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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Food Network Friday: Lime Blueberry Tiramisu

We missed last week's Food Network Friday post since we were so consumed with Grandpa's hospital stay. We are back on track this week, though. I must confess... the girls had nothing to do with this project. Estella watched the Paula Deen episode with me and thought "it looked yummy," but both girls were fast asleep in bed when I made this. Next time, I'll let them pick.

This was a very easy and very delicious dessert. Two things I had to do differently from the recipe: 1) I could not find lady fingers anywhere, so I substituted angel food cake. And 2) Instead of mascarpone cheese, I used cream cheese and added about a tablespoon of sour cream. We served it tonight for family, and I think they really enjoyed it. A really great, light, summer dessert. Click here for the recipe.

Ready go night night?

The following is a nightly occurrence. Fun, but a bit annoying. I love this little guy.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Great Opportunity

I think this would be ideal for families trying to get a good picture for Christmas cards. That stressful time will be here before we know it! (And how precious that she used our picture for her image. Love it.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I am so there.

I am tired. Tired and overwhelmed. I am in a dip. I hate dips. The last week or so has been difficult. Not only with Grandpa's hospital stay but several other issues that, separate, aren't a big deal. But together, have made a big heap of yuck, and I am flailing somewhere beneath. Grandpa is better. He is home. My Aunt Shirley and Uncle RC are there. I am SO grateful to them. But I feel like I should be there, too. The fact is, I can barely deal with my three kids effectively here at home. It would be disastrous for everyone if I tried to lug them all to Grandpa's for an extended stay. Still, I am consumed with guilt that I am not there. This makes me view cloning in a completely different light. I need another one of me. Not sure the world does, but I've decided it would be most helpful. That way, this me could be sitting here typing this blog post, while the other me does the laundry that has needed to be done for several days now... or changes the diaper that is so full it may fall off all by itself any second now.

It just seems that, recently, every turn produces a new challenge or uncertainty or difficult decision. And I feel utterly and completely unqualified for any of it. These are the points in life when you just say, "God, I can't. Not without you." I am so there. And very ready for a change. ChangeS, actually. Plural. The good thing about dips, though, is that eventually, you climb your way out. Right now, I would prefer an elevator.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Passing on a Good Thing

UPDATE: When I posted this yesterday afternoon, there was a dress in every size and color available. Now, all OUT OF STOCK. Sorry, Guys!! I knew it was too good to be true! They went like mad.

I just have to pass on this deal. I have received so many sweet compliments on our family pictures, and lots of ladies have commented this dress.

Matt's mom, whom we all refer to these days as 'Gigi', bought it for me for my birthday back in May, but it is now on sale at Francesca's. WAY on sale. So... if anyone is interested... Click here. Just can't keep that vital info bottled up inside. Must share!!! (P.S. It also comes in black.)

A Dream

I had a dream last night. I think probably most people think little if nothing of their dreams. My experiences with dreams, however, have taught me differently. I have come to believe beyond the shadow of a doubt that God speaks to us in dreams if we’ll only listen.

In my dream, I was in an airport with a group of people, none familiar to me. I was about to board a plane and for some reason decided not to. I ran from the airport and, as dreams go, into my one of my Grandpa’s fields. I ran so fast that I ran out of my shoes, but I kept going. Then in the distance, behind me, I heard someone calling my name. I turned to see my Grandma coming fast as she could after me. I kept going, ignoring her, feeling an almost resentment toward her. When I was almost to my Grandpa’s house, I stepped into a patch of thorns and stickers. I fell to the ground and saw my feet were covered in them. I began to cry. Suddenly I realized Grandma had caught up to me. She was sweating and out of breath but dropped to the ground beside me and began feverishly trying to pull the thorns out of my feet as I continued to cry in pain. Then I noticed she was also crying. I remember laying there on my back in the dirt watching her pull out the thorns while tears ran down her face. She was there with me… in my pain. She was there with me.

Grandpa had total knee replacement surgery on Monday morning. The surgery was successful, but he is taking it hard. He is in pain, and the pain medicines are making him confused and hard to control. I was in the hospital all day Monday and got home late at night. There was something about walking into that house without him. Something much too familiar, and I did not like it. I will never forget the drive home after Grandma died… how it felt to walk inside her house without her there, see her chair, smell her smell, find her glasses and crossword puzzle exactly where she’d left them. After getting home from Grandpa's hospital room, emotions hit me without warning, and I think I cried uncontrollably for hours. Seeing Grandpa in so much pain, remembering Grandma the same way in the same hospital, feeling completely helpless to all of it, and feeling too young to let go of a parent. It was so hard. I’ve decided I don’t do ‘hard’ very well. I sat there in that house after Grandpa’s surgery so sad for him and almost perturbed at Grandma that she wasn’t there with me. I cried for her on the bed in my old room and whispered her name because Jeb was asleep next to me. I decided at that moment, that no one but her could ever comfort me the way she could. I needed her.

