Sunday, February 21, 2010

Driving range

This afternoon the weather here has been great. Loren came over and after she got done blogging she wanted to go outside and play. I suggested that we go the driving range and she was all in. Below are some pictures to document our trip.

Loren had to take a picture of the rules.
Very crowded... and Loren was kind of nervous about the crowd.
Here I am getting our bucket! (I had accidentally dropped a few)
Getting prepared to do battle. She was actually a lot better than I thought she was going to be.

Video of Loren hitting the ball. This really only took one take.
video

She found one club that she liked and stuck to it. She would try to hit with other clubs but they wouldn't do like this one so she would go back to the trusty rescue club.
She was much better at putting than driving.
Now its time to go home and watch racing. O BOY! (Loren doesn't really like racing but thanks to mom and dad saving the USA today last week she now knows who is in each car).
Video of Loren putting for the win. (Note to readers: This took more than one take.)
video

TEA!

So... Dave and I always stop by Ninnie's going to and coming from Rome :) When we stopped on Friday, she gave me a lesson. Yep, you got it... it was for TEA! (And for those of you who think I'm silly because I don't know how to make "tea", YOU my friends are silly for THINKING you know how!)

Let back up just a little though! I had emailed Ninnie about two weeks ago asking for her recipe for tea. Some things had gone wrong with her computer, and she had just gotten my email sometime in the last few days. So when we got there on Friday, she met us at the door, excited to teach me! The pleasure was definitely all mine, though! I LOVE being in the kitchen with Ninnie, learning how to make the things she has always made for Dave!

This afternoon, after Dave and I got home from church, I decided I was going to attempt this process! We had already talked about it and he agreed that no matter what my tea tasted like, he was going to pretend to love it and drink EVERY drop! With knowing that, I had a little bit of the pressue taken off of me :)

And so, I began another "Ninnie makes it better" adventure!

Of course you need a "LITTLE" sugar....
(You can't see it that well here, but out of a 2 quart jug, the sugar is filling about half of it!)

...And some tea...
... A special ingredient, and then you're all done!
The TASTE TEST was next! I thought my tea looked a little dark when I first made it, so I initially figured Dave would HATE it... But, I was W-R-O-N-G! Dave loved it! He said it was as close to Ninnie's as anyone could ever make it! (**Please note how super pumped I am at this point!**)
I am now considering this recipe **TOP SECRET** - especially after I got the stamp of approval from Dave - unless you go to Ninnie's and get your own special lesson, that is!

Saturday.. What a PERFECT Day for a Birthday Party!!!

Saturday was the day of the MAIN EVENT!

We were headed back to Gadsden to celebrate Ninnie's 80th Birthday :) But, before we could leave, we had to get Dave's dirty car washed! So, we stopped below:
Of course I felt the need to document the experience, so we shot a few pictures while we waited!
PLEASE notice the soap on the windows! (HA) I LOVED car washed as a kid! I thought they were so much fun.


After the car wash, we were on our way! We met the birthday girl at Top O" The River for her wonderful celebration that Steve and Glenda had put together, along with dinner and a lot of laughs! I am so happy that I could be a part of such a special day! Here is Ninnie's YUMMY birthday cake! It was tasty... and cute :)
I was also extremely excited to finally meet so many of the people I have heard so much about over the last four years and to put beautiful faces to the names and stories! Visiting with everyone was GREAT, too - especially The Ashley's from KY! Those boys are so sweet :)

Special to Ninnie: Thank you for welcoming me into such an AMAZING family! I'm super happy I was a part of your special birthday celebration! I hope you had a great pre-birthday, birthday!

Special to The Ashley's from KY: You guys are OUT OF THIS WORLD! Buzzy is so sweet and Henry is cute as a button! If you lived closer, I would TOTALLY love to babysit for you guys! Dave and I also decided on the way home that we are going to make a trip to see you guys sometime this spring - so get excited :) Oh, and Leslie... I would be HONORED to "share" with you, but only if you'll let me!

Valentine's Day - The Movie!

Dave and I made a quick trip this weekend for a very special occasion (that will have it's own post later). While we were in GA, we had a LOT of Susie time :)
Friday night, however, we made our way to the theater to see VALENTINE'S DAY! It was amazing :) I would so see it again. It is definitely going to a purchase when it comes out on video!
We saw a bunch of Sandye's kids from school while we were standing in line, and let me tell you... It was FUNNY! You would have thought she was their mom! This one little guy was obviously there with a girl and when we first walked up he kinda had his arm around her. When we turned and looked over his shoulder and saw Sandye, he quickly took his arm off of this said girl! HA!!!
After we got home, Dave found his funny-server side :)
I found out early Friday afternoon that I had made an OUTSTANDING grade on my test from earlier that morning, so I KNEW that this was going to be a fun and relaxing weekend!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Special Thursday Lunch = DELIGHTFUL

Meet Abby... The Fashionista!

