Monday, June 29, 2009

Super Summer Arkansas

Wow. The last couple of weeks have been a blur! We have been in Arkadelphia on the campus of our alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University, for Super Summer Arkansas. For those of you who may not know what Super Summer is, it is a camp sponsored by the Arkansas Baptist Convention. I think Super Summer has been around for about 25 years now. Scottie and I both attended as campers when we were in high school, were staffers in college, and now Scottie is on the Steering Committe responsible for planning the camp and served as chairman this year. It was a very exciting week!! My camera decided to crap out this week and has decided to work now that we are home, so I didn't get but a couple of pictures of the stage area. In addition to serving as chairman, Scottie was also stage manager and designed and built the stage.

The stage looked incredible. Scottie did an amazing job!! The band for the week was Two Empty Chairs and the speaker was Runks Runkles. Both were fabulous. What impressed me most about them was that they invested time in the students all week. They ate every meal in the cafeteria with the kids, they were on the recreation field and they took the time to really listen to the students. To me, that is what camp is all about. Too many times the speaker or band members think they are a big deal and don't spend the time getting to know people. But this year was different and so, so good. I am so glad I got to be part of the week. Here is the only other picture I was able to take from the backstage area where Scottie worked all week.

Before we left for camp my brother came to visit from California. It was his high school reunion in Fort Smith while he was here, but we were able to spend some time together. We really enjoyed spending time with "Uncle Brad!"
Now that we are home, I hope to be better about updating my blog! Keep reading!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bunk Beds and Flower Pots

Summer is here! But there is no rest for the weary. There is much to be done! This past weekend Scottie, Henry and I went to Conway for a visit with Scottie's younger sister and her family. Jamie and her husband, Rodney, went to Ouachita, too, and we have all been friends for a lot of years. They just updated their boys' rooms so we bought their bunk beds for Henry's room. We have wanted to put bunk beds in his room for a long time. He has had a double bed in there (his crib converted into), but it took up way too much room. Scottie, Andy and Kevin put the beds up after church on Sunday. I spent Sunday and Monday rearranging a cleaning out his room. Here is the new room:

We kept the cowboy theme and Jamie helped me find bedding cheap and some really cute cowboy sheets at Target.
Henry loves his new room! He's been sleeping on the bottom bunk and sits on the top to watch TV.

Those of you familiar with our couch will be glad to know that while in Conway, I ordered a new leather sofa from Cajun Brothers Furniture. Scottie's cousin is married to one of the owners and we usually always purchase our furniture there. The torn up, green couch will soon be a distant memory replaced by: We are so excited to get a new couch!! We bought our old couch at Cajun Brothers and it lasted for 12 years. But it was time for an upgrade!! Jamie helped me pick it out. She was such a huge help to me over the weekend - picking out bedding and a couch. Interior decorating is her thing and she is dang good at it!!

On Tuesday my mom met Henry and I at Chick-fil-A for lunch then we ventured to Lowe's to buy flowers for pots in front of my house. My mom has an eye for flowers and knows better than I what looks good and what will grow where. We (mostly she) planted them when we got back to the house.

I planted this hanging basket while mom worked on the pots. I'm not sure what Henry was working on, but when we got the water hose out, eveyone and everything got wet!
Finished pots
A new flag
These lilies are so beautiful and have come up all on their own. I don't ever remember them growing there before!

Our house
Anybody know this little boy??

He just hangs around....

Rescuing Rollie from the street (Rollie didn't know he needed to be rescued)

The cutest boy in the world!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Stuff I've Made

Those of you who know me know that I don't claim to be any kind of cook. I have little patience for it - the planning, shopping for ingredients, the actual cooking, not to mention the cleaning up. It's all very time consuming. That being said, I have stumbled on to a couple of things worth sharing.

I was looking for a quick grab-and-go dessert for a picnic-themed luncheon we had at school last week and this first recipe was perfect.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 TB shortening
2 lbs. fresh strawberries with leaves.

Melt the chocolate chips and shortening in the
microwave about 40 seconds at a time stirring as
you go. Then dip the strawberries and swirl them
around. Put them on wax paper to set. Delicious!

The next recipe is also something I made for a school-related function. My good friend and band director, B, had an intern this semester and for her last day with us, we gave a her a little celebration. I made Paula Deen's Lady Brownies for the occasion.

Lady Brownies

2 C sugar
1 C vegetable oil
4 eggs
6 TB cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C self-rising flour
1 C chopped nuts (optional)*

*I added 8 ounces of milk chocolate chips intead of nuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend together sugar, oil, eggs, cocoa, and vanilla. Add flour; mix. Add nuts (optional); spread into greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
They turned out really yummy and I was surprised to make a Paula Deen recipe with no butter in it!

One more to share and this one is a little random. I am on the shower committee at my church and get really tired of the store-bought buttermints. I think the get real gross real fast. I feel like I'm eating chalk. So for an upcoming baby shower, I decided to try a recipe. This one comes from Southern Living December 2003.

Butter Mints
Makes 20 dozen mints

1/2 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 TB butter
1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/8 tsp vanilla extract

Melt cream cheese and butter in large saucepan over low heat, stirring contantly until smooth. Gradually stir in powdered sugar, add peppermint extract and vanilla extract, stirring until well blended.

Divide cream cheese mixture into 10 (1/4 C) portions and roll each into a 12-inch rope. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Let stand, uncovered, 4 hours until firm.

These turned out great. The most difficult part was the stirring to get the sugar to melt. Otherwise, it wasn't too bad. I would definitely do it again to keep from having to serve those awful chalky mints again!