon will print. These are called "Catalinas". This is another coupon you can save for future purchases. If you shop at Publix, Target, CVS, Walmart, Harris Teeter and most other stores, you can use a STORE coupon with a MANUFACTURER'S coupon to further your savings. Sometimes this results in an item being free for you!
Be sure to read any local newspapers or catalogs that you receive. Often they will have coupons as well. A local paper has $5 off $50 of groceries. I used 3 yesterday to save $15 off of $150 of groceries! The groceries would have cost over $300, but I used coupons to get them down to $150 and then saved $15 more! That's a lot of savings!! Think of it as saving up for a new pair of Revas!
If your children like Chick Fil A, they are GREAT about coupons. Ours prints them in a local circular. The best part is that Chick Fil A will take expired coupons. They will also take coupons that are designated for another store. They will even allow you to use more than 1 coupon at a time!
I hope you have a great Tuesday and save some $$$$!!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Today I Met the Boy I Was To Marry....

As a freshman in college in 1990, I was bound and determined to find my place. Chi Omega became my sorority and I was thrown into a group of 52 pledge sisters. Chi O was great, but my heart wanted more. In high school I enjoyed being in Bible Studies, EYC, and Young Life. My best friend and I started searching for a college ministry we could enjoy. The first week of classes, we visited several ministries around campus.
Thursday night rolled around and we went to another meeting. F is always running a little late, so we sat at the back of the auditorium. We settled in our seats and I spit out my gum and put it in a scrap of paper from the program. A group of young guys filtered in late and sat behind us. The cutest one leaned forward and asked if I had an extra program. I responded with a sarcastic tone that he could have the program that I had used for my gum. He became intrigued. Afterwards, he found me and told me to find him before I left. His sweet smile and Polo plaid shirt were emblazoned in my mind forever.
That fall we started dating but we did not become serious until January 1991. Several break-ups ensued and many tears were cried. I always knew I would marry him! Today is the day we met TWENTY YEARS ago! I can hardly believe it. Tonight I am surprising my sweet husband with dinner out. I am thankful for the love he has showed me, the way he has strengthened my faith, the way he blesses us every single day. I am truly blessed!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Where I love to be in the Fall...

It is fall! It may not feel like Fall here in Florida, but the official start of fall is just days away. Students have been back at school for weeks. College football is in full swing. Some places in the country are actually enjoying the cool fall air and the leaves may even be beginning to change. Being a fall baby, I've always had a special affinity to fall.

In the fall, I love to enjoy the crisp cool air. Places like this invite me to come and visit:

The Homestead is one of America's treasures. It is a great old hotel that has welcomed presidents and peons like Mama Henley!:) The Hot Springs beckon you for a dip and the grounds of this grande dame beckon you to walk and sit and visit. DH and I went one year in early spring and it snowed during our visit! We loved walks on the grounds in the crisp mountain air. The spa was lovely. Our room was beautifully relaxing. The food was incredible!
At night we enjoyed dancing at dinner in the Main Dining Room. We often retired for after dinner drinks in the President's Lounge where 22 US Presidents have also indulged. The Player's Pub is the perfect place for younger guests or to check the score on the big game.
If you love golf or bowling or cinema, the Homestead offers all of it. There are nightly movies to be enjoyed. You can visit the Gun Club, go on a hike, ride bikes, or ride horses. During your visit, you will not be bored unless you choose to do absolutely nothing!
I also love that children can learn to ski on their ski slope or just enjoy a day of snow tubing!

The Homestead is truly a place for everyone. It is calling my name!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fat Friday

The Tampa Bay area is home to many fabulous beaches. You must come and enjoy a swim in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico! We just love it here. The weather is especially fabulous in the late fall and early winter. One of our favorite family activities is exploring the areas around us. We love visiting new beaches and eating at different restaurants.
However, we keep coming back to FRENCHY'S in Clearwater. Their grouper sandwich just can't be beat!!! Frenchy's has 4 locations because it is just that good. They are famous for their grouper sandwiches which can be served grilled, blackened, or fried. Grouper is low in saturated fat and is a good source of vitamins B6 & B12, phosphorus, potassium, protein and selenium. Frenchy's four restaurants each serve about 1,40 pounds of grouper fillets per week! WOW!!!!!

