Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wedding Weekend & Some Exciting News!

We have had the best weekend.  All my little birds were back in the nest this weekend, so we had a full house and I love that!  Mark and Laura came home because our next door neighbor, Bobby, was getting married.  If you've been reading my blog long, you know that our neighbors are like family to us.  Our kids have grown up together and we've shared holidays, vacations, births, deaths, weddings, graduations, and everything in between with them.  Right next door are the Lawrences (Steve, Carol, Bobby, and Michael) and then two doors down are the Sherrills (Skip, Candy, Kelsey, and Melissa).  All our kids are stair steps in ages with Ashley being the oldest and Melissa being the youngest.  Now Melissa is the only one still in school and everyone is all grown up with their jobs and marriages and babies, but they are all still very close and we love them like our own kids.  This is a picture from 2006 when we went on one of our many mountain trips together.


This is one of my very favorite pictures ever.  They love each other!


Here is the last picture we took of all of them at Christmastime last year.  (It was dark, so it's a little blurry.)


Anyway...we love our neighbors and had fun this weekend celebrating Bobby.  But first let me back up to Friday night!

Laura and Mark both got in on Friday and were here when I got home from work.  Laura hasn't been home in a really long time, so it was so good to see her here!



I made taco soup and cornbread with pumpkin crunch for dessert.  Laura wanted to carve a pumpkin while she was home, so she and Lindy carved two for us (with David's help!)




David was writing a note to Grandaddy while he helped carve.  He told me it said, "Dear Grandaddy, I hope you had a nice day!  I love you."  Sweet thing.


Here is how our pumpkins turned out...


We made a fire in the fire pit and made s'mores and just hung out and talked.  It was such a nice night.

On Saturday morning, we met Steve's mom for breakfast at one of Laura and Lindy's favorite places...The Flying Biscuit.  Their food is so good (but a little pricey!)  so we don't go there that often.  But when we do it is always yummy.  (I got an omelette with mushrooms and feta inside and a tomato-basil sauce on top, plus their "creamy dreamy" grits and a sugar biscuit!)




 By the way, this picture reminds me that Lindy found her doppelganger this week in a magazine!



Lots of people that have seen it have commented to her that they thought it looked just like her and I have to agree! :)

Anyway...Saturday night was Bobby's wedding.  Ashley and John came over to ride with us.  Here is a picture of me with two of my girls as we were about to head out the door...


The wedding was very nice and it was sentimental watching Bobby stand up there looking so grown up and knowing he was about to start a brand new chapter of his life.



We had a great time at the reception.  There was amazing food and dancing and we laughed a lot and just had fun.









It was so dark in there that lots of our pictures have red eyes.  Oh well...that's how it goes I guess.  I love the one we took right before we left of all the neighbors together, but I wish our eyes weren't so creepy!  Haha!


I am so thankful for my neighbors and all the good times we have shared through the years!

And, speaking of thankful, I have one more thing to share with you that we are so thankful for and excited about....
Yep...Ashley and John are expecting Baby #3!  She is due in April.  We are so happy for them.  God has been so good to us!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Birthday Weekend & Other Stuff

Today was my sweet hubby's birthday.  We had a little party at our house after church for him.


He loves having everyone come over and getting to spend time with his family.  I think he wanted that more than anything really.  We just got BBQ take-out and I made his favorite carrot cake.  I love to cook, but cake baking is definitely not my thing.  That little cake was very "homemade" looking.  Haha!


But at least it tasted good!  I have used several different recipes for carrot cake and this one is pretty much fool-proof!  Everyone always loves it.  I thought I would share it with you in case you are looking for a good recipe.

Carrot Cake

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. salad oil (or applesauce)
4 eggs
2 c. flour
2 t. baking powder
2 t. soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla
2 large jars baby food carrots

Blend oil & sugar, add eggs, sift dry ingredients & mix.  Add carrots & vanilla.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.

Frosting:

1 stick margarine
1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 box confectioners sugar
1 t. milk
2 t. vanilla
1/2 c. pecans
Melt butter, add cream cheese & blend.  Add sugar & vanilla.  Ice cake & sprinkle with finely chopped pecans.

I decided to get Steve tickets to see Michael Buble at the end of the month. We both love Michael Buble.  Steve didn't think he would like him, but I got him to go to a concert with me a few years ago and he was sold.  Now he loves him, too!   I think we will have fun doing that!

The past few weeks have been full of lots of activities and get-togethers.  Last weekend Mark came home and my neighbor Candy and I gave a little dinner party for another one of our other neighbors who is getting married.



Our neighbors, Carol and Steve, are like family to us and their kids have grown up with our kids.  Next weekend, Bobby, their oldest son is getting married, so we had to celebrate & do something for him before his big day!


So Candy and I made Mexican food ...


...and we had a good time hanging out with the kids that were able to come.  I love them!

Last night we got together with some of the guys on Steve's Fantasy Football team.  They all go to our church and the wife of one of the guys on the team has been diagnosed with lung and bone cancer.  We got together for dinner and just to pray over her.  It was a sweet time.  I hope she felt encouraged and loved.

The past few weeks have been pretty intense just getting adjusted to school.  I love my class, but getting back into the school routine can be so busy and exhausting.  This past week seemed really long and stressful to me and I was so ready for Friday to get here.  When I drove into the parking lot early Friday morning, this is what the sky looked like.


It made me think of this Bible verse from Lamentations:

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to and end; they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.  -Lamentations 3:22-23

I love what I do, but I have to remember to have balance in my life and not work too many long hours.
Speaking of school, my kids are totally into these rubber band loom bracelets right now, so I had to take a picture of them showing them off.  #thirdgradefad


Meanwhile, we have been trying to sneak in a date or two...



We've also been watching lots of Homeland (Seasons 1 & 2), trying to get caught up.  We love that show and are pretty much addicted now.  It's also cool that it is filmed right here in Charlotte!  I wish we had Showtime so we could watch the current season!  I need to figure out a way to do that.

And we've been trying to spend as much time as we can with these two cuties...




That is pretty much what we've been up to the last few weeks, but the last thing I wanted to share today is just a little bit of encouragement.  I wanted to share this blog post with you because it is one of my very favorites ever by my friend Kelly.  It is about how God uses EVERYONE.  He uses big names and Christian "celebrities" and he uses the "every day man"--the one who is not a celebrity and not a super star, but they are faithfully doing whatever God has called them  to do day in and day out.  I think the majority of people fall into the second category, so if you feel like what you are doing for the Lord doesn't matter very much, this will be an encouragement to you!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend full of lots of good things!