I FINALLY managed an hour of this busy lady's time, and I am SOO happy :) We met for lunch at one of my refreshingly favorite places - Zoe's - and had the most wonderful catch-up session! I have missed her beyond anything you can image since I moved out of the sorority house, but she has done such G-R-E-A-T things in that time! I am incredibly proud of the achievements she has made, the positions she has found herself in (she is now the president of our house), and the person I've seen her become. She's AMAZING... and I feel so blessed for us to have walked into each other's life three years ago!

(**Excuse the picture. Yes, we are at a gas station. After leaving Zoe's, I wanted to make a stop by Bow Regards but I was in the wrong lane. So, I had to turn left into this weird shopping plaza/gas station area. It must have been meant to be, though, because Abby had to stop to get gas, and was still there. So, I jumped out of the car, snapped a pic, and returned to the red light to make the corrections in my adventure! HA.**)

Special to Abs: Congratulations, my sweet friend... for ALL of your accomplishments... for making dreams come true... for working HARD to make what you want, happen! ALL my love!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Meet Amelie!

Yes, my dear blogger friends... THIS lady is WOW!
Words cannot even begin to describe her :) She was in on Dave's NYC surprise, which is where this picture was taken!
But... I will try:
  • Sweet
  • Kind
  • Thoughtful
  • Confident
  • A pleasure to be around - ALWAYS
  • Happy
  • Always smiling
  • LOVES the color pink!

This is the wonderful little person with whom I was chatting to tonight! I get SUPER excited when I receive phone calls from my BIG! She lives TOO far away and I don't see her near enough, but each time we talk, it's like no time has passed at all (even though we spend forever chatting about our lives in order to catch each other up)!

Confidential to Amelie: I miss you so much! Thanks for being the BEST BIG anyone could ask for and for taking time out of your busy big girl schedule for our chat date tonight :) Our next one can't come soon enough! ... And I promise to have lots of exciting news for you! LOVE YOU!

**TACO BAKE**

MMMM! (although I'm sure someone out there is gagging)

Perfect for a Tuesday night after a L-O-N-G day of class and an afternoon of studying :)

One of my most favorite QUICK meals (that's good for a day or two, leftover as well) is this little fella here!
Old El Paso TACO BAKE!
It's easy to make and quick :) Momma added the refried beans once and it made it ten times better than I ever thought it could've been (it also helps to make it a little thicker)! I decided tonight that the next time I make this, I'm going to add something.... I just haven't decided what that "something" will be yet. And if you're one of those people who hates the idea of tacos out of a box, or refried beans or just doesn't venture away from the frozen food section - YOU don't know what you're missing (especially YOU, Dave Ashley!)

I forgot to take a picture when I took it out of the oven (because I got a REALLY special phone call tonight and was chatting away when I took it out), but this is what it looks like - post cutting and trying to fit something round in a square Rubbermaid container :) **I PROMISE I did NOT eat this entire taco "pie"!**

I'm not really sure how many it's supposed to serve, but I usually cut it into fourths, so it seems to be enough for four people - unless you LOVE it or you're super hungry :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

SNOW. FUN. LOVE.

These three words encompass my WONDERFUL weekend :)

I had been planning on going home this weekend for a while, but was going to try to make it a surprise like I did last year. This did not quite work out like I had wanted, but that was okay! I packed my things Thursday evening with the weather in mind. It took me a little longer than usual, but I was prepared! Dave and I had been conscious of the weather and knew there was a possibility of "snow" on Friday, but doubted (HIGHLY) it would come to fruition. To our surprise... this is what I woke up to:
OK... Now let's think about this. I am currently living one and one half hours away from my HOME. Driving in such "wintry" conditions is not something us kids in this area are used to. Saying that, I was not convinced that heading home was going to be copacetic - on my part or my mom's! At the point I saw this scene though, I was still not convinced school had been canceled. So, I continued with my morning rituals, thinking I was going to attend my nine o'clock class. Dave called fifteen minutes before I was going to leave to walk to class and informed me class had been canceled. NOW came the question of whether or not to make the drive home. I quickly RAN across the parking lot to his house, made him get up and tell me that it was ok to drive home :) After getting his approval, I set out for my drive home.

I made it safely home, although there was NO excitement whatsoever about the pending situation. To me, it was a MESS! I felt like it might as well just rain because I didn't think it was going to stick anyway. BOY OH BOY was I wrong. Our front yard ended up looking like we lived somewhere up north. (**At this point I thought I had left my camera at home so I took pictures with my mom's camera. I don't have them at the moment, so check back for pictures!**)

My mom and I did brave the "winter weather advisory" conditions and made our way to the Thrift Store and the grocery for some essential items, but quickly found ourselves wrapped up in our p.j.'s! Daddy got home all safe and sound, and joined us ASAP! I must admit, there's no better place to be stuck with crappy weather than at home!