Despite the oil spill, Frenchy's grouper has remained safe. They have had it tested several times and the oil has not affected our fish here. Our favorite location is the Frenchy's that is right on the beach.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Calling

As parents, our pride makes us want our children to be the BEST... the BEST soccer player, the quickest learner, the most accomplished pianist, the most graceful ballerina, the one who reads the most books in his or her class, the best artist, et cetera. If you search deeply, I believe we can all admit to wanting "the BEST". As a Christian, I am continually reminded that scores on tests or goals on the field are not as important as the condition of my child's heart. The world tells us that success equals being the BEST and having the highest IQ and best skill set. Thankfully the Lord reminds us in His word, that a relationship with Him, and living our life for Him alone, is most important. As a mama, I often battle with my sinful desires for the BEST.

Since school has started, our dear teachers have called about two of our little ducklings. One is a little frustrated in reading and needs extra reinforcement at home. The other does not learn as quickly as her siblings. New concepts take her a little bit longer to sink in, and we need to reinforce those skills at home too, especially in Math. Being an education major is not the most exciting or thrilling of majors. It definitely does not promote worldly financial success. How thankful I am that I AM a teacher, and that I CAN encourage our little ones at home! God has given me the skills. I just need to use them. I often beat myself up because I have always possessed these skills, and yet with 5 children in 5 years, I tend to spend more time folding their clothes and cooking their meals than I do calling out phonograms and math facts. Yes, these phone calls are difficult, but I am thankful for them. What a gentle reminder that our children are ours for a short time. Their education rests on DH and my shoulders, not the teacher's shoulders. At the end of the day, we are their primary educators. Our teachers are there to assist us. What a blessing that our children go to a school where the largest class size is 13. One of their classes has just six students! How amazing! They are being taught a Classical Christian education where their minds are engaged at the learning stage they are in right now. Their teachers care enough to make that phone call and ask for our help at home.

Yes, I feel like I have failed our 2 little ones in some ways. But how great that God can redeem that. He has equipped me. He is gently reminding me that our children are more important than anything. Their self-worth is in the Lord, and I can encourage that by helping them sharpen their skills and by reminding them of their true worth. I am thankful to know that this is a time to circle our little ducklings and spend even more time ENGAGING them, not just co-existing with them. Often as mothers we co-exist as we work on our committee work or laundry or whatever. There is a balance. One must do our daily tasks, but I even more committed to spending more planned one-on-one time with them.

I have also made a goal to have very few weekday playdates. Their homework is more difficult this year, and we need time to relax at home, have a snack, have a little exercise and then to work on our school work. With 5 children, reading with each one 20 minutes equals one hour and 40 minutes! I am called to be home, engaged with our little ones. I am just thankful that I am aware of my calling! How is the Lord calling you this fall?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dear City of Tampa,

Dear City of Tampa,

We have a beautiful city situated on two gorgeous bays. The views from our streets are breathtaking with the mix of Spanish moss and water. Driving on Bayshore Boulevard can't help but make you smile and thank the good Lord that you live in such a beautiful city. However, there is an epidemic in our dear city. On every major street corner, panhandlers are there with signs begging for money. They weave through the traffic. Many of these beggers appear to be in good enough health to hold a steady job. They could work at a fast food restaurant or find a job with a landscaping company. Nonetheless, our city allows them to beg on busy street corners, so why should they work? In fact, someone has even been kind enough to give all of the city panhandlers NEON VESTS to wear! What in the world?!
I am not trying to be insensitive to the economic plight of others. Believe me, we are all cutting back. I WANT these people to have food and shelter. However, what I do not want is to have to face them when I am a female alone in my car or when I am carrying my precious children with me. I feel threatened. They walk in between rows of cars. One time we offered a meal to one of them and another time we offered a bag of clothes. Both offers were refused. If you are refusing food, then you are not truly hungry. If you are hungry, our city has shelters and organizations and more importantly, churches, that will help. I am scared that I am either going to be hurt by one of these people who is angered when I don't help or I am going to accidentally hit one of them as they walk through busy traffic.
Please, City of Tampa, do something to stop this mess! It is dangerous for the panhandlers and for me!