So, yes, I think God gave me my dream. Call me crazy if you’d like, but I do. Now I’m not saying that she feels the pain I feel. I don’t believe those in Heaven can feel pain, but I do believe that for whatever reason God chose to let me know that I am not alone. And I do know that. But I appreciate the reminder.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

For those who do not know I am in Russellville with my Grandpa who just had a total knee replacement. I am in his hospital room right now and writing this on my iPhone. He came through surgery great but is really hurting. The doctor said for an 88 year old, he is doing awesome. I will write more from home, but if you are reading this, please say a prayer for his relief from pain and miraculous recovery. I would truly be grateful.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Food Network Friday: (Sort of)

Today the girls and I made two trays of yummy treats for the people that make Friday Night Outs happen at FBCS. That ministry is GOD SENT to the young couples of the church, and we are so grateful to everyone who partcipates. Making them a little something is the least we could do.

BUT... none of the recipes we used came from the Food Network. They were all swiped from family or friends, but we just couldn't stray from our catchy Friday title. Here's what we made... key lime tarts, Gran's secret recipe brownies (which weren't nearly as good as Gran's), candy bar brownies, snicker doodles, and chocolate covered strawberries. Hope they enjoyed!! We are so appreciative of the FNO ministry.

Art Camp 2009

This week the girls attended Art Camp in Fayetteville. And they had SUCH a great time. The sweet lady who directed the camp is a former colleague of Matt's mom, and the girls thought the world of her. They painted, worked with clay, made tie-dye shirts, and a ton more creative projects their mommy could have never come up with. I am so glad they were able to attend. Thanks, Gigi!

Belle and her friend, Avery.

Belle next to her "portfolio".

Estella Dru and her treasure box.

Belle with her treasure box.

E Dru on the swing.

E Dru and her friend. (She "thinks her name was Erin." Love it.)

Mommy and her art camp girls.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Family Pictures 2009

We finally got around to ordering our family pictures. I absolutely love them and tell you in truest sincerity, if you are needing family pictures, go see Melissa McCrotty in Russellville. Ya'll, she just rocks it out. I mean, THREE Slaughter kids, and we came away with great, great pictures. Speaking of those great pictures, I'm posting way too many of them. I just love them all so much.














Monday, July 13, 2009

Go Buy One.

Go here. Buy a shirt. Every dime of the profits made goes to help orphans in Africa. Every dime. Plus it's a super cool shirt designed by our good friends who happen to have a love for Africa-- the country that gave them their sweet son. Did I mention every dime of the profits go where they're supposed to? Go buy one. It's the cool thing to do.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Who's Chasing Who?

Sometimes you just have to let them have a little fun.... (If you have earplugs, now would be a good time to put them in.)

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Network Friday: Bananas Foster French Toast

Seems we are doing a lot of cooking around here. I guess we are. My girls are really enjoying it, though, and as long as they are happy and not "bored" (as I hear all too often), we will probably be doing a lot more. But since it IS Friday, we have to post our Food Network Pick of the Week. And in honor of our Gigi's birthday, this week's pick was Bananas Foster French Toast. Once again, the girls chose a Paula Deen recipe. (Or, "Ms. Paula Deen," as they call her.) Gigi loves french toast, and since today is her birthday, we invited her and G-Pops over for breakfast. The girls woke up at 7am (as opposed to 9:30) to get cooking. And after digging out crazy amounts of egg shells, rescuing the cinnamon shaker from the batter, and breaking up several fights over whose turn it was to stir, I think the finished product came out perfectly. Here's a peek.






Again, Paula's recipe is crazy calorie packed, but oh so yummy. I caught myself re-reading the recipe over and over again to make certain I wasn't misunderstanding. Yes, you ADD sugar to maple syrup. And that's only AFTER you dip your croissant half into the heavy cream. Yes, I am serious. If you'd like to see the recipe, click here.

I must now leave you to go to the gym in a futile attempt to rid myself of all the calories I have consumed. It's not going to be pretty. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIGI! Hope you enjoyed!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Performer

We bought Matt a new grill for Father's Day. He desperately needed one.


Oh the shame. How redneck pitiful is that?

After much research (on HIS part, not mine), this is the new grill we purchased.

He wants to make sure everyone knows it is called The Performer, but you must picture him saying "The Performer" with a deep, serious voice and standing like a gladiator going into fierce battle.

You cannot possibly imagine how happy the Fed Ex guy made my husband by bringing this to our door. He has been a grilling machine. Had I known a grill would make him this excited about life, I would have made sure we got one long ago. We have had so much fun with this thing. On the 4th of July, he was DETERMINED to grill for us, even though is was raining. Take a look at this dedication.

Here are a few of the products of his labor. The potato skins were a recipe we saw on Paula Deen (of course). The poatoes, the bacon, everything, all cooked on the grill.



So, Ladies, if you're thinking about a good gift to give your husband, you may consider The Performer. It has certainly made my husband a happy man. Plus, I don't think I've cooked at all for over a week. It doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Food Network Friday: Filled Strawberries

We chose yet another Paula Deen treat this week. We can't get enough of Ms. Paula. These strawberries would make a great dessert to take to a 4th of July party. Ours are a little messy--I had LOTS of help--but you can make them as beautiful as you'd like. They are SO yummy and a nice twist to a fruit tray. We sprinkled brown sugar on top for an added flair, and it made them just perfect. Click here for Paula Deen's recipe.

