Monday, August 31, 2009

Food- day 1

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Eggplant
I used fresh veggies from our garden and market, you could sub other veggies that you have at home zucchini/squash, add mushrooms, ect
I also used fresh basil cause I had it but obviously could sub dried herbs
Night before or morning of spread:
1 med eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 in cubes, sprinkle generously with salt (I used smoked salt and Kosher) on a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels. Cover with another 2 layers of towels and another baking sheet topped with heavy cans. Let drain for 8 hours.

*In a large skillet over med heat: 3 Tbsp EVOO, add the eggplant and cook, stirring until tender and golden
*Add and cook for about 15 sec: 2 Large garlic
cloves minced
*Add: 7 medium, ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (I did not peel or seed, up to you)
2 medium bell peppers finely chopped
*Cook, stirring frequently until the sauce is thick, about 10 min
*Stir in: 1/2 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp drained capers
2 large green olives, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste (I did not have to a
do either)

*Meanwhile boil 1 lb of whole wheat spaghetti. Drain and toss the the sauce.

*After serving I added asiago cheese on top and served with bread!




Sunday, August 30, 2009


"Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old
he will not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6
I don't even know how to type the emotional week I've experienced. From sheer excitement to down right in the dumps sadness....tears turning on and off like a faucet. It's "just" kindergarten for some of you reading this but for a parent this is the beginning of "letting them go" them wings to fly.Emery's been "out of sorts" ALL week....and I say that ever so gently! She is fine just her and I (and I must say that it was nice to be off all week except a short class Friday) but let her sister walk through the front door at 3:30 and it's another child
raging out in my otherwise sweet huggy, kissy, lovey, cuddly Emery Grae.
Kayden is excited beyond measure to be in school!! I'm sad.....don't get me wrong though. I prayed almost every morning and evening with her this past week that I was SO very thankful
that she could attend a Christian school where she would learn about
Jesus and be able LOVE Him freely....something I need to remind myself NOT to take for granted.
Her daddy was excited for her, but we cried together
in the kitchen Sunday night at the thought of her starting school
(while she decided she wanted to bathe ALL alone because tomorrow she was BIG)!! We hugged each other for comfort......5 years had impossibly VANISHED before our very eyes.Not a one bit of fear as she practically ran down the hall towards "her" room
The sadness set in again as we hit the door....there was her name...we had to let her start!
There is sooo much to be learned in the coming years by this THIRSTY for knowledge little 5 1/2 year old.....I wish I could watch it all.....oh to be an "a" or "b" or "c" on the wall.
She has a wonderful teacher and we know she is going to be taken care of and taught well
She was confident, happy, comfortable, BEAUTIFUL, fearless....did not seem to care that her daddy, mommy, and sissy were about to walk out the
door and not be back for 7 FULL HOURS!!!
3 or 4 minutes before we left she, without warning wanted me to hold her.....I LOVED IT and relished in the tight squeeze!!! "When are you coming to get me mommy??.....but you're not gonna be close like when I'm at E-kids (the learning center she's attended since she was a baby) and you're across the street at work??" My heart was breaking more, I didn't want to leave her even MORE now. But I was happy she was, in her little way, letting me know she still "needed me". I easily reassured her that Emery and I would just be a few miles away at home and I would be back promptly at 3:00 (or 2:40!!!) to get her.
The last bell rang and we HAD to leave. Ms Benge sent us with this little Ziploc...filled with 2 verses, Kleenex, tea, a hug & kiss! MUCH NEEDED!
It will get easier, I know. But I was once again reminded, in another way, how precious time is. I don't have regrets about how we've spent the last 5 years....we've filled them up with lots of great memories and this ISN'T the end. It's a new beginning for her. I just want to protect her....I want to always know she's happy and safe!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

tea for 2.... the "Princess Ball" (named by Kayden).
This tea set is from my mom's sister (who is very sadly no longer on this earth), several pieces are missing but enough for tea for 3, a little pitcher and sugar & cream set. Is this the coolest little vintage!!!
Last Sunday we were at mom's for our b-day dinner. While daddy and Emery Grae snoozed for a few hours Kayden decided Aumie needed to pull out "the" special tea set (she has a couple-this 1 obviously for the older grandkids who understand the word fragile!!)! She set everything up and the 2 of us sat down for "sunshine water", "fine chocolate circles", and "tiny cheese squares". We had a fun few minutes, just her and I, to have "tea talk" I was eating the chocolate she informed me that princess's DO NOT show their teeth and eat with their mouths open! OK!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009


I'm not a soda drinker....not to say that I NEVER drink them but just not my choice of liquid to ingest! I have found a new love this bubbly refreshing drink!! This company uses pure fruit juice along with sparkling water....NO artificial NOTHING about this drink! How about another excuse to go buy this stuff by the case: IZZE is partners with the Global Education Fund which provides educational tools to needy kids ALL OVER the GLOBE! So don't feel guilty, your helping kids learn and it's esque (it resembles the "regular" IZZE but it's light)! Cheers!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I know that God gets pleasure from peoples daily lives but in my mind there are certain things that I just imagine make Him overflow with happiness! 1 of these being dedicating your child to Him. A promise, of sorts, that you will do your best to raise her/him to know, love, and be like Him!!