Homemade hamburgers from "Pat's Place" (mom's kitchen!) were on the menu for Friday night, and Daddy wanted to grill them! I came out to help and add Dave's special sauce on mine and Daddy's burgers and just happen to snap a picture in the process! Even though it was C-O-L-D outside, OH MY, those hamburgers were delicious :)

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SATURDAY:
Daddy had to work, but he woke mom and me up with an extra special surprise before he left!!! BREAKFAST, balloons and special time with him! I love these times (because Daddy and I both share this deep LOVE for breakfast! It's the best meal of the day! :)

After breakfast, it was just me and Momma and we headed out on our normal Saturday adventures! My aunt came along to play with us and man did we have some laughs!
We shopped until our feet HURT but we found most everything we set out for! Saturday night was a replay of Friday night :) Warm and cozy in our p.j.'s all snuggled up on the couch, only this time, we were watching Apollo Ohno skate for a medal!

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SUNDAY - Happy Valentine's Day!:
Growing up I LOATHED this holiday! And although I LOATHED this holiday, my parents always made it special. I've already told you about our surprise from Daddy, but today Momma was making lunch! We had found these special cut ribeye steaks at the grocery on Friday and just knew we had to have them! LOOK: They're HEARTS! She made the BEST meal you could've asked for and we didn't have to wait TWO AND A HALF hours to get it (ask Dave about that story)! While we were getting ready for lunch, though, mom and I made Rice Crispy Treats, Brownies AND Pigs-In-A-Blanket! Talk about excited :0) We "accidentally" ate half the pan of Rice Crispy Treats before they really got good and firm, but we just like to know they're "SAFE" for everyone else to eat :) After lunch.... we needed a NAP!
We all assumed our positions in our normal places on the couch and loveseat and proceeded to watch all those lovey-dovey, sappy movies they show on this horrid day! While we were watching, however, another lovely winter weather advisory came across the television and I knew I probably needed to get on the road a little sooner than I had hoped. After packing my car with all my homecooked goodies, I set out for school - most unwillingly. I HATE leaving home... it should have gotten easier by now, but it SOOO hasn't! I could tell the weather was changing the closer I got to school and was happy to be back in enough time to get everything inside and settled. When I opened my front door, I was surprised by a SURPRISE:
Cupid must have made a stop by my house while I was gone!!! So, I opened the card and found out who they were from...Then, I found a BIG card... Kinda like the one I got FOUR years ago:
What a surprise! Even though Valentine's Day has never been a holiday I like to make a big deal about, the special people in my life always know how to make it great!

THANK YOU...

Momma and Daddy for always being my special valentines! I couldn't imagine this 14th day of February any differently than with you :)

Dave for making today special in a "you" kinda way for the last four years! I know you said four years ago that you were going to make me like Valentine's Day, but maybe it's better our way - no big hoop-la!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday

Our Super Bowl Sunday started out planning on going to early church. When my alarm went off early church got delayed until regular church time. After church it was time for homework. I had to get that all done before the big game. Not 30 seconds after I was done Loren called. Its like she knew that I was free. She needed to go to publix and didnt want to go by herself. She warned me before we left that she really didnt know what she needed to get and boy was she right. 1 hour later we were done "shopping" at publix. This girl can shop at a quicky mart if you let her. It was all that bad because I got the urge to make a chocolate chip pie. The results are below. I sure do hope its good.


Before I could eat the pie we had to eat dinner. Hamburgers it was. Loren wanted a chicken breast but it was frozen and we didnt have time to thaw before the game.

I decided tonight that my special sauce goes good on everything grilled. First time for hamburgers tonight and they were pretty good.


Another success of publix shopping were super bowl cupcakes. And they were on sale because it was only an hour before the game.




You even get a super bowl ring. I am pulling for the colts and Loren is pulling for the saints. We will see who has to do the dishes after the game. The commercials are pretty good so far as well.


Friday, February 5, 2010

It's Friday! It's FRIDAY!

This week has been NOTHING short of L-O-N-G!

THREE wonderful test grades later (two me me and one for Dave), we have survived! After yesterday's celebration of four years, I had to get back to grind for just a little while this morning. I missed out on the last day of Chick-Fil-A's free breakfast, but I got an extra hour of sleep instead (I think that's an okay trade off).

After class, Dave and I decided to make that trip to the Bryant Museum we've been talking about for years now.

This a wall of all of Coach Bryant's players - by teams.

As the picture itself says, this is the first football from the first victory against Auburn

This is depicting Coach Bryant's office. Dave said he thought there was some story to the couch. Anyone know what it is?

Here is a trophy that was given to Coach Bryant for winning the most games!

Dave pretending, I guess. I'm not sure.

This is a crystal houndstooth hat that Waterford Crystal had made.

FINALLY! Our coach and all the accolades he's helped bring to our University!

This is one of Daniel Moore's originals.

We had a great time walking around the museum. But, now that we've had all this rain and dreary weather - and are out of options for inside activities, it's time for some sunshine. Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow is much prettier!