With Much Appreciation,

Mama Henley

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

GOOOOOOOO Dawgs!!!! It's football season, y'all!! Football usually means cooler weather, cute outfits, happy fans, Guthrie's chicken fingers, and boiled peanuts. My man LOVES some boiled Georgia peanuts. There is not much he likes better during a football wing than boiled peanuts. You need GREEN peanuts to make boiled peanuts. If you're not in Georgia, they can be a bit trickier to find in your local grocery store. Sometimes Fresh Market will carry them. Making boiled peanuts is easy, but it takes a lot of time. I'll share my recipe with you, and you can tweak it as you like. But this week's tip is not the recipe, but about efficiency.
A dear friend from our children's school, Caroline, is also a big Georgia bulldawg fan. She grew up in Georgia where her daddy farmed Georgia peanuts! The girl knows her peanuts. She said her Daddy would bring in a large amount of fresh green peanuts and put them in a huge pot in the kitchen. He would cook more than enough peanuts for Saturday's game. Then, he would take ziploc baggies and FREEZE single serving sized bags of boiled peanuts in the salt brine water. Is that not smart? Each Friday night or Saturday morning, he takes a bag of peanuts out of the freezer and lets it thaw. All year long he can have the freshest boiled peanuts whenever he wants! I just love a man that loves his boiled peanuts like that!
If you're married or have a brother or father who loves boiled peanuts, I challenge you to use this special tip this season and make some boiled peanuts and freeze some. You will make some man mighty happy!
***When eating boiled peanuts, it's fun to suck on the shell before throwing it away as the delicious salt is in the shell. MMMMM GOOD!!!!****

Boiled Peanuts:
To make 14 cups, your ingredients are below:

2 pounds dried raw peanuts - also known as GREEN peanuts
1/2 to 2/3 cup salt

1. Soak peanuts in water to cover in a large stock pot at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours. (You may need to weigh down peanuts with a large plate or lid to ensure that they are fully submerged.) Drain and rinse. I put the peanuts in a large pot overnight and let them soak. Sometimes I have to put a brick on top of them to keep them weighted down and submerged in water.

2. Place peanuts and desired amount of salt in stock pot with 4 1/2 qt. water; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 6 hours or until peanuts are tender, adding water as needed to keep peanuts covered; stir occasionally.

3. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour.

Cajun Boiled Peanuts: Proceed with Step 1, adding 1/2 cup Cajun seasoning to water. Proceed with Step 2, using 1/2 cup salt and 5 to 7 Tbsp. liquid Cajun crab boil before bringing to a boil. Proceed with recipe as directed.

Ham-Flavored Boiled Peanuts: Proceed with Step 1. Omit Step 2, and bring 6 qt. water and 2 smoked ham hocks to a boil in a large stock pot. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours. Remove and discard ham hocks. Cool broth; chill 8 hours. Skim fat from broth. Add peanuts and 1/2 cup salt to broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 6 hours or until tender, adding water as needed to keep peanuts covered; stir occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand 1 hour.

Store cooked peanuts in the refrigerator up to three days or freeze for later use!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Time for Moms

When our triplets were itty bitty babies, I was blessed to be at a church with a wonderful pastor and his amazing wife. Teresa truly shared biblical teachings with us on motherhood and life in general. I always gleaned such wisdom from Teresa. She is a wonderful wife and mother and leads by example. It was a sad day when they were called to a new church, but God's plan is always best!
Teresa now has a blog that will bless you. Take a minute to visit "A Time for Moms". You will be so glad that you did! Teresa and Terrell have raised 3 beautiful children. Their youngest just started college. She writes from experience and has such a neat heart. A true testimony to a godly mother is her children. Imagine my delight when her 2 sons were working at Camp Greystone last year! They were such fine young men, and I recognized them after they had kindly invited my sweet 7 year old son to sit and eat with them. They had sweet manners and exuded the love of Christ whenever I was around them. You will love "A Time for Moms". I look forward to it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11... We Will Never Forget

The tragedy of September 11, 2001 will never be forgotten. We will never forget where we were when we heard the news or the terror that followed afterwards. I remember my friend, Beth, calling me to let me know what had happened. She knew my tv would not be on, and she was right. My sweet friend, ML, was visiting with her 10 month old. They had come to meet our triplet babies. We were in shock for the rest of the morning. ML was stranded with us because all flights were cancelled. She ended up DRIVING home to Texas.
I remember frantically calling my best friend, Frances, who lives in NYC. I could not get through and panic set in. Looking at You Tube videos brings back the great sadness and terror. It is GOOD to remember. We should all remember to pray for these families. Nine years later I know they still miss their father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather, or friend. I am praying for all of those who were hurt or killed by this awful tragedy. I am also asking the Lord for protection. God is our only true Great Protector.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Look Back in Time....