Recognize the plate, Gran???

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Destin Review

I have been working on this post for a couple of days but just never had time to finish... what with all the poop and such. Anyway, as I said earlier, each time someone we know goes on vacation I'm always interested in any tips or likes and dislikes they had. Since we just got back from our Destin vacation last week, I thought I would share our insight (for what its worth) before we forget.

A FEW THINGS WE DID RIGHT:

* We left for Destin around 9:30 at night. It was wonderful because the kids slept pretty much the entire way.

* Since I knew we'd be stopping for gas a few times, I brought a noise maker and tucked it behind the kids' seats. The white noise drowned out the sounds that would have awakened the kids.

* And perhaps the smartest thing we did, instead of hooking up the dvd player, we bought the girls individual ipod nanos. I can't remember how many movies fit onto one, but it was well over ten. We have SO much trouble with those hang over the seat dvd players.... It's hard to reach back to change movies. Inevitably someone pulls out a cord. They are loud. No one wants to watch the same movie. With the nanos, each girl picked her own movie whenever she wanted, and the headphones were heavenly. PLUS they also took them in with us to dinner, and instead of being bored during the meal, they sat like little angels and watched their movie. Now, I wouldn't advocate this all the time, obviously. But for Matt and me and the peacefulness of our vacation, IT WAS WONDERFUL. (By the way, you can find these refurbished at the Apple store for a discounted price. Pick your color--we ended up with pink and blue.)

A FEW THINGS WE DID WRONG:

* We did not leave late at night for the trip back home, and we paid for it dearly.

* We should have bought sunscreen at Sam's. It is almost 1/2 the price there.

WHERE WE STAYED:

We stayed here at the Pelican Beach Resort in Destin.

Matt found a great deal through ResortQuest and ended up getting us a discount of around 40%. You would be amazed at what you can get if you ask and are persistent.

What we loved about Pelican Beach:

* Great rooms
* Great view
* Close to restaurants and other fun stuff
* A large discount package to lots of local restaurants and free passes to several different activities such as water parks, fishing boats, sight seeing boats, etc...
* Most of all, the KIDS PROGRAMS!!! On Tuesday and Thursday nights they do a kids' themed program for kids ages 4-12 for just $15 per child. You can drop off your kids at 6 pm, and for three hours, the kids' staff entertains them with crafts, play, and swimming. Matt and I got two date nights (even though we had Jeb) while we were there. It. Was. Awesome. AND the kids absolutely loved it. Plus, everyday they have kids activities somewhere within the resort.

What we didn't so much love:

* A crowded beach
* washer and dryer not in the room

Where we ate:

I have to admit, going to dinner at the Destin restaurants is probably my favorite part of our Destin vacations. Love it. Love it. We have some favorites and tend not to branch out. Here's what we did this year.

Monday Night: The Backporch

I had the shrimp and crab linguini which was SO good. I was so full I didn't get the key lime pie, but they are famous for theirs with good reason.

Tuesday Night (A no-Belle and E Dru night): Louisiana Lagniappe

Going to be honest, this place is not cheap. Matt and I specifically budgeted so we could pull this one off, but it is by far our absolute favorite place to go while in Destin. Matt LOVES the hushpuppies they bring out before the meal, but I'm not so crazy for them. But LL's food... amazing. Get a seat outside if you can. The restaurant sits in the harbor, and the view is beautiful.

Wednesday Night: Pompano Joe's

The girls LOVE Pompano Joes, as well as me and Matt. The atmosphere is fun. The service is great. The view is beautiful. And the Reggae Rolls are a MUST.

Thursday Night (another no-Belle and Dru night): Fisherman's Warf

We really enjoy Fisherman's Warf. The restaurant sits directly on Destin Harbor. The food is wonderful, and if you time it just right, you can sit and watch the boats come in with their day's catch. The kids love it. Plus, their fried green tomatoes are another must have.

Friday Night: Pompano Joe's AGAIN (Girls' choice)

Just as yummy at two nights before!

Then Saturday morning before we left, we noticed a discount that came with our hotel package to Breakfast with the Alligators at Fudpuckers. I was a bit leery, but we really enjoyed it. It was buffet style, and the food was really good. Plus, the kids got to see the alligators--even pet one.


And we can't forget the Donut Hole.

I'm pretty sure they don't have a website, but for breakfast or yummy desserts, it's the place to go. The key lime pie is HEAVENLY. But be sure to get there early. There's almost always a line. It's well worth the wait.

If you vacation in Destin, I would love to hear where you love to go!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!??

If you haven't read yesterday's post, it is a MUST before viewing the picture below which was taken JUST MINUTES AGO as I was feeling this day could not POSSIBLY involve any unforeseen incidents involving poop.


ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!

And I'd like to point out that I BLURRED the big poop at the end of the tub because no one but a mother should have to see that.... much less scoop it out with a cup, flush it, pick up every other object floating in the tub (including washcloth), throw them away, then bleach the heck out of everything is sight.

Ya'll, it's just not funny.