Saturday, July 30, 2011

B-Dubs and Blessings

Last Wednesday, Jennifer and I finished up the wedding dress shopping. Yes, that means she said yes to the dress! Jamalyn and Margaret joined us at one shop, and we decided that every bride should take a 5 year old with her to try on dresses. Margaret loved sharing her thoughts about each one, which mostly involved words like "beautiful", "gorgeous", and "Bryan will love it." She was so cute.

After our successful day, we had even more excitement when I picked up these two from the airport!

David and Shylah flew in from North Carolina. They were heading north to visit her family and attend her youngest brother's graduation celebration. We were able to share a meal with them at Jennifer's, so they could see her new house and see the whole gang. They also needed a car for the weekend, and my Tahoe was available.

We ordered 100 of these. Yum.

Matthew was enjoying an evening with his aunts and uncles.

Haleigh liked performing for the camera.

And climbing on Aunt Shylah.

And performing some more.

Ella, on the other hand, slept peacefully on Jennifer's bed.

Andrew and Darci.

Jennifer and Bryan.

And look who else stopped by! Sam, Cheryl, and Ted. They left bright and early the next morning for a trip to Washington D.C.

Our attempt to get a photo of the whole family. Not an easy task. :)
So great to have everyone together. So blessed.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Phone Photo Friday

InstagramCollage11 by StewMama
Wedding church ~ Smile for me ~ One more time
Toad on the window ~ Fern ~ Growlers
Shopping trip ~ Napkin humor ~ Old friends

Linking up with Dawn at My Home Sweet Home.

Monday, July 25, 2011


It was a day much like the ones we have been having of late.... HOT. Thirty years ago, Jim and I stood in front of friends and family in a very hot church, and pledged our love for one another. As Jim said that day, "according to God's Holy ord- ord- ordinance."

Last year, I wrote a post entitled "How to Keep a Guy for 29 Years."
I also wrote about our wedding day when the world was anticipating the wedding of William and Kate.

Last Friday, Kelly, over at Kelly's Korner hosted a "Show Us Your Life - Marriage Advice." Though I did not participate, 130 bloggers did, so if you have the time, I am sure they have shared every bit of advice you could possibly imagine or need!

Even after 30 years, I don't come close to being an expert on marriage. Jim and I put a little list together with a few things we have learned in 30 years:
  • don't sweat the small stuff (and really, it's mostly all small stuff)
  • don't keep score
  • do appreciate your spouse
  • do try to react with laughter, not anger
  • the choice between being happy and being angry is yours - you are responsible for your own happiness
  • count your blessings
  • remember to have fun
  • cherish each moment (before you know it, 30 years have passed!)
I read a quote in Reader's Digest today by comedian Cathy Ladman that said, "Marriage is very difficult. It's like a 5,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, all sky."
You can say that again!

We celebrated this evening with dinner at one of our favorite places, Big Woods Brewing Company down in Nashville. We started off with the Zesty Pulled Pork BBQ Nachos. Maybe the best appetizer ever.

And Jim had the Busted Knuckle Beer. It will soon be available in 22 ounce bottles.

Since it wasn't rib night, I tried the buffalo chicken sandwich. Good and spicy!

It was a great dinner, and a nice celebration. Jim did ask if we were celebrating our 30th anniversary or the end of the NFL lockout. Hmmm... let me think about that one. :)

Thankful for 30 wonderful years, and looking forward to our next 30 years!
So blessed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What a Wonderful World

On Friday evening, we attended the wedding of our pastor, Jimmy, and his new wife, Mary Beth, who is also a pastor. It was one of the most touching and unique weddings I have ever attended, complete with a jazz trio and Mardi Gras beads. The recessional was the trio playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" while the newlyweds tossed beads. I loved that part!

Mary Beth grew up in Chicago, and Jimmy grew up in Mississippi, just a stone's throw from New Orleans. Both are loyal Cubs fans. (I don't really think you can be a Cubs fan without being loyal, now, can you?) It was fitting, then, that they decided to use a Chicago/New Orleans theme for their reception at the church. It was very cool. In the center of the room, was a big "W" flag that Mary Beth's son won at a Cubs convention. They fly the "W" over Wrigley Field when the Cubs win. I'm told it does happen. :)

The tables sported pennants from both cities.

The north end of the room was Chicago.

Complete with Chicago style hot dogs.

The south end of the room was New Orleans.

They served red beans and rice, along with jambalaya, NOLA style.

Jamalyn and Margaret were there, and Margaret was glad to spend some time with RuRu.

And share some hugs.

At the Chicago table, they had a framed photo of some special games, and a personalized bat with their names and wedding date on display.

It was a difficult task to even catch the newly married couple in the same area of the room. As pastors, they have blessed so many folks, and there were hundreds of friends and family members in attendance to share their special day. Of course, they were busy working the crowd greeting their guests all evening. Catching them together may continue to be a challenge, as they will be maintaining homes in both Greensburg and Bloomington.

It may look like they were signing their marriage certificate here, but I was told they were actually signing their new wills before leaving the country on their wedding trip. They are thorough, those two. :)

Bryan and Jennifer went to the wedding with us. Of course, they are interested in weddings, for some reason. I got a few photos of them afterwards.

And I did manage to get a photo of Jimmy and Mary Beth together, and looking at the camera. We pray that God will richly bless their life together, and that love will fill their home(s).

And I must add, "Go Cubs!" and "Lassaiz les bon temps rouler!"