My precious youngest niece was dedicated this past Sabbath
My sister, Will, and 2 nieces Taylor and Lauren
My immediate family...LOVE THEM!!
Just had to add this cute picture
we spent a wonderful afternoon at Kristi and Will's eating lunch, laughing, and talking!
Kristi, so Mrs Cleaver like, serving us cookies!!!

A day is best celebrated....

with your twin sister! Sunday we celebrated our 34th year of life!! I didn't feel particularly older that morning....nothing different really. Sure I'm noticing some new wrinkles, my clothes don't fit the same from year to year, it hurts to stand up after I've been kneeling, ect. But I do feel grateful to celebrate another year of life and especially grateful for a WONDERFUL woman whom I get to celebrate it with!! My wish for my birthday days as I age are to be spent with family (some years even a friend or 2) and to be relaxed as possible. That seems to be something I'm striving for lately.....simpleness and feeling relaxed! I pray for both my sister and I, another year filled with great happiness and
enjoy all the simple pleasures life has to offer!!
breakfast and coffee at Rembrant's
our favorite b-day's cheesecake! heavenly and donned with old b-day candles/candle holders that my grandmother has had for YEARS!!
jon was photographing and primary focusing was done on the flowers so we're a little blurry!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY sister! I truly could never have hand picked a better person to share this day with! I love you!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Good Dog

There's so much about Chattanooga that I like. An added plus (yes....that's like really very) is you can find so many great and kid friendly places to eat. This city has become a place where you can go just about anywhere and find several veggie options on the menu.....and not just mac-n-cheese!! We spotted a new place downtown called "good dog".....they specialize in hot dogs.....ALL kinds of ways!!! We LOVE it cause they have the BEST veggie dogs we've eaten (Veggie Patch is the brand name).....we've yet to be able to buy them locally but Jon's been talking to a couple stores to see if they will stock them! It's a small VERY cute place, the kids don't have to be quiet (that's just not their style), and the food is good!
kayden's been practicing with the camera
all kinds of random salt/pepper shakers (compliments again of Kayden)
good company helps digest food easier!!
comfy/fun benches to rest your back side....or head!
they recycle....another PLUS
fun decor

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Do's

You can probably find me getting my hair cut about 2-3 times a year, I'm sure I could use more visits but I push it as far as I can. Same with the girls. Kayden was in DESPERATE need of one prior to school starting....she starts Friday so nothing like the last minute mom! Emery has NEVER had a hair today was 1 of many firsts for her. She wanted NO part of it....I finally figured out it was because she thought it would hurt. I slightly dread the 1st hair cut, it needs to be done but there is something about it that changes them from a "baby" to a "big girl".

We all agreed that we would love 1 of these sinks at relaxing
sooo sweet....Kayden was holding Emery's hand so she wouldn't "be scared"
instantly loved the shampooing process 
end result!!! please don't worry people that as cute as this looks she quickly returned to her kinda in the middle but not perfectly straight part!!! she was quite pleased with her new do!

We're eating fish for dinner......

....cornbread fish that is!!!
We have some friends in town that own the cooking girls' dream store!! Sunday we dropped by to pick up some flavored salts and say hi but ended up with a little more than just the salts!! They have different flavored peanut butter and the girls decided the banana peanut butter was a MUST HAVE along with a cast iron the shape of fish for our cornbread!! I haven't picked up too much of "southern style" cooking.....although it tastes great I have to say I'd like my family to live a little longer by eating healthier foods! 1 thing I do make though is pinto beans and cornbread! I found a healthier recipe which does NOT include all the added oils and/or butter and we ALL love it!  And our side of cornbread was all the more tastier in the shape of fish....I'm sure of it!!!

Last night we added fresh tomatoes from our garden and purple pepper from the market
a close up of these fun kinda looks like fried fish huh??

Monday, August 17, 2009

Music of Blue Grass

I took 1 year off of college and moved to Bowling Green, KY where I met some people that I am privileged to still call friends. It was at that time that I was first (to my recollection) introduced to Blue Grass and fell IN LOVE with this music! There is just something about it that makes you tap your feet and slap your makes it ALL the better if you're way out in the country!!! So Friday evening we joined some friends and made our way up to Signal Mountain to an OLD school house remade into a Blue Grass playing/listening building! 

1 of the 5 or 6 groups that played throughout the course of the evening
foot tappin'
can't help BUT dance
if this isn't fun written ALL over their faces
old wooden chairs to relax in while listening
knee slappin'