Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meeting Avery

We love cousins and we got to meet the newest cousin on the Willis side over Memorial Day weekend. My cousin, Katie; her mom, Aunt Mary; and our newest cousin, Avery. The kids loved her (as well as the rest of us).

We are already planning a trip next summer to their house for more cousin fun! Thanks for coming and making our weekend special!

Giggles and Grins with Richard and Amy

We enjoyed Richard and Amy's visit over Memorial Day weekend. The kids were so ready to see them - it had been 6 months! Needless to say, Richard and Amy both had attachments on them the WHOLE weekend!
We can't wait until we get to see them again. Thanks for a great weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My How You Have Grown

Laura Beth 2007-2009

Our time in Mrs. Kim's room has come to an end. I love looking at these pictures seeing how my little girl is not much of a little girl anymore. She has changed in so many ways. We are so proud of her academic accomplishments as well as the way she treats others. I wouldn't trade pictures like these for anything. She is truely slipping through my fingers and I don't want to lose a moment with her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Backyard Treasure

On our chimney we have ivy growing all over it and it reminds me so much of the ivy at Wrigley Field. I tried to catch my own little Alfonso Soriano catching some fly balls in his own Wrigley Field.

First Grade Awards Day

School is winding down and we spent the morning in Laura Beth's class room celebrating their accomplishments from the year. It was so sad because we have been with this group for 2 years now. We are like a family - all of us - and we will miss this group terribly. Thankfully, we are in a small town and our paths will cross. We were so proud of Laura Beth's awards - Best Girl Reader and All A Honor Roll. We were the most proud of her receiving the Citizenship Award along with Evan from her class. Thank you, Mrs. Kim and the rest of the class, for a wonderful
two years!

Monday, May 18, 2009

I Heart Faces

My son LOVES baseball. He was asked to be the bat boy for our university's baseball team this year. He was in heaven. I took this the first game he got to be bat boy. You can just see the excitement in his eyes!

"I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting I ♥ Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and I ♥ Faces web sites."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

To Thee Our Dearest FHU . . .

Today we said good-bye to our Tyler, Ashley Blocker and Phillip. We have appreciated these kids so much for what they meant to our family, the school and to the church. These are going to be amazing young people in the world. We hate to see them go but know we will see them along the way! Ashley Blcoker - Child and Family Studies going to Birmingham, AL
Phillip McDoniel - Business going to Nashville, TN
Tyler Hughes - Pre-Med going to UAB in Birmingham, AL

The Last Supper of the Semester

Thursday night we had our HAH (Home Away from Home) kids over for supper. Three of our kids our graduating this year and we wanted to have them over one last time. We enjoyed being with them so much. The kids (all ages) had fun rockin in LB's room, playing baseball, playing the Wii, and wrestling. We love our kids so much and wish them the very best over the summer (and for Tyler, Ashley Blocker, and Phillip - the best in life).

Bold JUMP! - I love this picture!

From top and over - the kids with Haley and Eric, Ashley Blocker
and Tyler, Ashley Brown and Alex and Melissa and Phillip

Wednesday Night Fun

Wednesday night after church I was able to go out with some of the college girls for one last time before two of them graduated. We went to our place - Dumplings and just enjoyed being together. These girls have been so special and I will miss Ashley Blocker and Hailey Williams very much!While we were at Dumplings (and Damon was at work), Harvey and Alex (two of the fiances of the girls who went to Dumplings) were very nice enough to take the kids back to the house for ice cream and playtime. The guys were such good sports to even take pictures during their fun time! We are so blessed to have such wonderful college kids in our lives! Thank you to everyone who made the night so special!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Recent Graduate

Carter is our most recent graduate of preschool. We were able to make it a family affair last night with both sets of grandparents being able to come to the ceremony. He has loved Noah's Ark Preschool this year and we are so thankful to the school for taking such good care of him (and his peanut allergy). So congradulations, Mr. Graduate!

Mrs. Amanda and Carter
Carter and Mrs. Beth

Carter performing his songs and their routine to Star Wars.
Carter was also given the Most Studious Award.
Friends and Family at Graduation

Mother's Day Tea

Laura Beth's first grade class treated all their mothers (and a few grandmothers) to a Mother's Day Tea program on Monday afternoon. The children worked so hard on reading books and poems about mothers as well as singing songs. They all did a wonderful job. Mrs. Kim was so generous to allow both of Laura Beth's grandmothers to come since Mama C was in from Texas. It was a lovely day and we all are so grateful to be mothers (and grandmothers) to such wonderful children.
Some of the mothers with their wonderful children.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Blog - again

I don't know why I do this to myself but I do! Actually, I can blame this on my friend, Suzanne! She and some others have created blogs highlighting their home based businesses. She wanted me to do one as well highlighting all the things I have made in the past and would be willing to sell for the public. So, now I am pleased to announce my new blog:

For right now, I am just placing things on there for you to buy. I have cards, paper bag scrapbooks (made by my friend, Sandy, and myself), and ABC scrapbooks for baby gifts. I hope to have some giveaways and things of that nature in the near future. Check out my side column to see Suzanne's amazing flip flops and other great works!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tea Party Venues

Victorian Paper Dolls is always one of Laura Beth's favorite venues at the tea party. The top pictures show her and Cecily creating their own paper doll with markers, scraps of fabric, ribbon and lace. A new venue, Doily Wrist Corsages, was a great hit as well. The pictures on the bottom of the top collage show Laura Beth with Houston and Mary Emilee. She loved making this as well.

The top picture on the left is of Laura Beth and Houston card stitching in the parlor. They worked on beautiful cards as well as improving their handiwork.