Friday, July 22, 2011

Phone Photo Friday

Another week, another Phone Photo Friday. 
Some of the photos were actually taken by Darci,
edited with Instagram, and shared here.


InstagramCollage10 by StewMama

Naptime ~ Ready for fireworks ~ Big brother love
At the fair ~ A cool treat ~ Sleepy girl
Bananagrams ~ Old friends ~ Follow that bus
Checkup ~ Cheese ~ Pool break
Hot car ~ Sweet smile ~ TV time

Linking up with Dawn at My Home Sweet Home.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cuppa Cuppa Salad Luncheon

My friend Ree, (you do know my friend Ree, don't you?) well, I think of her as my friend, even though she knows me not. You know her as the Pioneer Woman, or at least you should. Anywho... my friend Ree recently posted a recipe for Truvy's Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake from the movie, Steel Magnolias. It looks yummy. But the point of this little intro is that the 'Cuppa Cuppa' thing reminds me of this salad we make every summer in a women's group to which I belong. Each lady brings a cup of fruit and a cup of vegetables. We mix it all together and it makes a wonderful delicious salad! It's like magic, really.
Today was our luncheon, and it was, as usual, a tasty success. 
Here are a few of the 'cups' waiting to become a salad.

We start with a bit of lettuce in a big bowl.

The fruit goes in another bowl.

We add the veggies to the lettuce bowl.

And a little more fruit in the fruit bowl.

The veggie salad is ready to eat. 
We usually have 3 or 4 dressings available to top it off.

Nancy mixes the fruit.

And serves it up in little cups.

My favorite part of the lunch?  The yeast rolls, of course. 
Lynne made them this year, using Nancy G's no fail recipe. 
They. Were. Awesome. 
I think Lynne will be the all-time roll maker.

This group of ladies is ready to dig in.

And this group is waiting to fill their plates.

A beautiful, simple lunch. 
And there might be a very good chance that 
the roll on my plate is not the only one I ate. 
Just sayin'.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Blast Off to the Hodgepodge

After a couple weeks off, I'm happy to be joining Joyce and friends over at the Hodgepodge. Be sure to click on the button to pay her a visit.

1. July 20th marks the anniversary of the first time man stood on the moon. Flash forward 42 years to July 8, 2011 which marked the start of the final Space Shuttle mission. Should we continue to explore space? Should nations devote more or fewer of their resources to exploring space? Would you want to go into space if the opportunity arose?

It is amazing to think about what has been accomplished by the space program in my lifetime. Why, back when I was a kid, Pluto was still a planet. With the final Space Shuttle mission, I believe that space exploration will definitely change, but that we will continue to learn from the study of the universe beyond our little home, planet Earth.

Hammer and Rails sent out a tweet this morning which said, "What did your school's most famous alumnus do 42 years ago today? Ours just went for a little walk. That's all." Yes, Neil Armstrong is a Boilermaker, and yes, we are proud. Purdue recently recognized three astronauts on campus at a dinner spotlighting the University as the "Cradle of Astronauts." Grandson Matthew was in attendance, and was thrilled to meet Neil Armstrong, Eugene Cernan, and Jerry Ross.

So I hope we continue to explore space. Because this little guy and future Boilermaker wants to be (among other things) an astronaut.

2. What are three things in your freezer?

Ice cream, pizza, and beef. And did I mention beef? Our freezer's full of it. 
We like it. 
It's what's for dinner.

3. If you could see any band/artist perform live tonight who would it be? It has to be someone Beatles, Elvis, etc.

This guy, of course.

The King of Cool himself.

George Strait.

4. Ice-cubed or crushed? Or are you one of those people who don't like ice?

I would say cubed. But I must admit as I've gotten older, I don't really need ice in my drinks anymore. Hmmm.

5. The owner of a small restaurant outside of Pittsburgh recently announced he was banning children under six, saying they regularly disrupted other customer's meals. You can read the story in more detail here but isn't this a perfect topic to discuss in our Wednesday Hodgepodge? Have at it friends...what are your thoughts?

I have read some of the debate on this one, and I have decided I'm ok with the ban. I sure remember how difficult it was to take 5 small children to a restaurant, and I always apologized to those around us for any inconvenience. Of course, common sense dictated that the restaurants we frequented were of the family friendly variety. On the other side of the coin, if my husband and I had the rare opportunity to have a night out without the children, we might enjoy it more in the peace and quiet of an adult atmosphere. It's also true that my husband is the one who would offer to hold the fussy baby for the family at the next table. Hopefully, folks find that endearing and not creepy.

6. What was your first car? How did it come to be yours?

My first car was a Chevy Vega. I'm not even sure what year it was, but I got it in 1976, when I was 16, and it wasn't new. I sold my horse to buy the car (seemed more useful at the time), and my dad, the banker, set me up with a car loan to pay the balance. My payment was $23/month, which I paid with money from my job teaching dance lessons one evening a week. Big stuff. 
He looked just like the car in the picture below.

This is the only actual photo I could find of me with him. His name was Vinnie, and he served me well through my freshman year of college. This is me waving so long to my new friends as we left the Hanover campus for the summer. I wonder what ever happened to Vinnie the Vega?

7. If I had a nickel for every time I _______did a load of laundry__________ I'd be rich.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

It's HOT! This cartoon has been posted on Facebook, and I thought it was cute.

It also reminds me that we are getting close to sweet corn season here in Indiana. 
Nothing better than Indiana sweet corn. Mmmmmm.
Happy Wednesday, everyone!