When I was a little girl, my last name was at the very end of the alphabet. When 486 students graduated from my high school class, I was number 482. I am not kidding. Do you know what it does to a girl to always be LAST? Honey, I was last for everything. In fact, I spent my entire elementary school career NEVER being chosen to be a library helper. I am scarred to this day! I couldn't wait to help Mrs. Walker or Mrs. Moseley in the library. I wanted to stamp those books with that fun date stamp so badly I could taste it. Year after year, it never happened. Poor little 8 year old Mama Henley never had her chance to shine in the library, and I've never forgotten it! :)

I was last for everything. I always had to wait at the end of the line with the rest of the T, U, Vs, and XYZs. Imagine my delight when I moved up in the alphabet. I mean, the middle is a world of difference!! It is before Q, R, and S! Thankfully our children will never know the despair of not being chosen for library helper. There is justice in the world!

Fat Friday

It's Fat Friday again! I was so looking forward to lunch out with a friend, but it turns out I was to have lunch with one of my very favorite people right here at home. Our sweet Tiny has a fever virus, so we are enjoying the day together. She is quietly sleeping right now and I am tempted to join her!
Tampa is home to many culinary delights, but I now understand why the only place recommended to me when we moved here was Pane Rustica. It truly is the BEST Tampa has to offer. Tampa has many wonderful restaurants, but for those who love really good food prepared well, you must go to Pane Rustica. It's wide variety of menu items pleases all palates. I love that you can eat for $5 if you buy their pizza and drink water, or you can have a salmon sandwich on homemade rosemary foccacia bread for around $12. Fantastic!
This summer, Kevin, owner of Pane Rustica, expanded his restaurant. The "old side" still allows up-at-the-counter ordering, but you can sit on the new side for full-service at lunch and dinner. We have even called and made reservations for lunch after church with a crowd of 10 and we were accommodated. I told the server that Pane Rustica was going to be our country club on Sundays since we are still fairly new to Tampa and have not pursued membership at this time! The food really is the best in town and you always feel like it's pretty healthy too.
I can't get enough of their flatbread pizzas. They make interesting combos like bacon, gorgonzola, and caramelized onions or roasted red pepper, mushrooms, goat cheese, and caramelized onions. There is a great zucchini, squash, and olive tapenade pizza as well. For $5, it's a great deal for a big slice!
My favorite sandwich is the grilled chicken with roasted red peppers, a delightful mayo, grilled onions, and melted cheese on rosemary foccacia bread. You can choose your bread from several fresh offerings.
The menu specials change daily. They make delicious mussels, scallops, salmon, pheasant, gnocchi, and all kinds of other delightful meats and foods. In fact, I had a fantastic grilled mortadella, grana panna cheese, cranberries, grilled figs, and a green herb flatbread that was amazing. Kevin's staff uses fresh, in-season ingredients. You will not be disappointed!
Some people enjoy their breakfast pastries and other offerings served with fresh illy coffee for breakfast. It's a great place to go any time of the day! They are closed on Mondays and on Sun. evenings. Bon Appetit!

**I tried my best to take images off of their site so that you can see the food and restaurant, but I couldn't do it! Be sure to visit their website!**

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


We've had a happy 24 hours of firsts. Our youngest began preschool yesterday. She started last year at age 2. Somehow she seemed so BIG yesterday and I just wept before we even left the house. When we arrived at her school, which she LOVES, she broke down and began sobbing and did not want to go. It was all I could do to not pick her up, hold her in my arms, whisk her away, and tell her she never had to leave my side again. She tears up the house and has big tantrums for a little girl, but oh, how I love and adore every single minute we spend together! Thankfully she enjoyed school and it was over before I knew it and she was in my arms again!

Today our little one had her first ballet class. She has watched her older siblings in all kinds of activities. She has worn a little leotard for the better part of the last year. She couldn't wait to twirl and dance like the big girls. And twirl and dance she did! She LOVED it!! I loved watching our little ballerina in class with her 2 double named best friends! AS, AC, and AH are all in class together! How cute is that?!

This afternoon our Bug began her ballet class. She took last year, but it was so fun to see her excited to be back. She said she wants to dance every year until she grows up. Whatever you want, sweet first grade baby! I love seeing her so confident. She holds her neck and back so beautifully.