Another new venue this year was the BeauTea Salon. Here they showed us different ways to use tea for beauty and cosmetic uses. Laura Beth was able to make a greet tea bath bag to take home and use.

Green Tea Bath Bags

1 c. Green Tea Leaves
1/4 c. Lavender Buds
1/8 c. Chmomile Flowers
4 T. Dried Lemongrass
10 drops Almond Oil (optional)

Directions: Mix all ingredients and put 4 T in large tea bags or muslin drawstring bags. Add bag to tea water or use 2 T. of mixture in large coffee filter for footbaths.

Hint: When using tea and herbs in a bath soak, be sure to allow room in the bag for leaves to expand.

taken and adapted form

Green Tea Chocolate Facial Mask

1 1/2 T. Green Tea
1 T. cocoa powder
1 T. honey
1 1/2 t. oatmeal flour

Steep green tea in hot water for 3 minutes. Remove tea and let cool. Mix remaining ingredients, then add green tea. Note: You may add more green tea in very small amounts to reach a consistency you like. Apply to face after cleansing. Leave on face for 15 minutes; then rinse off with lukewarm water. Wipe off excess with warm washcloth. Makes enough for one application. Drink a cup of green tea while you relax for even more antioxidants.

Time for Tea with You!

We enjoyed our tea time with special friends, Diane and Houston Holdren, Mary Emilee Lussier, Bridget Self and Cecily Davis. Of course, our Gran Willis was with us as well. The menu was one of the best they have had. We enjoyed our tea and our time together so much.

The Menu

Traditional Cucumber Sandwiches

Turkey Pesto Tea Sandwiches
3 c. packed fresh basil leaves
4 cloves garlic
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. walnuts, toasted
salt or pepper to taste
thin sliced turkey
wheat bread

Combine basil, garlic, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, walnuts and salt/pepper in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend to a smooth paste. Spread of wheat bread; top with turkey.

Strawberry Cream Scones wtih Strawberry Almond Mousse
Chocolate-Scotch Squares
Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Lemon Pecan Shortbread
Bleu Cheese Crispy Crackers
Fruit in Season

Yorkshire Earl Grey Tea
Vanilla Chai Tea

Little Girl Dress Up Time

Each year at the Victorian Tea Party, this is a favorite spot for my tea party girl. The area is set up for little girls to play dress up and have a teddy bear/baby doll tea party with their friends. Laura Beth enjoyed being the big girl for once with her friends Cecily, Ella and Ava. She loved helping them get ready and serve for their own special tea party.

Friendship isn't a big thing--it's a million little things.- Unknown

Chocolate-Scotch Squares
1 1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. sweetened condensed milk
1 c. plus 2 T. melted butter, divided
2 1/4 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 c. flour
1/2 c. flaked coconut
1 t. salt
1 t. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and 2 T. melted butter. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until chocolate chips are melted. Stir well.
In a separate large bowl, combine remaining 1 c. melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, flour, coconut, salt and vanilla extract. Stir to throroughly combine.
Spread approximately half of the sough in a an ungreased 9x13 pan. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the dough then drop small spoonfulls of the remaining dough over the chocolate. Grently drag the tip of a knife through the dough, creating a swirl pattern.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until set in the middle. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into 1 inch squares.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Victorian Tea Party Time

One of our favorite days of the year came this past Saturday - the FHU Associates Victorian Tea Party. This is the 7th year for the tea party to be held and we have been blessed to enjoy each year but one. This year, Laura Beth and I were able to go with my mom, ,Gran, as well as other friends seen here. Despite the weather (it rained all day long) we all enjoyed a lovely day filled with wonderful friends, lovely food and delightful activities. Come back throughout the week to see everything we were able to enjoy.

Somehow taking tea together encourages an atmosphere of intimacy
when you slip off the timepiece in your mind and
cast your fate to a delight of tasty tea,
tiny foods, and thoughtful conversation.
- Gail Greco

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Thank you, Angels

We are rejoicing in the Welch household today!
After numerous prayers from us and others on our behalf, Damon has been blessed with a job! He got the call and begins work tomorrow! The kids and I are super excited because it is at one of our favorite stores - Books-A-Million! We all appreciate the many acts of kindness that have been made for our family. So many of you have commented here on how you are continuing to pray for us. Many helped by sending job openings our way and helping however they could to put us in touch with different companies. We know God has blessed us with this opportunity. While we praise Him for keeping, protecting and blessing us during this time, we continue to ask Him for direction, wisdom and guidance. We also know that so many others are still struggling in this economy. I know this experience has changed my outlook completely and I am resolved to look for more ways to help and do for others. I challenge you to do the same. There are so many ways we can help others and I pray you are encouraged as I have been to reach out and help. Use these for a springboard as to what you can do for others . . . .
  • pay someone's electric bill or utility bill
  • send a Wal-Mart card (can be used for clothes, food or gas)
  • send extra lunch money with your child to help pay for another child's lunch
  • bring freezer meals (be sure you know how much space they have)
  • leave bags of non-perishable food at their door

Many of these acts of kindness were done for us anonymously and have been very much appreciated by us. We appreciate all of our anonymous angels and prayers. May God continue to bless you all.

Floating on the River

We were pleased to join our amazing college students for their annual formal on Friday night. We boarded the Music City Queen at Orpyland and enjoyed a cruise down the river. We awarded members for different things throughout the new year, announced new Makin' Music directors and enjoyed the sights and each other. Even though it rained and poured the whole night, our spirits were not damped while we enjoyed being together for one last time before the school year ended.
My amazing date for the evening!
Our kids
The beautiful ladies and amazing men of Phi Kappa Alpha!

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