Our big girls have waited patiently and missed out on a lot of activities. It was finally THEIR turn. They are going to have their FIRST ballet class tomorrow. I can't wait to post pics! However, tonight they tried their FIRST acting and voice class. They truly enjoyed it and were little naturals. Unfortunately, I think our schedule is not going to allow them to take right now, but we hope to in the future!

What a day of firsts! Tomorrow our Boy will begin golf lessons again! I wish I could be the FIRST to bed!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Tuesday's Tip

It's always fun to get to know a new friend better, especially when she is SMART. April shared the BEST idea the other night at Bunko! At the end of the night, four of us were still gathered and I needed to make lunches for the next day. I asked the girls if it would bother them if I made peanut butter sandwiches while we talked. Of course they obliged! April shared that she makes her sandwiches for the week on Sunday. She then puts them in a ziploc bag and then places them in her freezer drawer. Her children take them to school in their lunches and they work just like an uncrustable, yet they are SO MUCH CHEAPER and probably better for you! The nice thing is that the frozen sandwich also serves as an ice pack for other items in the lunchbox. Plus, the sandwiches are thawed by lunch time. She said her son LOVES them! If you have a cute round cookie cutter, you could even make them look like Uncrustables! Enjoy your Tuesday's Tip, ladies, and the extra cents in your pocket!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thank you for a 3 Day Weekend

WOW! I don't think DH & I have felt this refreshed in a very long time. We had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed not having to be up super early on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Our littles let us sleep past 7, and it felt good! Yesterday we had a great morning at church followed by the BEST beignets, bacon, and fruit salad at the home of some sweet friends. The conversatioin was interesting and it was precious to see our children playing with theirs! It rained just as we were leaving, so we came home for a relaxing afternoon and swim after the rain ceased.
The children are taking piano lessons and it is wonderful to hear them practice throughout the day! This morning the Hurricane let us sleep until about 7:30am, and then it was time to be up! We went to a local Yacht Club on the beach with fabulous friends and enjoyed lots of beach time and pool time and a fabulous buffet. There is something about the smell of those little buffet burners that makes me smile. Odd, I know. The children played fantastically well, and we all left happy and tired.
We ate Chick Fil A in the car on the way home so that everyone could hurry to bed. Some practiced piano while we read with others. All had big hugs and kisses, and nighttime prayers. They are blissfully asleep before a big day of school tomorrow!
I have been wrestling with my laptop which has decided to quit working using its Airport connection at home. Grrr.... I am not happy when my laptop won't work!
Off to bed to make a mama healthy, wealthy*, and wise!

*This mama is wealthy in the many blessings she calls husband and children.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Day Full of Labor

Usually our family goes to Family Camp at Camp Greystone or to the beach with my family for Labor Day. We've also visited Doug's parents over this three day weekend. Sweet friends invited us to go to the beach, but it was just too much. Our summer held so many enjoyable trips, and we just needed to stay home this weekend. As much as we wanted to see the fabulous island called Little Gasparilla, it was not in the cards for Labor Day weekend. DH and I both felt like the Lord just wanted us to rest and enjoy being home together as a family, as much as we knew we'd have fun with our friends.
We enjoyed a great dinner out with friends last night at my favorite restaurant. This morning I stayed in bed as long as possible! It felt wonderful. Friday afternoon I literally could not keep my eyes open. We had to have some papers notarized, and I almost fell asleep in the man's office. What a joy to REST this morning on Labor Day weekend!
DH bought the family some wonderful Einstein bagels and I cut and filed coupons and more coupons. Then I took K to buy one of her BFFs a birthday present. BFF's parents are going to thank me for Baby Alive who talks, coos, and bounces!!! After we returned from our trip to Target, DH and our boy went to watch Georgia football. The quarterback hails from our local high school! In the late afternoon, the children enjoyed a birthday party while DH & I ran a few errands. ALone. In Tampa. In the daytime. On a Saturday. Wow. We had never done that before while living here!
We returned home to straighten some things and eat Labor Day weekend hot dogs. DH then met a friend to watch some more football, and I began a cleaning frenzy. I have cleaned all 4 bathrooms from top to bottom. I have re-organized cabinets that were too messy and thrown away old toiletries. I am bleaching all of the bathtub toys. Mirrors are shiny, sinks are disinfected, and there are no rings in our tub. I also vacuumed the entire downstairs and one dear daughter mopped the hardwoods! Our cleaning will continue as I hope to get rid of some piles of papers and clothes! I am thankful for this weekend to enjoy the children, watch them swim, listen to them play the piano, read to them, listen to them read, and to be able to clean, clean, clean! It feels good! We are thankful the Lord has given us such a sweet weekend at home! How is your weekend thus far?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fat Friday.... Ladies Who Lunch

All of us love to visit the Big Apple, and you can't visit New York without walking through Bergdorfs, even if you don't plan to shop! I just love the smell of the beautiful clothes mixed with the latest fragrances and rich leather. Ahh... Bergdorfs. There is something about the hustle and bustle of this store that excites and overwhelms me every time. Restaurant BG is absolutely FABULOUS on their 7th floor as it offers a beautiful view of Central Park, and a lovely pale blue interior that calms you the minute you walk in the door. I love to eat there, but when I am in a serious shopping mode, I like to eat downstairs at Goodman's. The menu is PERFECT for ladies who lunch but who don't have all day to eat bon bons. Personally, I LOVE the sliced chicken breast tea sandwich. I have tried to duplicate it at home, and I failed. It just wasn't the same. The tea sandwiches are the perfect size. You don't feel like you are wasting food, yet you do not feel guilty for eating every bite of this delicious concoction. I don't know if you love to read menus as much as I do, but I have copied their menu for you to peruse below. Bon Appetit!


Appetizers & Soups
SWEET PEA SOUP 6.00/7.00
roasted eggplant, aged balsamic vinegar, tomatoes, brie, goat cheese, balsamic glaze. 14.00
dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, shaved machengo cheese, English cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lemon-basil vinaigrette. 14.00
dried apricots, toasted almonds, edamame, red onion, tear drop tomatoes, baby spinach, pumpkin seeds, parmesan dressing. 16.00

cucumbers, cream cheese, white bread; chicken, watercress, whole wheat; lox, black bread; egg salad, tomato, rye. 14.00
bacon, avocado, Thousand Island dressing, pumpernickel. 14.00
ginger, dried cranberry, whole wheat pita. 14.00
scallions, celery, pumpernickel. 14.00
avocado, tomato, red pepper, portobello mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, fontina cheese, whole grain mustard, 9 grain bread. 14.00
tuna salad or chicken curry salad sandwich, cup of soup. 14.00

cottage cheese or yogurt. 17.00
diced chicken breast, ham, gruyère, tomatoes, beets, bacon, egg, iceberg lettuce, Thousand Island dressing. 18.00
tomato, roasted red peppers, celery, radishes, chickpeas, anchovies, red onion, gruyère, beets, balsamic vinaigrette. 18.00
mixed greens, tomatoes, avocado, Dijon vinaigrette. 17.00
chicken or shrimp, baby red and green romaine, sourdough croutons, parmesan dressing. 17.00/19.00
avocado, beets, roasted tomatoes, sherry vinaigrette. 24.00
citrus-marinated salmon, baby spinach, yellow squash, roasted tomatoes, artichokes, oranges, lemon-basil vinaigrette. 23.00
mixed greens, cucumber, tomato, olives, red onion, feta cheese, sherry vinaigrette. 17.00
Dressings: mustard vinaigrette, Thousand Island, sherry vinaigrette, balsamic vinaigrette, lemon-basil vinaigrette, parmesan

Special of the Day

fresh whipped cream. 7.00
warm caramel sauce, vanilla bean ice cream. 7.00
cinnamon walnut, chocolate chip. 7.00
vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, candied pecans, whipped cream, maraschino cherry. 9.00

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday Treat! Go FIGure!

Leave it to my sister-in-laws to FIG-ure it out! One sassy sis-by-love shared a delicious and EASY hors d'oeuvre that is PERFECT for right now during FIG season! You simply need to buy phyllo cups in your grocery freezer, brie cheese with the rind removed, and fig preserves. Put a small chunk of brie in the phyllo cup and then place a dollop of fig preserves on top. Cook in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes at 350*F. It would be pretty served on a platter with some fresh figs! Go FIGure!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You Know You've Been Blogging a Long Time When...

You know you've been blogging for a long time when you overhear your first grader playing with a friend, and the words, "She's going to put it on her blog..." come out of her mouth. I asked our little monkey what she thought I was going to put on my blog, and she said, "No, Mommy, we're just playing and she has a blog!" I love it!